One of the most important directions of Lake Baikal Foundation is support of science and popularization of scientific knowledge. The scientists working with applied research in the Baikal region faced serious problems: underfunding and lack of interest from government and public. In this regard the Foundation initiated a program for young scientists «Baikal Initiative».
Under the terms of the contest, Lake Baikal Foundation allocated 1 million rubles to finance talented solutions both in the lake environmental protection and in the expansion of a range of applied scientific research possible on lake Baikal due to its unique endemic environment. The participants of the «Baikal Initiative» contest had to prove that their projects were really relevant and necessary, proving it with «popular expertise»: the financial assistance was provided to those projects which could independently collect 20% of the project budget by crowdfunding, attract sponsors and other channels of public support. 80% of the budget of successful projects were covered by Lake Baikal Foundation’s grants.
- to detect and to support technological and applied scientific research aimed at protecting the Baikal’s environment;
- popularization of scientific knowledge about the Baikal.
- to work out the contest documentation;
- to draw researchers’ attention to the contest, to post information about it at web-portals, in social media and at scientific organizations’ web-sites;
- to interact with the Scientific-Technological Council of the Foundation, to analyze and to select the most relevant and useful projects;
- to provide grants for the winners;
- to help with the projects’ implementation.
What has been done:
- 10 scientific projects took part in competition. Among them were:
- «Discovering of migration routes and wintering areas of the yellow-breasted bunting (Ocyris aureolus) nesting in Selenga River delta». Project manager – Y.A. Anisimov;
- «Seismic station on the Svyatoy Nos peninsula». Project manager – E. I. German;
- «Physiological state of fish in lake Baikal». Project manager – I.I. Gordeev;
- «Developing a biotechnological method of lowering synthetic suerace-active substances concentration in lake Baikal by creating consortium of microorganisms highly active in synthetic surface-active substances destructing». Project manager – E.V. Zharnikova;
- «The monitoring method of night horizontal migrations of pelagic amphipod Macrohectopus branickii (Dyb.)». Project manager – D.Y. Karnaukhov;
- «Along the Doppelmayer’s trail: protecting the nature of the Barguzinsky nature reserve for over 100 years». Project manager – N.M. Luzhkova;
- «Monitoring of water birds in the southern part of lake Baikal in the situation of long-lasting low-water period». Project manager – A.I. Povarintsev;
- «Development of a low-inertia equilibrator for expanding the capabilities of gas analyzing equipment». Project manager – A.M. Shamrin;
- «Monitoring of abiotic parameters of water on south-western coast of lake Baikal using modern data-loggers». Project manager – D.S. Bedulina;
- «The assessment of the symbiotic relationship of antibiotic producing actinobacteria with endemic amphipods of lake Baikal». Project manager – D.V. Aksenov-Gribanov.
- on 25 October 2017 the winners of the competition were announced. They are the following projects:
- «The assessment of the symbiotic relationship of antibiotic producing actinobacteria with endemic amphipods of lake Baikal», which involves screening of natural compounds and evaluation of the role of biologically active substances that produce actinobacteria endemic for the Baikal. This research implies the search for new substances for the synthesis of natural antibiotics. Project manager is D.V. Aksenov-Gribanov;
- «Along the Doppelmayer’s trail: protecting the nature of the Barguzinsky nature reserve for over 100 years». Scientists want to monitor the route of the expedition of one of the reserve management and studies pioneer Georgiy Doppelmayer – along the valley of the Tarkulik River, from the coast of lake Baikal to the watershed of the Barguzinsky Range. Based on the results of the monitoring, it is planned to create an interactive web-map «Doppelmayer Expedition – 100 years after» for the popularization of the reserve management and nature protection activities. Project manager is N.M. Luzhkova;
- «Monitoring of water birds in the southern part of lake Baikal in the situation of long-lasting low-water period». Scientists intend to compare the current state of some species of birds of the southern Baikal with the state of their populations in the low water period of the early 1980s and the high water periods of the 1980s and 1990s and trace how the periods of water rise and fall on the lake affect the bird colonies. Project Manager is A.I. Povarintsev.
- under the terms of the competition, the winners had to provide 20% of the budget by themselves to receive the grant. Each of the leaders choose their own way of collecting funds, as a result it allowed to involve different groups and the popularize the project for a number of audiences. The stage of search for co-financing took place from October 2017 to February 2018;
- in February 2018 Lake Baikal Foundation signed the grant agreements with the winners after which they received the grants and started the implementation of their projects.
The results of the «Baikal Initiative» projects can be found via the links:
- «The assessment of the symbiotic relationship of antibiotic producing actinobacteria with endemic amphipods of lake Baikal»;
- «Along the Doppelmayer’s trail: protecting the nature of the Barguzinsky nature reserve for over 100 years»;
- «Monitoring of water birds in the southern part of lake Baikal in the situation of long-lasting low-water period».