Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the Socialist Countries

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scientific and Technical Cooperation of the Socialist Countries


one of the most important trends in the international socialist division of labor. It is expressed in the exchange of scientific and production knowledge among socialist countries, in the division of labor and joint efforts in the conduct of research and development, and in collaboration on scientific and technical information, invention, and the training of scientific personnel.

Scientific and technical cooperation has passed through several stages of development. At first it was conducted mainly on a bilateral basis (in accordance with agreements on scientific and technical cooperation) and consisted chiefly in the exchange, virtually without monetary compensation, of scientific and technical documents (in 1949 the principle of noncompensation was formalized by a decision of the second session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance [COMECON]) and in the assignment of specialists to transmit and acquire scientific, technical, and production knowledge. As of early 1970 the USSR had sent to socialist countries more than 76,000 full sets of specifications and samples of products and materials and had received 23,000 full sets in return. Later, scientific and technical centers were established for the joint solution of common problems of science and technology (such as the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 1956), multilateral cooperation was developed (mainly within the framework of permanent commissions of COMECON), and (as of 1964) bilateral and multilateral coordination of scientific and technical research was implemented. Such coordination makes possible, on the basis of five-year plans, the organization of collaboration of interested COMECON member countries conducting research that is of mutual interest, the exchange of research results, and the curtailment of duplication of effort. Direct contacts among related research organizations, ministries, and departments are becoming widespread; they are reflected in the exchange of knowledge and in the coordination and joint conduct of research projects. Since the mid-1960’s contractual cooperation in the conduct of research, and also mutual sale of licenses, has developed in connection with new tasks in the field of scientific and technical progress, making possible an increase in the efficiency and mutual benefit of the scientific and technical cooperation of the socialist countries, which at present is carried out on both a noncompensation and compensation basis.

A qualitatively new stage in scientific and technical cooperation is associated with the policy of developing socialist economic integration, whose most important part is the scientific and technical integration of COMECON member countries. It consists in the formation of a coordinated scientific and technical policy for the countries; by the development of comprehensive forms of collaboration that make possible the solution of interrelated problems of scientific, technical, commercial, and production cooperation; and by the expansion of joint research. Mutual consultations on the basic questions of scientific and technical policy are held, scientific and technical forecasts are drawn up, research plans are coordinated, efforts on individual scientific and technical problems are planned jointly, and existing forms of cooperation are improved. A system of international scientific and technical centers and organizations is being established. An international scientific and technical information system is taking shape, and cooperation in invention and patent affairs, the training of scientific personnel, and the material support of research is being increased. These factors contribute to acceleration of the rate of scientific and technical progress, to an increase in the efficiency of production in socialist countries, to equalization of the countries’ levels of economic development, and to gradual formation of the integral, highly developed scientific and technical potential of the socialist community.

The scientific and technical cooperation of the socialist countries also encompasses cooperation with developing and developed capitalist countries. In addition to rendering technical aid to developing countries in the construction and commissioning of new enterprises and in the training of scientific personnel, cooperation has also been implemented through joint research and the exchange of technical documents and licenses on the basis of international agreements.

There are significant prospects for the development of scientific and technical cooperation with Western European countries, the USA, and Japan on the basis of intergovernmental agreements and contracts with leading firms. For example, in 1972 the USSR cooperated with 420 firms on 600 problems. Cooperation in research and implementation of research results, the introduction of new manufacturing processes, and the building of modern production facilities is being developed in the USSR simultaneously with the exchange of information.

The socialist countries are participating in the activity of international organizations on the world and regional levels that study global problems, such as protection of the environment and the rational use of natural resources, which require the collaboration of many countries in their solution.


Kompleksnaia programma dal’neishego uglubleniia i sovershenstvovaniia sotrudnichestva i razvitiia sotsialisticheskoi ekonomicheskoi integratsii stran-chlenov SEV. Moscow, 1971.
Bykov, A. N. Nauchno-tekhnicheskie sviazi stran sotsializma. Moscow, 1970.
Nauchno-tekhnicheskii progress i sotrudnichestvo stran SEV. Moscow, 1973.
Mnogostoronnee ekonomicheskoe sotrudnichestvo sotsialisticheskikh gosudarstv [collection of documents], 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Obshcheevropeiskoe ekonomicheskoe sotrudnichestvo. Moscow, 1973.
Nauchno-tekhnicheskii progress i sotrudnichestvo stran SEV. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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