A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 126 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 69 countries worldwide Russia also cooperates with 92 Russian public organizations and 54 regional governments.

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Article
29.08.2019

A Startup Springboard

Kalancha
AN INNOVATIVE OIL STOR AGE FACILIT Y FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEM

Extinguishing fires without the use of water and foam, especially if it is an oil storage facility burning, seems like an impossible task. Yet, Kalancha NPO has found an effective solution. By taking advantage of a quarter century’s worth of its own developments, Kalancha was first company in the world to develop, patent, and implement the innovative BiZone fire extinguishing system. It is designed for oil and petroleum product storage facilities, and is capable of extinguishing a fire within a minute. The BiZone system uses a gas and powder-based fire extinguishing technology. This is a completely new approach to putting out flames — the source of the fire is neutralized through the use of a fire extinguishing powder and gas. This process takes advantage of all of the basic mechanisms for extinguishing a fire simultaneously, which allows the system to put out fires of practically any complexity in their early stages.

There are over 22,000 dangerous oil and gas facilities in Russia alone, including over 700 storage parks with over 50,000 storage facilities. These types of facilities are located all over the world and are some of the most flammable structures in the fuel and energy industry. After all, oil storage facility fires are a serious threat to utilities, surrounding buildings, and the people involved in extinguishing them. The direct and indirect material damage from oil storage facility accidents is hundreds of times greater than the money spent on constructing them.



Modern fire safety regulations require the majority of oil storage facilities to be equipped with an automatic foam fire extinguishing system. This technology has been used for over 60 years, but practice has shown that it is not very efficient: not a single oil storage facility fire has been extinguished automatically.

The SPIEF pitch session raised over a billion rubles for startups



WHAT IS BUSINESS PRIORITY?

Russia has a number of procedures in place to support the high-tech companies. Primarily, these are government corpora tions and foundations with full or partial state funding: Rusnano, the Skolkovo Foundation, VEB Ventures, the Rostec venture fund, etc. However, according to start-up pers themselves, even highly promising projects have a difficult time getting the at tention of these institutions, given the total number of companies applying for support. The Roscongress Foundation, together with the International Foundation for Technology and Investment, the Digital Economy Development Fund, and the RC-Investment Foundation have launched the Business Pri ority project to help address this issue. The expert jury has currently reviewed over 200 projects, granting the 50 most promising ones Business Priority status. «Our work is not limited to helping companies attract investment,» said Marianna Skragan, Business Priority CEO. «We are creating an environment for communication between start-ups and the government, investment funds, and major corporations. As a result, Business Priority projects receive expert support, get help in solving regulatory issues, and find new clients, since many major corporations are themselves potential consumers of innovative developments.» The Business Priority project was first launched in June 2019 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The launch was very successful: during the ‘Pitch Session for a Billion’, 13 innovative companies attracted a total of RUB 1,129 billion. The project made another appearance in July, at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2019) in Yekaterinburg, where the eight best Russian startups were joined by seven international startups from Singapore, the UAE, the Netherlands, India, and Brazil. They presented their businesses and, most importantly, were able to directly communicate with representatives of major Russian and international corporations and investment funds.This project will continue its work at the Eastern Economic Forum. Business Priority projects will be showcased in the Innovation Space — part of the Roscongress Foundation’s Building Trust programme (Building A, Level 3).


Major oil companies as well as defence and law enforcement agences the BiZone system


Making matters even worse, over half of the oil production in Russia occurs in territories with long periods of negative temperatures, while 40% of oil is produced in countries with water shortages: using foam to extinguish fires in those conditions is difficult, if not entirely impossible. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on designing, constructing, and running foam fire extinguishing systems.

The BiZone system is far more affordable, and most importantly, more reliable and environmentally friendly. Companies such as Rosneft, LUKOIL, Gazprom Neft, Gazprom, Sibur, Nornickel, NLMK, Rosatom, Russian Railways, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, and other armed forces have taken advantage of these systems. Kalancha also has customers in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia. In May 2019, the company opened an international front office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.



«Our participation in the Roscongress Foundation programme has added some weight to our interactions with investors and customers,» said BiZone NPO Development Director Vitaly Guryev. «The Roscongress Foundation’s Business Priority status opens a lot of doors for innovative companies.Collaborating with the largest organizer of international exhibition and public events allows us to directly communicate with decision-makers from investment company. This reduces the amount of time spent on reaching agreements and implementing technologies.»

According to Guryev, the caution exhibited by large companies is understandable: there is a huge number of underdeveloped projects out there. Taking on such a cooperation would result in a loss of time and money. «You could say that, for potential innovation customers, the Business Priority status is a seal of quality which denotes that they’re looking at a highly polished product that has undergone many stages of refinement,» said Guryev.

Motivity
A CORPORATE PLATFORM FOR EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION TRAINING

Any manager will tell you that a success of any company depends on its employees. Employees need to be trained. This needs to be done in such a way that the educational process is not a burden, but instead increases employee motivation and productivity. Ideally, this would also be achieved without spending too much money.

The Russian company Motivity offers interesting tools for achieving such goals. For over a decade, Motivity has specialized in HR automation and gamifying HRTech and EdTech projects. Essentially, this is a personnel management system developed by Russian psychologists and IT specialists.

The platform tracks employees’ levels of motivation and includes a number of tools for increasing their engagement and personal productivity. Educational games adapted to meet the goals of each individual company; business simulators for developing and reinforcing new skills; interactive tools for practicing all sorts of client-facing scenarios — these are just a few of the products provided by Motivity.

The platform can, for example, help address the issue of high employee turnover, transform employees into loyal brand ambassadors, and ultimately increase sales and other business indicators. All of this is done by motivating teams in a non-material way.

«The Business Priority project is supported by major institutions, from the Skolkovo Foundation to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. They all have a common goal: to showcase the real success stories of innovative start-ups and help us use our competitive advantages,» said. Motivity Founder Danila Zharov. «Before, everyone enjoyed the same support. It was enough to call yourself a start-up and pass a formal selection process. However, Business Priority is a status granted to one in hundreds of companies. All of them have proof like sales and positive traction, not just ‘I have a cool idea and a PowerPoint presentation’ claims.»



Danila Zharov’s project has advanced far beyond a ‘cool idea.’ Its clients include Google, Sony, Adidas, McDonald’s, BMW, Bosch, IKEA, Sovcombank, and Asahi Glass Co. The project is undergoing active development in Russia and the CIS, and contracts are being developed in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The company’s earnings are currently modest, but they have doubled for the third year in a row and should exceed USD 1 million by the end of 2019.

While Danila Zharov’s project is aimed at motivating personnel, he himself was extremely motivated by the pitch sessions at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS 2019). «Participation in Business Priority pitch sessions is a boost to a project’s ‘karma’ in the eyes of investors, since it says ‘we chose these guys, and now we’re going to support them.’ These projects are more valuable to investors and they are more confident in their future,» said Danila Zharov.

Currently Motivity is in the process of attracting investment to accelerate their growth in Russia and enter the US market.


The Motivity platform offers a fresh persp taff management


FOREIGN PARTICIPANTS IN THE BUSINESS PRIORITY COMPETITIONS

The finalists of the two Business Priority competitions included companies from Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the Neth- erlands, India, and Brazil. Among them was CUBi Energia, a startup from São Paulo, Bra- zil that developed an electronic system for auditing and managing energy consumption, that leads to significantly optimized results for both businesses and the public sector. Another company noted by the competition committee, India-based Cre- dence Robotics, supplies a wide range of industrial solutions related to the internet, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The company’s products are aimed at smart cities, automated supply chains, and logistics.
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