The Faces of Innovation: Dialogue With New Tech Leaders
The Far East offers a platform for Russia’s entry into global markets and attracting international investment
[Russia] currently has the best conditions in the world to attract human resources and financial resources and take the next technological step […] Why would you just come to the Russian market? It’s not very big [...] Let’s manufacture things here for the whole world to compete with other centres of power, relatively speaking. Because the Russian government has provided the best conditions in the world — Aleksandr Generalov, President, Arnika-Holding.
Russia is seeking to take its place in the global system of division of labour, so it’s concentrating on projects with high added value
All the projects in the Far East should make somewhat greater sense than the actual essence of their products [...] After all, the world is now competing for human, financial, and scientific resources, and very strongly doing so. And it’s not just states that are competing, not just cooperative societies of states, but systems of division of labour that are competing [...] We understand this and see that within 10–15 years we will actually be in the stage of a transition to and the deployment [...] of a new industrial revolution — Aleksandr Generalov, President, Arnika-Holding.
It’s extremely difficult to compete in terms of the prime costs of the production of physical items. You can buy these things in Asia, and by combining them in the right way and programming them, you can make a product with the highest added value [...] The job of technologies here is to find their strengths based on industries that have already been well-developed, fill them with content, utilize their strengths, and attract these people here. And we will help by opening markets [...] We have a lot of groundwork with which we can shoot to create something that is among the most competitive in the world — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
Companies lack support mechanisms
It’s a shame that our regulator isn’t putting up any obstacles, yet we are moving slowly anyway [...] Because the world’s largest manufacturers have a very hard time making contact and generally don’t take any steps towards giving away some of their technologies […] [The Development Fund of the Russky Innovative Research and Technology Centre] could become a technology transfer point here for the reproduction of technologies of the most modern biotech preparations [...] If the Development Fund starts working actively and participating in the negotiation process, then any Russian pharmaceutical company would open its doors to communicate with global biotech leaders […] Russky Innovative Research and Technology Centre may become a kind of point for the introduction of new Russian drugs to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region [...] We already have something to export, but [...] we need support — Denis Remenyako, General Director, FC Grand Capital.
Our legislation is excellent, in principle. It’s far from the worst and perhaps among the best in the world. But it doesn’t work the way it should […] If some tech company came out with a [minimum viable product], according to this law, if everything is alright, it needs to go through all the procedures within a year and the product should hit the market for clinical trials a year later [...] But we aren’t seeing this. I haven’t seen even a single company in our country coming out with invasive technology. Even though we are constantly talking about this, there are numerous scientists who go abroad because they are implementing their ideas in laboratories that are more adapted for this — Artur Biktimirov, Neurosurgeon of the Medical Center of the Far Eastern Federal University.
Increase the investment threshold for residents of the innovative research and technology centre by 10 times
To date, the sales volume turnover limit for a company to enjoy benefits has been set at a fairly low level of RUB 1 billion [...] [Now this threshold will be increased to] RUB 10 billion [...] RUB 10 billion is no longer a startup; it’s already a business. And, once we reach this RUB 10 billion, we will move these innovators into the next category. We have advanced special economic zones and the Free Port of Vladivostok, so we’ll continue to support them [...] This is a very important decision that will allow the innovative research and technology centre to grow faster — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
Expand support measures for startups
One of the proposals is to create a one-stop shop, possibly within the innovative research and technology centre, for companies that will come and receive a full range of support and accompaniment at all levels [...] We need to create the same laboratories in this innovative research and technology centre that will conduct accreditation and obtain permits — Artur Biktimirov, Neurosurgeon of the Medical Center of the Far Eastern Federal University.
The Chinese experience is that high technologies and companies always play a very important role in the development of the local economy […] We help them with resources, we allocate resources, and you do that too […] The tech park should be connected to all resources […] and the international market. And […] human resources are very important. If you don’t have a good team to help startups every day, nothing will happen — Chen Herbert, Vice Chairman, International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation.
Focus on knowledge-intensive technologies to become an industry leader on the global market
Given the shortage of resources, we need to be more focused [...] on what will allow our country to overcome the technological barrier and take leading roles in certain areas. And this will also allow investors to earn money […] We need to focus on projects that have a solid scientific foundation [...] We need to focus on creating such cores and clusters in areas in which we have laid serious groundwork and in which we have expertise […] As soon as such a core appears here, other companies, in robotics, for example, will think about where we should land, where we should work, and where we should register. Of course, it’s better to be closer to the leaders of both the Russian and international markets [...] They will be drawn here — Ruslan Sarkisov, Chief Executive Officer, Far East High Technologies Fund.
Talking about startups, this is more of an applied component and not deep fundamental research that could last 10–15 years […] At the same time, startups are based on […] fundamental technologies […] Major players and big business should also be present and develop longer fundamental science-intensive technologies, which startups can then quickly refine and release to the market in the form of products — Maksim Chugunov, General Director, Promobot.