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State Support as an Effective Tool for Securing Leadership in Innovation
24 May 2018
09:00—10:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Government support compensates for risks of investing in innovation

We keep talking about smart money <…>it’s the government lending a hand; it's compensating for some of the innovation risks related to the high risks of R&D or new technologies — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

At the risk of finding no other sources, the toxicity assessment for government money is significantly lowered. The government is gradually learning to work with its money and makes adjustments to its requirements. At the same time it factors in that innovation agenda is risky one — Alexander Povalko, Chairman of the Management Board of RVC.

Government involved in innovation

The government has no chance to keep up with the developing world through regulation. They created this association <…> where officials basically collaborate in the product making process — Alexei Solonin, Chief Executive Officer, Qiwi .

ISSUES
Institutional environment can’t keep up changes

Looks like the ecosystem is spinning up. We have the system of development institutes. The innovation policy is defined. However, everything is slowly losing its relevance — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

Over the last years, we’ve lost a bit of our drive both on the government level, as well as from the point of promoting innovation agenda — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

Lack of financial resources

The main problem now is that the amount of resources that these development institutions have simply cannot be compared with the scale of the tasks that await us — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

The project for the national champions, which we’ve taken. <...> We pump them up <...> when it comes to various kinds of non-financial support, but we still don’t give them any financial incentives — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

Effectively, today there is not enough money to develop the venture market — Alexander Povalko, Chairman of the Management Board of RVC.

SOLUTIONS
Choice of strategic direction for innovation development

For us, the most interesting type of support is when there is a very clear strategic direction. <...> In France, for example, the government announced huge investments in it (artificial intelligence – Editor’s note). And now it coordinates various forums dedicated to this matter — Kamran Charles Vossoughi, General Director, Michelin Russian Tyre Manufacturing Company LLC.

We hear a lot about the strategic area of artificial intelligence, for example. Someone stated: let's say there will be artificial intelligence, and we will disclose the data and communicate for the benefit of artificial intelligence — Vladislav Butenko, Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group.

Creating enabling environment for innovation

You don’t need to support. Just do not interfere, and you need to create opportunities fast. <...>One cannot just solve a big problem and skip on tightening the nuts, otherwise the engine will loosen up — Vasyl Latsanych, Chief Executive Officer, VimpelCom .

Governments, from my point of view, should create the right circumstances, give an impetus, but then their task is to disappear. So I’ve sowed companies, and if I did a good job, then I can be replaced by anyone in the future. <...> If the company depends on me, then it’s not good enough — Dirk Ahlborn, Chief Executive Officer, of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

We are now doing everything to find people, to retain them, and they will come up with something. <...> We need the government to create conditions for people to want to be here — Alexey Katkov, Managing Partner, JSFC Sistema.

Access to long-term and cheap money

The company emerged, and it is successfully developing. For its further growth, we need solutions for share purchase agreements that will allow industrial enterprises to access long and cheap money — Sergey Nedoroslev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kaskol.

Support for R&D

Then it is support for R&D. But I'm not talking about giving government funds directly – this can be a harmful practice. I'm talking about a tax manoeuvre. Taxation system should reflect on real situation, when R&D is risky, when R&D is big — Sergey Nedoroslev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kaskol.

Building system to learn new technologies

Cultivate a second higher education among mature people. <...> We need to make it trendy — Vitaliy Milke, Advisor to the President for Economy and Finance, JSC Business Alliance.

There is one thing that works quite well, and this is what we call innovative centres. <...> They can be centres for learning new technologies — Florence Verzelen, Executive Vice-President for Industry Solutions, Marketing, Global Affairs and Communications, Dassault Systemes SE.

Creating culture of risk

A culture of risk. Create a culture where people will not be afraid to take risks — Vladislav Butenko, Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group.

People don’t want to take risks. When I talk to entrepreneurs, they try not to break away from the ground. They say, we want 1% of the market, and they do not think about creating a new market — Dirk Ahlborn, Chief Executive Officer, of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Perception of risk and tolerance for mistakes is something deeply rooted in our culture. And it doesn’t just take years, but whole decades to make any changes happen — Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, Renova-Holding Rus.

Support for companies at later development stages

We are doing well in financing innovative projects in their early stages. But all this is true for the sowing campaign, for the initial stages, and then start-up shit the ceiling. In this department we have defined the role of VEB as a development institution that finances projects at later stages, providing long-term and cheap money — Aleksey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman, Head of Innovation and Digital Economy, State Development Corporation "VEB.RF" .

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS