On June 2, 2017, an agreement was signed during the SPIEF between the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), Russian Venture Company (RVC) and Skolkovo foundation on cooperation during organizing and conducting national technology competitions (NTCs) as part of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The parties will assume the obligation to organize new national and international competitions and participation of Russian teams in existing competitions abroad.
Technology competitions are intended to generate a model of expert search of global technology barriers which must be overcome to create breakthrough technologies. They will also allow to focus the best engineering and scientific brainpower on developments in areas necessary for the development of markets within the framework of NTI. Participants of events will be representatives of scientific, engineering and business community.
The logics behind these competitions is to developm and create solutions for commercial clients facing with challenges of generation of technology breakthroughs in different industries. Participants-innovators accept the challenge to resolve tasks assigned, however bear initial costs and risks. Examples of such competitions that can be cited are international events Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, Cybathlon, XPrize. For example, the task of XPrize competition was to create a software which would enable children in developing countries to learn reading, writing and arithmetic using artificial intelligence technology. At Cybathlon competition, neural interface controlled movement systems have been presented. They are used for sports disciplines by people with a mobility impairment. Prize funds of largest international competitions are equal to millions of US dollars.
The document signed by ASI, RVC and Skolkovo foundation provides for joint formation of competitions' technical tasks, prize fund, expert panels and jury. The parties intend to involve their industrial partners — large-scale companies representing potential customers and consumers of new technologies — in the organization and conducting of NTCs. ASI, RVC and Skolkovo foundation will provide their infrastructure and necessary equipment for competitions.
Autonomous non-profit organization “Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects” (www. asi. ru) was established on August 11, 2011 under the directive of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The Agency gives support to commercial, social and educational projects aimed at overcoming administrative, regulatory and legal barriers, performing comprehensive expertise and fundraising (through financial institutes and development institutions).
The ASI has a separate area of activity — systemic projects for the improvement of the investment climate, industrial growth through staffing, additional education of children and providing a new quality of life for people with disabilities.
According to the order of Chairman of ASI Supervisory Board, President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, the Agency also takes part in the implementation of the National Technology Initiative.
RVC is a governmental fund of funds, the Institute of Development of the Russian Federation. The main objectives of RVC JSC: stimulating the creation of Russia's own venture capital industry and execution of functions of the Project Office of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The authorized capital of RVC JSC is more than 30 billion roubles. One hundred per cent of the RVC capital belongs to the Russian Federation represented by the Federal Agency for Management of State Property of the Russian Federation (Rosimushchestvo). The total amount of funds generated by RVC JSC has reached 22 billion roubles; meanwhile, the total size is equal to 33 billion roubles. The share of RVC JSC is 20.4 billion roubles. The number of innovative companies approved for investment by RVC funds has reached 214. The total volume of invested monetary funds is 17.7 billion roubles.
Skolkovo Foundation — a non-profit organization created on the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation in September 2010. The purpose of the Foundation is to mobilize Russia's resources in the field of contemporary applied research through the creation of a favourable environment for R&D activities in five priority areas of technological development: energy efficiency, space, biomedicine, nuclear and computer technologies. The Fund undertakes to fulfil functions related to management of a project of creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, whose activity is regulated by a special law ensuring special economic conditions for the participating companies (in the beginning of 2017, their number has exceeded 1600). Total revenue of the participating companies is 95.5 billion roubles. They have created 21.8 thousand jobs and gained 1100 patents. An important part of Skolkovo ecosystem is a research university — Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SkolTech) founded and operating with the assistance of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By 2020, more than 2 million square meters of production, office and residential premises will be built in Skolkovo, 35 000 people will work in the innovation center.