Dmitry Peskov about the approval of "road maps" for through technologies.
The national project "Digital Economy" provides the development support of through digital technologies; the "road map” to be approved for each of them. Dmitry Peskov, Special presidential representative on digital and technological development, told Kommersant why a number of maps had been sent for revision and shared the participation plans of state companies and large businesses in their implementation.
— It has already been decided that the “road map” on artificial intelligence will be framed as a separate federal project, what are the prospects for other through technology maps?
— The through technology list was perceived insufficiently critical, it was a methodical error. For example, it is strange to consider the artificial intelligence without the big data. By the meeting of the supervisory board of the INPO Digital Economy, we already had a methodology that divided these technologies into basic and complex ones. There are basic technologies that are really common, penetrating. It is clear that the big data, or artificial intelligence, computer simulation, wireless standards, are everywhere. And such technology as the industrial Internet does not exist — just like the technology of the Internet of things. Moreover, there is no such technology as robotics. Robots consist of sensors, autonomous source of energy, materials, control unit with artificial intelligence elements, they learn to use the big data that they accumulate.
Some teams that wrote the “road maps” put forward their lobbying interests. For example, in a wireless technology map, only radio technologies were in the priority list, but do we really have no other ways to transmit information wirelessly? There is sound, light, many extremely promising solutions, including those providing the wireless data transfer. The task of the “road maps” is not to lobby for specific technological solutions of a particular company, but to ensure the technology group development in the country. Where, for various reasons, the developers could not do it, the maps were not accepted.
— At the meeting of the supervisory board, several of them were proposed to combine.
— We agreed that the maps on the industrial Internet and new manufacturing technologies should be revised on the basis of a single map, which will keep the name “new manufacturing technology”, but will combine all the elements of the life cycle. Inside this map there is the basic technology of computer modeling, and it is the key to the results. I hope that the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) will remain the operator, as it, as a technology holder, today, it just so happens, has no alternative in the country. Although we are working hard to ensure that such alternatives appear.
Similarly, in four “road maps”, neurotechnologies were highlighted as a subtechnology, which are already quite successfully developed within the “Neuronet” market of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). Let them be further developed there, although so far there has not appeared such a major player as, for example, Sberbank. The NTI Center for Competence on the artificial intelligence was created on the basis of MIPT. It gathered the necessary analytics, a consortium of participants, but to move on, again, we need the major players. In the NTI model initially there are no major players. There are no Sberbank, Rostec, Rosatom. In the artificial intelligence this connection is formed — the major players are added as part of the “road map”. And in this sense, the NTI Center for Competence is already included in a large, mature program of the digital economy. Our task is to pull up the large players for those backlogs created for the through technologies.
— The map on quantum technologies was sent for revision, what is the reason?
— The main claim to it was insufficient ambition. Now there are three large groups that compete with each other — the Russian Quantum Center, the centers based on ITMO and MSU. Large corporations that take responsibility for individual decisions within the map also appeared. For example, Russian Railways will be responsible for quantum communications. The logic is very simple: if we make a communication network that cannot be cracked, then it must be transcontinental and rely on the existing fiber infrastructure, and Russian Railways has Transtelecom, there is logistics that needs to be maintained. In quantum computing there is another logic and Rosatom will take responsibility for this part, Rostec will take responsibility for quantum sensing. But Rostelecom also has mature solutions for the quantum communications. We expect the appearance of major player consortium, cooperation will inevitably appear.
— How will state companies work with each other within the “road maps”?
— The “road maps” are not enough for this, there will be a separate instrument in the form of open consortia, in which the leading companies and those who will enter them with certain competences will participate. The state company list will be extended, as long as it does not cover all the through technologies that exist in the digital economy and the NTI.
— Why wasn’t the robotics and sensorics map accepted ?
— Revision is required. In the work on it, Innopolis has so far failed to integrate the entire community, and, accordingly, important areas not covered by the map have appeared. Without comments we have not approved a single map. For example, in distributed registries, everything came down to the blockchain, but we do not want to invest in HYIP, we need to develop the distributed registry technology in general, and not a specific technology set.
— Will Rostec remain responsible state corporation here?
— The only corporation that has made significant investments in this area remains Rostec — therefore its leading role here is logical.
While there are few successful cases, we are optimistic about examples of the oil market, in particular, aviation fuel sales. I must admit that we had offers to remove distributed registries from the priority technology list, but we need to smooth out both bursts of interest and recessions.
— Will Sberbank be the operator of the combined map on artificial intelligence and big data?
— There are a lot of players there — and those who are engaged in the big data will continue to work in this very topic — this is the Association of participants of the market of Big Data, and the major industry players. The role of INPO Digital Economy as a major business coordinator is also preserved; it is an excellent platform to balance everything.
— RUB 90 billion will be allocated for the federal project on artificial intelligence in six years. How will these funds be distributed? Do you expect the direct support of the companies?
— For through technologies, there will definitely be formats in which the companies will be able to apply for support. But the criteria are not yet fully defined. It is clear that the Development fund of educational technologies, which is now starting work, has one of its priorities to invest in educational projects and artificial intelligence. So all decisions at the junction of education and artificial intelligence will be able to directly receive the government support.
— How will the combination of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) and the digital economy continue to develop?
— This topic is constantly being discussed, but the general logic is that NTI is more about small and medium-sized companies and an increase in the incoming project flow. The digital economy is more likely responsible for the mature implementation of proposals at the state level. NTI is now working much deeper with the regions, there is also a large block in the initiative, which is not yet in the digital economy, which is export support. We will deal with this next year, when the national project will work. So while NTI generates entities, increases the number of incoming projects, brings them to a certain level. And further, when the link with the state administrative resource becomes fundamentally important, it is more correct to include them in other state programs and forms of support. For example, we have a large project for remote monitoring of chronic diseases that has grown up in NTI and is already being implemented in several regions. But now the role of the Ministry of Health is important, it is necessary to solve issues with the HIF. We are trying to transfer this project from NTI to the digital economy, but the authorities are still resisting.
I would note that within the digital economy, centers for competence are not scientific centers, but those responsible for the substantive management of federal projects. For example, Sberbank is the center for competence of the federal information security project, Skolkovo is on regulatory regulation, the University “20.35” is on personnel. They perform the executor functions of the federal projects together with the responsible ministries.
Interview by Tatyana Edovina