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The National Initiative Gets a Grant

Source: 29.11.2016
The National Initiative Gets a Grant

The Bortnik Foundation will distribute 2 billion rubles as grants among 130 projects of the National Technology Initiative

The Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology (known as the Bortnik Foundation, see inclusion) received additional 2 billion rubles from the federal budget, as it is clear from the amendments to the federal budget of this year, signed by President Vladimir Putin on 22 November. These monetary funds are from financing projects of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). This money is for the projects — winners of the contest "Development-NTI", which was announced by the foundation in September.

“On Monday, the Fund and the five working groups of NTI decided on 130 projects-finalists, each of whom will receive a grant to an average of 15 million rubles,” said yesterday Adviser to the General Director of the Foundation Ivan Bortnik to "Vedomosti" The contracts will be signed with them until mid-December, in time to transfer the money until the end of the year. According to Mr. Bortnik, initially there were more applications — by 1 November, they received a total amount of 12 billion rubles. The Bortnik Foundation, unlike venture capital funds, does not invest in projects in exchange for a share, yet gives them grants.

On the creation of NTI, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his message to the Federal Assembly on December 4, 2014, calling this program one of the priorities of the state policy. At the end of the message, the President instructed the Government together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) and the Academy of Sciences to organize the NTI.

"The meaning of the National Initiative is to create conditions in our country for the development of industries that will be the leading sectors in the world economy, although may be even not now, but in 20-25 years", explained Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in October 2015. Organizational and analytical support for the NTI are borne by the project office established within Russian Venture Company (RVC).

5,000 start-ups in 22 years

The Bortnik Foundation, established in 1994 to support and fund R & D projects, receives government funding. In 2015, it amounted to 8.5 billion rubles. During the existence of the Foundation, with its participation by the end of 2015 it had been created more than 5,000 start-ups.

Last September, Mr. Putin instructed to include in the 2016 budget 10 billion rubles for the financing of the NTI, but then this amount decreased. A special resolution of the Government was devoted to the implementation of the NTI, which allocated 8 billion rubles for the NTI project instead of 10 billion rubles (and another one billion ruble for children techno parks). Representatives of ASI and RVC have not answered the question of what part of the allocated money is spent on the NTI projects.

Five areas of NTI have been described in the five roadmaps. This includes Aeronet (unmanned aircraft systems and small spacecraft), Neyronet (communication between man and machine through Neurotechnology), Avtonet (market development of unmanned vehicles and intelligent systems of vehicles), Marinet (digital navigation, the development of technology ocean resources and innovative shipbuilding industry), Energynet (systems and smart energy services). The projects working on the first two tracks — Aeronet and Neyronet — will get together by 450 million rubles. For each of the remaining three directions, the foundation and working groups have allocated less than 400 million rubles, said Mr. Bortnik. The money is allocated for the research and development work, according to the Competition Regulation.

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