On February 8 the Moscow office of Mail.Ru Group hosted IV Corporate Venture Summit. Its main theme was the search for mutually beneficial cooperation between corporations and the innovative ecosystem — venture funds, development institutions, start-ups, investors.
The main problem the modern innovation market faces is the lack of qualified personnel. Andrei Rakitin, Partner of Odgers Berndtson, described what specialists are needed today for Russian corporations. He presented the results of the research "Competence of the Russian young R & D engineer", which was conducted on the order of the All-Russian educational program "Elevator to the future" of the Sistema Charity Fund. The research gave answers to questions about the necessary repertoire of knowledge, technical and personal competencies of such an engineer. The speaker stressed that it is important to be personally effective to build a successful career as an engineer.
This topic underwent a deeper consideration during the track Personnel for Change. The speakers of the track particularly noted that universities should not only give fundamental knowledge, but also teach innovative culture, the ability not to have fear of making mistakes. Frequently, corporations, like almost any potential employer, expect from universities to respond immediately to their requests, which is difficult due to the inertia of educational processes. In this case, the only way is to come to the negotiating table and learn to hear each other. The participants of the summit found interesting the results of Elena Chernikova's study that considered the main differences in the culture of the innovative company and that of corporations reluctant to develop innovations.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the top management of Mail. Ru Group — Alexander Gorny, Strategy and Analysis Director, and Denis Anikin, Business Director of Tarantool. Alexander talked about how the company applies its potential and expertise when investing in third-party projects. Denis focused on the need to create the ground for the emergence of innovation and told about the history of the development of the Tarantool DBMS, which was created several years ago inside Mail. Ru Group and quickly turned from innovation into technology, and now is an independent business unit with a separate revenue stream.
The key theme of the Summit — the role of the ecosystem in the innovative development of corporations — was discussed at the plenary session. The moderator of the session was Andrey Zyuzin, Managing Director of the Fund "VEB-Innovations". The discussion was attended by Artem Shadrin, Director of the Department for Strategic Development and Innovations of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy Director General and Program Director of the RVC, Kirill Varlamov, Director of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund, Alexander Gorny, Strategy and Analysis Director of Mail Ru Group, Nikolai Rodimov, a representative of the Vienna Business Agency and Anna Boychenko, project manager of the Open Government. Artem Shadrin in his speech touched upon the issue of promoting Russian private companies in foreign markets. He shared information about what support measures are being taken by the state to help our companies become prominent players in world markets. In particular, the government launched the project "National Champions", based on the results of TechUspech rating. There are efforts to incorporate innovative corporate strategies into regional development strategies. Finally, startup support tools will be systematized and scaled up.
Kirill Varlamov spoke about the most effective tools which IIDF uses to cooperate with corporations. They include joint investments in the purchase of start-ups, cultivation of start-ups inside large companies and "on demand", in accordance with their needs, trainings of business executives to manage innovative projects. IIDF developed an M&A course designed for top managers of large corporations and business owners. The course explains the necessity to buy fast-growing technology companies, teaches how to do it and how it can affect the success of the business.
Evgeny Kuznetsov in his speech drew attention to the existing systemic barriers.
Nikolai Rodimov, in turn, presented the Summit participants with a survey of measures that are used in Austria to stimulate the country's innovative development. He stressed that human capital is the most important factor in the success formula. Financing is the second condition for the development of innovations The state, along with private companies, uses a wide range of tools: From grants and cover expenses on R&D to subsidies for the construction of model factories. Austria is one of the EU leaders in terms of the share of R&D spending against GDP, with a result of about 3%.
The problems touched upon during the plenary session went on to be discussed during the tracks "Innovations born in companies" and "Setting up an external ecosystem to support corporate innovation". The tracks featured the speeches, in particular, by the deputy chairman of the scientific and technical council of the State Corporation Rostek Alexander Kashirin, member of the Board of Directors of PJSC Aeroflot Alexey Germanovich, vice president, head of the human resources department of AFK Sistema, Elena Vitchak, Technical Director of mail and cloud services Mail. Ru Group, Denis Anikin, and others. The correct motivation of employees, the cooperation with universities, the interaction of start-ups and corporations, the role of the board of directors in the innovative development of the company — the experts discussed these and other issues not only in their speeches, but also during active debates with the Summit participants.
The results of the Summit will be used to form focus groups made of expert representatives of the ecosystem Their goal is to collect and accumulate ideas on how to develop mechanisms for effective interaction between corporations, universities, development institutions, venture funds. The document compiled on the received data will be proposed to the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia to develop the most efficient implementation solutions.
The event was organized by the Club of Directors of Innovation and R&D (iR & Dclub). The partners of the summit are the Internet Initiatives Development Fund, the Russian Venture Company (RVC), the youth support program Lift to the Future of the Sistema Charity Fund, Mail. Ru Group, Aeroflot — Russian Airlines and Vienna Business Agency.