In 2018, RVC focused on developing a mature venture capital investment industry in Russia and creating conditions for the formation of new markets as part of National Technology Initiative (NTI).
In 2018, the formation of the NTI basic infrastructure was completed, the process of updating strategic documents was initiated, and the work of the Project Office was optimized. Anchor projects and programs started at the initiative perimeter — Up Great technology contests, competence centers and infrastructure centers. In July 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov issued a long-term plan for the implementation of NTI for the period 2018-2021, developed by RVC with the participation of the working groups of NTI, ASI, authorities and interested organizations.
In order to increase the transparency and efficiency of investment decisions, the approach to the implementation of RVC’s investment activities was updated in 2018. In July, the Board of Directors approved the updated investment strategy of RVC, introduced new standards for interaction with funds and management companies, expanded the line of investment tools for RVC due to new types of funds. To improve the quality of asset management, the internal procedures of RVC were aligned with the funds of funds’ best market practices.
A landmark event was the presentation of Venture and Direct Investment Market Development Strategy for the period up to 2025 and to further to 2030 project, developed by RVC at the commission of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The strategy includes more than 40 initiatives aimed at removing key barriers to the development of the venture capital industry.
In the first half of 2018, the volume of the venture capital market in Russia amounted to 93.4 million US dollars and, according to expert estimates, will demonstrate moderate growth in 2018.
In 2018, the total size of funds with the participation of RVC capital increased by 13.7 billion rubles and amounted to 48.8 billion rubles, of which the share of RVC was 26.6 billion rubles. At the end of the year, RVC’s portfolio included 27 funds, of which 3 funds were established in 2018:
In 2018, RVC funds approved the investments to 30 portfolio companies for a total amount of over 2 billion rubles, which is 40% more than in 2017 (1.4 billion rubles in 24 portfolio companies). In particular:
In 2018, there were 19 exits of RVC funds from portfolio companies totaling 1.7 billion rubles (there were 6 exits in 2017), of which 18 exits with a positive financial result. For example, in September 2018, RBV Capital fund, created with the participation of RVC and R-Pharm, sold Bonti botulinum toxin developer to the pharmaceutical giant Allergan. The initial payment under the deal amounted to $ 195 million. Leader-Innovations Foundation announced the sale of a stake in Plazius LLC (Plazius trademark) to Sberbank.
In 2018, the work of the Venture Market Council established at RVC, which united the leaders of the Russian venture community, continued. The working group under the Council made proposals on the adaptation of the regulatory environment in order to raise funds from non-state pension funds to the venture capital market, and approved the approach to building a certification system for management companies in Russia.
To increase the transparency of the Russian venture capital market, RVC implemented a number of analytical projects, including rating the most active venture funds, corporations and business angels, in partnership with PWC prepared an annual review of MoneyTreeTM: Venture Market Navigator for 2017 and the first half of 2018. In addition, for the first time, RVC was the general partner of “Venture Barometer” independent research, conducted by venture investor Alexey Soloviev.
In 2018, the process of updating the NTI “road maps” began: in April 2018, the updated Avtonet’s road map was approved, and in December, the process of updating Neuronet’s road map was launched.
In order to provide regulatory support for the implementation of NTI, in 2018, the regulations of the Government of the Russian Federation approved 7 regulatory “road maps” for the markets of Technet, Marinet, Autonet, AeroNet, Energynet, Healthnet and Neuronet. The documents contain step-by-step action plans aimed at eliminating regulatory barriers to the development of NTI markets. A working group was formed to improve legislation and eliminate administrative barriers in the interests of Kruzhok Movement road map.
In the direction of regulatory and technical regulation in 2018, Cyber-Physical Systems Technical Committee, established at the premises of RVC, together with market players, initiated more than 30 national standards in the field of “cross-cutting technologies”, including projects in the interests of the NTI markets Energynet, Technet and Safenet. An important direction of the committee’s work was the promotion of Russian documents at the international level. In October 2018, ISO/IEC experts approved the Russian draft standard of the industrial Internet of Things, initiated the development of a number of standards in a multilingual format. In 2018, by the order of Rosstandart, the powers of the committee in the field of regulatory and technical regulation were also expanded at the expense of the areas of artificial intelligence and smart energy. At the end of the year, more than 80 organizations became members of Cyber-Physical Systems TC and its working groups.
In 2018, the process of creating NTI infrastructure centers for the Technet, Autonet, Aeronet, Energynet, Healthnet, Neuronet and Kruzhok Movement markets was completed. The centers bring together representatives of the business community to develop new markets and provide expert analytical services to their members. Budget financing of the centers is provided in the amount of up to 682 million rubles during the first three years.
In the spring of 2018, RVC completed an additional competitive selection of universities and research organizations for the right to receive a grant for the creation of NTI Competence Centers, focused on the task of commercializing research results. After studying 49 applications, 8 winners were determined: the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Innopolis, MIET, the St. Petersburg State University, MISIS, MPEI, Skoltech, ITMO. In total, at the end of 2018, there are 14 competence centers for NTI “cross-cutting technologies”, which received 3.9 billion rubles of the state support.
In July 2018, the first three Up Great technology contests in the field of unmanned vehicles and hydrogen energy were officially launched with a prize fund of 375 million rubles. More than 40 applications from engineering teams from all over Russia were received to participate in the contests “Winter City”, “The First Element. Earth” and “The First Element. Air”. Qualification and final tests of the contests will be held in 2019. Up Great partners are Yandex, Sberbank, KIAT and NAMI.
As part of the regional direction of activity, RVC in 2018 concluded agreements with 8 constituent entities of the Russian Federation: Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Samara Region, the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, the Sverdlovsk Region, the Chelyabinsk Region and the Perm Territory. The agreements are aimed at cooperation in the implementation of NTI, including projects and programs in the field of digital development, training in the NTI areas, the development of venture investment and the innovation ecosystem.
In 2018, RVC approved new editions of a number of internal regulations and work procedures, which made it possible to optimize the work of the NTI Project Office and simplify the procedure for selecting and monitoring projects. Changes were made to the principles and working procedures of the Project Committee, “The Procedure for Examining NTI Projects”, “Regulations on the NTI Expert Council” and “The Procedure for Monitoring and Managing Changes in NTI Projects”.
In 2018, the Interdepartmental Working Group on the Implementation of NTI under the Government Commission for the Modernization of the Economy and Innovative Development of Russia (IWG) approved 12 new NTI projects: Topaz, Aerotomography, Platform of Biobanks-5, Spinal Neuroprosthesis , Experimental Digital Certification Platform, Operkit Platform, Academy of Mentors, Practices of the Future, WORK, Digital Talent Management Platform, Autodata, On Duty around the Planet.
At the end of 2018, the portfolio of NTI projects approved by the IWG included 44 projects. Based on the projects and directions of the NTI “road maps”, work began on the formation of complex NTI projects (meta-projects). Meta-projects provide for the deep integration of community development technologies, tools of development institutions, resources of education and science systems into a single network-centric organism capable of replacing the concept of transnational corporations. At the end of the year, the NTI design committee presented the first 6 meta-projects for launch in 2019. One of them is “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”, for the implementation of which, in 2018, the National Medical Knowledge Base Association was established together with the medical community.
RVC continued to work to expand the access of NTI companies to venture financing. At the end of 2018, 6 venture funds with a mandate to invest in NTI projects were operating in the RVC portfolio. In 2018, two pitch sessions were organized for NTI projects with the participation of leading venture funds and corporate investors. Following the results, the participants continued negotiations on raising funds, and the winners were able to go through acceleration programs for free.
As part of support for NTI projects, the Export Accelerator of the National Technology Initiative was launched for the first time in 2018, aimed at accelerating the entry of companies into foreign markets. The first accelerator season focuses on projects in the IoT, AI, and Big Data segments aimed at Asian markets. According to the results of the examination of more than 60 applications for the accelerator, 15 companies were selected.
In 2018, the admittance of applications to TechUspekh high-growth high-tech companies rating was completed, with more than 600 companies providing their primary data. Participation in the rating will give the companies additional opportunities for obtaining comprehensive support from development institutions and authorities. The companies and their projects that correspond to the priority areas of the National Technology Initiative will also be able to get support through the NTI tools.
In February-March 2018, with the support of RVC and ASI, the NTI Olympiad Final for schoolchildren in 17 engineering profiles was held in Sochi. The competition was attended by 360 guys from all over the country, the winners received benefits for admission to universities. 38 thousand applications from schoolchildren were received for participation in the 2018/2019 NTI Olympiad season, and applications for the student track of the Olympiad were for the first time open for university students.
In September 2018, Kruzhok Movement Association launched the NTI Lesson for schoolchildren. More than 1,800 schools from 412 cities in Russia submitted applications for the lesson.
For the development of entrepreneurial competences of students of technical universities RVC, together with the Lomonosov Moscow State University and ITMO University developed a training course “Innovative Economics and Technological Entrepreneurship” in 2018, license agreements on the introduction of the course into curricula with 38 universities in the Russian regions were concluded, 2 training sessions were held for university teachers – the training course operators.
The work of the RVC base department “Management of Technological Projects” in the MIPT continued. In 2018, in partnership with Sberbank laboratories at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the MIPT Department of Intelligent Systems a new master’s program “Project Management in the Field of Artificial Intelligence Technologies” was launched. International internships were organized for students of the RVC Department in venture capital funds MindRock Capital (USA), Pix Vine Capital (Singapore) and IncuVest Pte Ltd (Singapore). The total number of students and graduates of the master’s programs of the RVC Department is 114 people.
In 2018, RVC for the eighth time successfully held the All-Russian contest of innovative journalism Tech in Media in the following nominations: “Venture Business”, “Life Sciences”, “Hydrogen Energy”, “Technologies and Philanthropy”. More than 600 authors from 33 cities submitted applications for participation, the winners divided the prize fund in the amount of 2.2 million rubles.
A number of projects aimed at the development of scientific communication under the brand “Communication Laboratory” were also implemented. In June 2018, the II All-Russian Forum of Scientific Communicators was held, during which topical issues of business interaction with scientists, communication of the academic environment with government agencies, and the communicator’s responsibility to the society were discussed. More than 200 representatives of universities, research institutes, business and development institutions took part in the discussions. Communication Laboratory Award Ceremony was held. The winners were communication specialists and teams of scientific and educational organizations who showed outstanding achievements in ensuring a dialogue between science and society.
In 2018, RVC was one of the organizers of Open Innovations Forum, ensuring a number of sessions in the business program of the forum. Within the framework of Open Innovations, RVC also organized the III Russian-Chinese Forum “Investing in Innovations.” Representatives of the largest venture funds and corporations in China discussed prospects for cooperation with Russian partners, and Russian entrepreneurs presented their projects to potential investors from China.
In December 2018, RVC for the first time held NTI Ecosystem: Future Strategy Forum in Sochi, bringing together about 500 members of the National Technology Initiative community to sum up the year results, develop new initiatives and agree on joint plans for 2019-2020.
In April 2018, specialized corporate accelerators were created on GenerationS platform aimed at attracting innovation to the largest Russian and foreign companies. The new format assumes that corporations form individual selection criteria, and GenerationS team develops programs for the development of projects and approaches to their integration into business. The corporate customers for acceleration programs of the new format are: Michelin, Airbus, VTB Group, Unilever, Ilim Group and AK ALROSA. In November, GenerationS corporate accelerator was recognized as the best in The Best Corporate Accelerator category at the International Forum Corporate Startup Summit 2018.
To solve the task of developing innovative developments in the regions, including in the interests of the NTI, RVC launched the project of the regional franchise GenerationS. The first pilot regions were the Republic of Bashkortostan and North Ossetia-Alania. Under the terms of the agreements, partners who received the status of GenerationS official representative offices ensure the development of acceleration mechanisms using RVC methodology and help local startups to finalize projects for presentation to investors.
To enhance the international status, GenerationS systematically builds partnerships with a number of foreign innovation infrastructure facilities. In 2018, GenerationS became the first Russian accelerator to be included in the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), created by Techstars. It also entered into partnerships with Almacube Bologna University incubator and DAR Lab Kazakhstan start-up accelerator. #GENSTalks start-up selection events were first held abroad — in Uzbekistan, Belarus and Finland. The share of foreign projects in corporate accelerators ranges from 10 to 70%.