As part of Samara Interregional Economic Forum "Cluster Policy as the Basis of Innovative Development of National Economy" RVC announced creation of a project office for the innovation ecosystem. Its main task is to synchronize the activities of regional clusters, technological platforms, engineering centers and state-owned companies that implement innovative development programs. The project office will work on close cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. His partners will be the experts of the Center for Strategic Research and Higher School of Economics.
Creation of a project office is due to the lack of coordination between the subjects of innovation infrastructure and the absence of a "single window" for feedback in innovation ecosystem. To date, the tools are created or subsidized by various governmental and departmental programs, which often are not connected to each other. Sometimes the programs can overlap, but a consistent synergistic effect is not always in place. In order to increase the efficiency of interaction between the subjects of innovation ecosystem, it is necessary to create a single center which would synchronize all activities, accumulate the best practices and ensure their application.
"Instrumentally it should as follows: a project office must catalog all the support tools, understand their goals, tasks, opportunities and create an efficient cooperation between them, - comments Evgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy General Director, Director of RVC Project Office. - In particular, we plan to hold a series of strategic sessions when all members of the ecosystem will get together to work on interaction formats. Thus, we will see the ecosystem through the eyes of every participant and understand what is working and what isn't, how the elements can be effectively joined."
The strategic sessions format suggests that the main problem is divided into its component parts, every part gets its issues formulated and the participants of different infrastructure subjects determine their position. Joint resolutions are taken following the discussion. That way the strategic sessions of Samara Interregional Economic Forum have united the representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, federal development institutions, regional authorities, scientists from universities and research institutes, top managers of enterprises and corporations.
Creation of an innovation ecosystem around regional clusters has become the topic of the first strategic sessions. Educational initiatives for the development of clusters, the clusters role in the creation of new innovative companies, the role of engineering centers in the innovation process, particularities of the venture capital financing at the regional level were discussed during the Samara Forum. Improvement of the effectiveness of the programs of state companies innovative development and their role in creation of the demand for innovative products has become another important topic of two sessions. Following the results of all sessions, a general discussion was held where the moderators presented the groups' reports. Key findings:
• Venture Funds infrastructure is well developed, financing is sufficient. Now it's time to pay more attention to the consistent development of the innovation ecosystem (clusters, engineering centers, technological platforms). These are the elements that contribute to the creation of technological start-ups, which, in turn, are in demand among venture investors.
• Not only federal executive bodies or development institutions should be the "assemblage points" of innovation ecosystem, but the regions. The regional authorities have the ability to understand more accurately the needs and particularities of local economics and human potential.
• There is a great need for training of management teams for the subjects of regional innovation infrastructure (the topic of clusters creation was discussed in detail during the conference). RVC programs have been working for long on the development of innovative competencies in the regions and this work will progress and scale in the future.
In 2014, the RVC project office holds several strategic sessions for the innovation ecosystem subjects. They will be aimed at solving the issues of specific territories and state-owned companies. For example, on September 22-23, a strategic session on the issues of the development of clusters located in the Closed Administrative Territorial Units will be held in Sarov. A series of sessions for state-owned companies implementing innovative development programs will be held in October or November. And in December, a "consolidated" event is planned, which will bring together the innovation ecosystem representatives from different regions to discuss cooperation issues.
In addition to the internal coordination of Russian ecosystem, RVC project office is planning to establish cooperation with foreign partners. The experience of cooperation with representatives of the global innovation ecosystem is acquired through RVC representation in the key technological centers - in the US, Great Britain, Israel, Singapore. Moreover, taking into account the changes in the international power balance, RVC is actively developing cooperation with the countries of East Asia and BRICS group. It is planned that in prospect (2015-2017) the project office will take over the function of a "single window" in dealing with foreign partners which will allow to sort out two problems. First, to optimize the process of international cooperation for representatives of the Russian innovation ecosystem, and second, to make this ecosystem more transparent for foreign investors and partners.