"Ecosystem of innovations" – Forum on the development of regional innovation infrastructure was held on December 4-5, 2014 in Krasnaya Polyana. Over 300 representatives of government authorities, innovation clusters, technology parks, universities, regional venture capital funds and high-tech companies attended the Forum. Within the framework of two-day collaboration the participants identified specific problems of establishing of the innovation ecosystem in modern conditions and developed a number of model projects that can ensure the synchronization of the various elements of the innovation process.
The key topic of the Forum organized by RVC together with the Ministry of strategic development, investment and foreign economic activity of the Krasnodar Territory, was the choice of the most effective strategy for further development of the innovation ecosystem in Russia.
While opening the forum CEO of RVC Igor Agamirzyan underlined that innovation community and infrastructure elements in Russia have already been formed. "In fact, the initial setup phase comes to an end – we are entering a new stage, when there absolutely all the elements are available, and we need to establish the process interaction between them. And the key word here - partnership. We cannot create anything without universities, foundations, corporations, techno parks", – he said.
Vice-President of Philips International, Professor Erik Vermeulen, told at a plenary session about the experience of the Netherlands on the example of Eindhoven famous for its miracle: transformation from a small provincial town into the world capital of industrial design and technological visionary. In his opinion relationship of universities, industry and government in this matter is not enough – for the efficient operation of the system entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are equally needed.
On the first day of the Forum the participants held a round table on four thematic tracks that correspond to the key elements of the innovation ecosystem – Universities, Regions, Corporations, Regional venture funds. The events were devoted to the discussion of specific problems of formation of innovation infrastructure under modern conditions, and development of recommendations for their solution.
After the first day of the forum the moderators of tracks announced the main problems of innovation ecosystem and generated concrete proposals:
"University ecosystem" track – Georgy Gogolev, head of the RVC innovation ecosystem development service:
According to the results of the SWOT-analysis universities showed much more weak point than strong because innovations is a new kind of activity for them. Russian universities are not very market- and demand-oriented, they still need to learn how to analyse, process and provide the finished product necessary to the market. Universities also have to learn how to assemble complex interdisciplinary projects, which are not always possible to implement in corporations. There are very few such large projects in Russia, and here the role of universities becomes crucial. Among the proposals that the participants of the track have developed - teaching of technical specialties in English because the translated materials fall behind for about ten years; establishment of common entry points for interaction of industry and universities; teaching of the subjects which are not existing now, with the inclusion of students into the solution of specific actual problems of industrial enterprises.
"Regional ecosystem" track – Alexey Gusev, head of RVC innovation infrastructure monitoring service:
Regional Infrastructure in Russia has already been formed, and once again we are convinced of this: the roundtable participants have accumulated interesting and rewarding experience which was the subject of the discussion. The infrastructure is developed, but it is not always used with maximum efficiency for the industry. We need more intensive work on establishing horizontal links between the elements of regional ecosystems. A good example of close cooperation at different stages of the innovation process is the agreement between the Technopark "Skolkovo" and the "Moscow" Technopolis.
Cost-effective business models of elements of ecosystems is a prerequisite for effective innovation process in the regions. Regarding the support of innovation clusters, it is advisable to reorient the priorities from subsidising of measures to stimulation of individual business projects.
In general the "regional framework" is the best tool for managing the development of innovation ecosystem, where its basic elements are localized. The experience of the Samara region is illustrative, and must be scaled. For example, the Ministry of Economy of the Samara region has developed a kind of "navigation" in the federal and local programs of innovations support. This is a very proper initiative, and the RVC project office is ready to help to extrapolate this experience to other regions.
"Corporate ecosystem" track – Gulnara Bikkulova, RVC director of innovation markets:
Today we have good environment for the implementation of "open innovation" in corporations - such an approach, when companies are more open to interaction with suppliers of technologies and innovations, small innovative enterprises. The main difficulties lie in the field of management, we must be able to manage this process and have a sufficient level of industry competences. In this respect an excellent platform for broadcasting of best practices and exchange of experience is the Club of Directors for Science and Innovation, which we will continue to support. One more conclusion - EADs today have turned into a formal tool, and now is the right time to restart them so that they work and actually help corporations to develop. A feedback on the EADs from ministries and federal bodies of executive power, for which the participants of the track have formed their proposals, is also important.
"Regional venture funds" track – Ruslan Akhmetov, Director of RVC investment department:
The first regional venture capital fund was established in Russia eight years ago, and over the past period sufficient experience has been gained – both positive and negative, new tools emerged. Among the proposals that have been formed within the forum - to prepare typical normative documents that would speed up the process of reformatting the regional venture capital funds; to form a single federal program to support business angels and promote the activities of business angels; to create united centres of innovation development in the regions, which will facilitate the coordination of activities of the entire innovation ecosystem of the region and that will provide a stable pipeline of projects, as well as to create conditions conducive to attracting private co-investors (business angels) in the region.
On the second day of the Forum RVC project office held a strategic planning session "National innovation ecosystem." Working groups, which included representatives of regional authorities, companies with state participation, clusters, technology platforms, engineering centres and industrial parks, have developed a number model projects and a set of recommendations designed to ensure synchronization of all elements of the innovations ecosystem.
The working group on the development of national aircraft-building cluster on the basis of JSC "UAC" has formed a "road map" of the cluster development aimed at increase of competitiveness of the Russian aircraft industry through optimization of resources of regional innovation ecosystems involved in the industry.
The working group on the development of the biotechnology industry in the Siberian regions has formed a "road map" that provides recreation of biotechnological production based on high performance technology base and access to global markets.
The working group "Formation of flow of projects for regional innovation ecosystems" has analysed the experience of the ecosystem of St. Petersburg. The result is a list of recommendations for regional ecosystem elements on formation of a flow of innovative projects and increasing the number of transactions on technology transfer.
On the results of the working group "Standard of international cooperation of clusters" there were developed recommendations on the formation of programs of international cooperation of innovation clusters with foreign innovation support infrastructure. Under a separate section there was discussed the possibility of replicating the model of specialised industrial assessment of the federal accelerator of technology start-ups - GenerationS.
The results of the two days of Forum were summed up by Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy General Director – Director of RVC Project Office: "Working groups have found that an entrepreneur almost never stands in the centre of the ecosystem, he is perceived primarily as an object of support and point of application of force, rather than as the main customer and consumer of innovation infrastructure services. Business should become the key stakeholder in the innovation process. Entrepreneurs should be involved in decision-making processes when developing the innovation policy, participate in all elements of the ecosystem, and promote their development through partnership. When speaking about the development of innovative projects and companies it is necessary to refocus the approach to development and improvement of business competitiveness not only in Russian, but in world markets. These are the companies that are capable of bringing the region to the global level."
The Forum "Innovation Ecosystem", according to participants, has become a unique platform where all the elements of the innovation infrastructure in Russia – federal executive bodies, universities, clusters, technological parks and innovative companies, - for the first time met all together and synchronized their approaches. Project plans and recommendations generated resulting from the work of the Forum will help to strengthen the coordination of elements of the innovation ecosystem and will serve as a stepping stone for the future work. Roadmaps, standards and proposals developed by the experts will be further developed, designed and submitted to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation in the first quarter of 2015.
Partner of the Forum: Samsung
Information Partners of the Forum: NP "Association of technology parks in the sphere of high technologies", "Business Magazine", "Tehplatforma".