RVC took part in "Open Innovations" International Forum held on October 14-16 at the platform of "Moscow" Technopolis. As one of the forum's co-organizers, RVC summed up some of its large-scale federal projects for the development of innovation ecosystem elements, while the key company experts took an active part in the forum's business program.
One of the most significant Forum's events was the announcement of the results of "TechUspekh 2014", the third national rating of Russian high tech fast-growing companies organized by the RVC in partnership with the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR), PwC and SME Bank. The winners award ceremony was held as part of the roundtable "TechUspekh: barriers and prospects for the development of Russian technological companies." Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister, Oleg Fomichev, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Igor Agamirzyan, RVC General Director and others took part in the dialogue with the representatives of the companies-participants in the rating. The roundtable participants discussed the innovative activity of the companies in different industries, their export potential and necessary measures of state support in this area.
Highlights of "Open Innovations" Forum were the final events of the federal acceleration competition for technological startups GenerationS, organized by RVC and Moscow IDC. On October 15, the Forum's platform hosted an investment session, where the finalists presented their projects to Russian and foreign investors. After completion of the investment session, an awarding ceremony took place. 4 teams became the winners: Promobot (Industrial track), Kera-Tech (BiotechMed track), Nanoserv (Cleantech track), Veeroute (IT track). The winners shared the prize fund of 5 mln rubles and received special prizes from the event's partners – Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology, iR&DClub, companies Morton, Deloitte, FABERNOVEL, Loga Group, SAP, Rostelecom, Kaspersky Lab and others.
"Venture Capitalist" National Award, which was established by RVC together with the Russian Venture Capital Association (RVCA) was another important element of the Forum's business program. According to Igor Agamirzyan, "being nominated for this award is no less honorable than being its winner. The most important thing that we realized: our ecosystem has been established – a community has been created, leaders have been decided, distinguished experts have appeared with their ability to judge competently, objectively and without personal bias". "Bioprocess Capital Ventures" Fund with RVC participation became the winner in the category "Leader of the Venture Capital Investments in the Real Technologies". The best venture transaction of the year was carried out by I2BF Global Ventures Fund, according to the jury. Baring Vostok Sapital Partners became the winner in the "Best output" category. Innovation and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan became the winner among regional funds. Best Syndicated Transaction was carried out by Frontier Ventures Fund. Russia Partners became the winner in the "Smartmoney" category.
Another RVC highlight of the Forum was the final of TechInMedia'14 Competition of Innovation Journalism. Evgeny Kuznetsov, RVC Deputy Director, noted during the awards ceremony that "thanks to the present journalists, people in our country stopped thinking that innovation is "something about startups" and the society turned its face towards the technological entrepreneurs." The ceremony was also attended by Richard Roberts, biochemist, Nobel laureate, who chaired the competition's Supervisory Board this year. According to TechInMedia'14 jury, the best federal print media was the magazine "Business Secret", the best online media - Slon.ru and the best regional print media - "Business Petersburg".
"Open Innovations" Forum became a platform for an exchange of opinions about the most topical issues of the development of domestic venture market and Russian economy as a whole. As part of the closed Chief Technology Officers Summit (CTO Summit), new directions of technological development, which should be the drivers of economic growth and sources of breakthrough ideas were discussed. The Summit's guests included Igor Agamirzyan, RVC General Director, Anatoly Chubais, RUSNANO General Director, Heui Jae Pahk, Head of the Department of Strategic Development Planning of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea. In his welcome address, Igor Agamirzyan noted that "today's world is being changed not by the politicians but the engineers. The kind of world we live in is determined by technological vision of the pioneers-developers and the scientists: political and social changes in the society follow the technological ones and not vice versa. Therefore, R&D Directors are the ones who determine the future of our children and grandchildren. If you manage to reach a consensus on the definition of technological priorities for this and the next decades, you specify direction of the whole world development."
During the panel discussion "Creating innovations: stimulate or force", the participants discussed the issues of attraction of state institutions to the process of development of Russian innovative industries and stimulation of demand for domestic technologies. Addressing the topic of state regulation, Igor Agamirzyan, the meeting's co-moderator, drew attention to such issues of private business as the absence of a competitive environment, infrastructure support, opportunities to influence the education process and to create the "production" process of the professionals with necessary competencies. An advanced information environment, non-financial means to support access to the world markets are also missing. According to RVC Director, adjustment of these tools and their provision to businesses for free use is the primary task that the state must address by creating Institutes for development. "In this case, neither the state nor institutions acting on its behalf should not supervise the business," – he said.
Continuing the topic of innovative companies support be the institutes for development, at another panel discussion "How to evaluate the effectiveness of the investments in innovation infrastructure", Evgeny Kuznetsov said that the main problem is not the lack of programs, but the lack of their coordination and synergy. "RVC created together with Russian Ministry of Economic Development a project office, which will study practical operation if these programs as part of its activities. We see that sometimes inconsistency can kill good initiatives that could provide good results. Now the infrastructure processes management is needed as well as coordination between programs of different departments, which do not require any special expenses from the state. RVC together with EY Company collected data and did research on science parks. We found out the following: the worse "soft service threshold" is, the lower residents survival - it means the percentage of new companies that remain on the market in a few years – is. And its average level in Russian industrial parks is significantly lower than the global average," - said the head of the project office. He added that RVC creates tools that can be applied "on top" of existing infrastructure, i.e. used in each region by the existing players on their territory. These contests, schools, educational sessions were attended in 2014 by more than four thousand companies from across the country. And from these programs they go to the incubators and science parks. RVC assumes the primary projects selection by their quality compensating the lack of expertise in the field. "We have entered a phase when we must discuss not how to create new tools, but how to make them work together", - concluded Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Apart from participation in the discussions concerning general topics of the innovation environment, RVC experts commented on the situations and specific markets. Namely, at the panel discussion "Evolution of the global IT map. Challenges of the SCO and BRICS countries", Igor Agamirzyan spoke against the proposal to create import-substituting IT solutions on the basis of an open source software. "Creation, development and support of solutions on the basis of an open source software is an extremely resource-intensive process. institutes for development, which RVC belongs to, operate today as instruments of public-private partnership. It means that a part of the projects funding comes from private investors. Another reason of inadvisability to rely on open source software is that we can not attract the necessary private investment for such projects." Moreover, RVC Director expressed confidence that today in the country there are enough separate funds to finance development on import substitution in domestic IT-sector and the role of Institutes for development is to apply economic filters of quality for such projects.
During the three days of the forum exhibition, the RVC booth was a platform for workshops, lectures, discussions with the leading experts and market participants on the most topical issues of investment and venture capital market.
For example, the participants in the workshop "Investment strategy and practice, early stage deal structuring" discussed the global investment practices into the early stages projects and startups work with large industrial investors. The stories of successful IPO of such innovative companies as QIWI, Yutinet.Ru were told to the audience of the workshop "Infrastructure to raise capital for innovative business: from start-up to IPO», organized in cooperation with Moscow stock exchange. Problems of cooperation of large companies and young innovators and their solutions were key topics of the discussion "Corporations and start-ups: the key aspects of interaction", which was organized with support of iR&Dclub. The issues of integration of Russian universities in the global chain of technologies transfer, angel investments, namely, in Chinese companies and other issues were discussed as part of other events.