This year’s symposium focused around a relevant theme “disruptive technologies for the economic recovery”. This theme was discussed at a number of levels. Technology experts and venture capitalists discussed technologies that can lead the world out of recession. Most notably, all experts unanimously agreed that the country of origin of innovations is irrelevant, because in today’s macroeconomic system a market for any technology is not limited to a single state. Mr Agamirzian, CEO of Russian Venture Company, particularly noted: “Innovations themselves are senseless if isolated from the needs they are to meet—and the needs are all similar on any market. Integration of Russian R&Ds into projects of world technology leaders is in full swing, Russian scientists and engineers are providing extensive contribution in products which change markets and consumers’ mentality”.
Participants discussed which solutions and products that R&D laboratories of technology leaders and start-ups are developing now will have enough potential to become technologies of tomorrow and what environment is needed to make these technology growth points appear. All participants marked the necessity to build an inter-state level innovation ecosystem capable of educating new human resources that are a prerequisite to knowledge economy, promoting mechanisms of public support to innovations and, most importantly, fostering entrepreneur culture in a society where inventorship and entrepreneurship are a respected value and an acknowledged behavior pattern.
Contributions into the dialogue over an interstate-level innovation ecosystem were made by Mr Fomichev, Directors of Strategic Management (Programs) and Budgeting of Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Howard Solomon, US National Security Council Representative, and Aneesh Chopra, US President Technology Advisor. Mr Fomichev told the audience about the activities undertaken by Russian Government to form an innovation economy in Russia, about priority trends in Russian technologies, and noted that today Russia and the USA have a unique opportunity to embark on an efficient synergy in the innovation and technology area. The first experience of such cooperation is a working group for development of business networking and trade and economic relations, headed by Elvira Nabiullina, Russian Minster of Economic Development, and Gary Locke, US Secretary of Commerce. To conclude his speech, Mr Fomichev said: “We are aware that in the modern world, we can’t take a leading position without an innovative approach to economy. We believe this process in Russia is to be driven by private initiative backed in priority industries by government. A concrete example of such support is Russian Venture Company—a government fund of funds and a development institution of Russian venture capital industry. It is Russian Venture Company that channels public incentives to venture capital and venture industry ecosystem efforts, as well as financial support to the hi-tech sector”.
This year, Russia was represented at the Global Technology Symposium by an unprecedented number of participating companies—both government-backed development institutions (RVC, Rosnano), major venture capital entities (VTB-Capital, Allianz ROSNO Asset Management) and a large number of technology companies. Some of these are already commercially successful in certain market segments, some are embarking on their partnerships with the global technology and venture capital community.
The word “dialogue” was the business card of this year’s event, which became a platform for communication and exchange of experience between companies representing all segments of the innovation and venture capital industry: entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, venture capitalists and consultants.
This was emphasized in the closing speech by Alexandra Johnson, President of the Global Technology Symposium and Managing Director of DFJ VTB Aurora: “I as an organizer of this symposium, have to note that it is my greatest pleasure that this event went beyond the mandatory program and turned into a miniature innovation and venture capital industry model. The dialogue between the participants of this event has already embodied in dozens of contracts, engagements and partnerships that will be converted into new joint projects. And this, to my mind, is the gross total of this Global Technology Symposium”.
This year’s symposium was attended by over 400 participants, where a quarter was represented by the venture capital and financial sector, and the rest—start-ups, technology leaders and other participants.