On December 10-11, 2015, the Innovation Ecosystem Forum was conducted in Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi); the forum was devoted to future creation of specialized infrastructure for new NTI technology markets. More than 300 people participated in the event — they are technological entrepreneurs, representatives of the regional venture funds and techparks, employees of the leading Russian universities, representatives of the authorities of 38 Russian entities.
The Forum was arranged by RVC in partnership with the Ministry of Finance of the Krasnodar Region and with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, and Federal Agency of scientific organizations. General partner of the Forum is Oleg Deripaski's Fund "Volnoye Delo".
Forum of the regional innovation infrastructure participants is conducted for the second time. This year, the central idea of the forum was development of the innovation ecosystem for new technological markets that will determine development of the global and Russian economy within the nearest 15 — 20 years. In 2014, National Technology Initiative (NTI) was launched in Russia; its result should be emergence of the Russian leading companies on the future Global market in horizon of 2030-2035. To achieve the set target, it is necessary not only to develop new technologies, but to create specialized infrastructure for such development.
The forum was opened with a plenary meeting devoted to NTI and development of new markets. Opening the meeting, the Deputy General Director - RVC Project Office Director Evgeniy Kuznetsov named two tasks that the innovation ecosystem participants should address:
We have to understand how Russian economy will look like in 10 — 20 years and how our country will get the technology leader positions back. We always had ambitions to do something global on the humanity level, and now we have a chance to realize these ambitions under NTI, including through the instruments we have been developing together for the previous years.
Evgeniy Kuznetsov recalled of the fundamental conclusion of the National report relating to innovation in Russia prepared with support of RVC: innovation development in Russia in prevented not by lack of any key ecosystem elements, but by deficiency of relations and coordination between its elements.
One of the key targets of the forum in Sochi is to fill a gap and form new methods, instruments and future paradigm of new markets based on the existing traditional industries, he noted.
Roadmap projects related to development of promising markets and cross-market NTI directions were presented at the plenary meeting. Representing EnergyNet distributed energy market (from personal power to smart grid, smart city), leader of the Task Force, managing partner of Bright Capital LLC Boris Ryabov informed that, within the next 15-20 years, margin of safety of the power supply infrastructure will be exhausted, modernization of the production capacity subject to global trends and based on the inevitably emerging new technologies is inevitable as well. According to Boris Ryabov, by 2035, EnergyNet global market can increase up to $ 746 billion, and share of Russian companies may reach 6%.
Roadmap of AeroNet distributed unmanned aircraft vehicles market, that was represented by the General Director of "Center of technology transfer" CJSC, leader of the market Task Force Sergey Zhukov, had been already approved by the Committee of the economy modernization and innovation development. The roadmap now includes 22 projects with development prospects till 2035.
We believe that, by 2035, not less than 50 thousand people will be engaged in development and manufacturing of unmanned aircraft vehicles and software for them and up to half a million people will be involved in the maintenance area related to AeroNet market, Sergey Zhukov said.
Dmitry Zemtsov, Head of the Educational Programs Department of the Moscow State Machine-Engineering University, leader of the NTI cross-market Task Force Circles Movement, answered a question of where to find specialists who will serve new markets:
We create a system of circles (up to 60 thousand by 2035) that will orient children to new technologies at school and in supplementary education system as a part of the roadmap. Along with it, we adjust university educational programs, and by 2020-2025, we plan to grow new human resources potential.
Important event of the Forum was discussion of the universities role in realization of NTI. The participant together tried to work out mechanisms of involving universities in NTI, to find ways of interaction with task forces in respect to development of new technologies, training of human resources and creation of services for the key industries of the Russian economy. To summarize, Evgeniy Kuznetsov noticed that development of universities is prevented by outdated and non-market approach to training of new staff, to selection of developments and research, inability and unwillingness to commercialize advanced ideas. This problem may be solved if universities, as it usually happens all over the world, will undertake centralizing and integrating role in development of the regional ecosystem. To his opinion, to make their activity correlate to realization of NTI, active involvement of universities in this process, engagement in rectorate activity, systematic diving of scientific communities in the business processes is required.
Research of development of the venture market in Russia for 9 month of 2015 prepared by the Russian Association of Venture Investment (RAVI) with support of RVC was represented at the Forum. Final values show market slowdown: total volume of capital of the existing direct and venture investment funds decreased comparing to the analogous period of the previous year by $2.4 billion and amounted $26.8 billion. Growth of the number of new funds in Russia was just 3.5% (comparing to 8.1% for 9 months of the previous year). But if you take only venture funds, the situation will be quite different: 16 new funds (31 — last year) with total volume of $249 million were founded, 146 venture transactions for the amount of $171 million and 15 withdrawals (24 - last year) were carried out. Nevertheless, in spite of decrease of the key market indicators, the experts reported structural changes that indicate market readiness. Arseniy Dabbakh, managing partner of RMG Partners, noted graduate adjustment of phase disproportions of the venture investment volumes as one of important trends. According to Aleksey Solovyov, managing partner of Prostor Capital, private funds have grown and are able to "hold" the market. General Director of J’son&Partners Consulting Svetlana Vodyanova paid attention to increase of the accelerators' role in development of the seed phase projects.
Representatives of the regional and target venture funds participated in the project session devoted to involvement of financing in the promising markets through the industry funds. Many regional investors noticed gap between the funds of seed phase and funds of early growth that should be filled with corporate funds. However, at the moment, number of the created venture funds is insufficient to address all market demands. It results in slowdown of the projects development and introduction to new markets. Participants of the strategy session discussed how to determine main industries that need financial support instruments for the late-phase projects to create new industry funds for market demand.
Strategy session "Scientific communications in Russia: obstacles and priorities of development", conducted by editor of the popular science almanac metkere.com Ilya Kabanov, was devoted to increase of communication openness of scientific and educational institutions. To the participants' opinion, it is necessary to start with the creation of independent evaluation methodology to estimate quality of scientific communication at Research Institutes and LEO. The strategy session participants noticed preparation and conduction of educational programs relating to scientific communications as an efficient solution. In 2015, such programs were launched at MAMI, MIS&S, and ITMO. The participants also think that it is necessary to open and support information channels of achievements of the Russian science in English; it will assist in establishment of contacts with the leading international mass media.
The participants were interested in discussion of the current issues related to protection of intellectual activity, technology transfer and commercialization. As Director of Legal Department of RVC, Natalya Polyakova stated, situation with law enforcement practice in the area of intellectual property is not yet satisfactory: lack of knowledge leads to distribution of myths and not all of them are harmless.
They often cause damage to authors, inventors, state. We don't know how to use and manage IP, what we have, and turn it to our advantages. Scientists, technical engineers working in the natural science area, need just elementary knowledge in this area; and the main solution is to conduct educational events and programs, the expert says.
There were proposals relating to improvement of the specialists qualification and their knowledge in management of the rights for the intellectual activity results of an organisation, ways to improve regulations in the area of distribution of the rights for intellectual activity results between the authors, customers and contractors, were discussed.
Issues relating to popularization of maker movement were discussed at the panel discussion "Development of technical creativity ecosystem". According to the discussion moderator, co-founder of NPO "Information culture" Vasiliy Burov, people occupied with scientific and technical creativity in the circles and non-formal communities, are the "nutrient broth" for many innovation processes:
It is just necessary to remember circle movement in the Soviet Union, that produced vivid leaders who made a real breakthrough in the space and atomic areas.
One of the solutions that is able to recover circle movement in the country to the benefit of NTI promising markets, may be involvement of big business in support of the makers and support of makers on the legislative level.
Making summary of the Forum, General Director of RVC Igor Agamirzian stated that the results of joint discussions and solutions of the Forum participants, will be included, where applicable, in a new RVC business plan for the next year. Forum results will be considered in further work on the NTI roadmaps.