Russia to Pursue Modernisation Despite All the Challenges

05 August 2013

In June 2013, Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO, spoke to a Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti. In the interview, Mr. Chubais shared his views on the progress Russia has made to diversify its economy and outlined RUSNANO’s plans to establish a family of private equity funds. Below are the highlights of the comments provided by Anatoly Chubais.

Russia’s Economic Modernisation

It’s been seven years since Russia embarked on a programme to diversify its economy with high-tech innovation, and now might be a good time to look back and review the work that has been done. It is clear today that while some of the decisions made by RUSNANO and other Russian development agencies have led to the growth of the Russian high-tech sector, others turned out to be erroneous.

Yet, no matter how many mistakes were made, and how much criticism they caused, there is no other way for Russia to stabilise its economy except to continue modernisation. Tactics may need to be tweaked, but the overall strategy for modernising economy is not subject to any change.

Reducing Dependence on Natural Resources

Russia has long been overly dependent on the oil and gas sector which currently provides roughly a half of the country’s budget revenues. The truth is, this sector will not be able to drive Russia’s economic growth in the long run. At the very best, it can help the Russian economy retain the same level—as long as the oil prices remain stable. To ensure a long-term economic growth, Russia must shift focus to other areas, namely the promising sectors of the high-tech industry.

These include the domestic LED industry which is growing at a rate of 18% per month, with LED products gradually replacing conventional energy-intensive lighting systems.

Another example is the advanced materials sector which has a potential to grow by 20–25% per year. Composite materials are already replacing aluminium and steel in space and aircraft industries and will someday replace them in car manufacturing and chip building.

The energy storage industry is also a promising area, with the domestic market for lithium-ion batteries demonstrating the potential to grow at a rate of about 20–30% per year.

Recognising the promise of these industries, RUSNANO has invested in a number of Russian-based companies operating across the energy efficiency and advanced materials sectors.

RUSNANO’s Growth Strategy

RUSNANO has recently adopted a new business strategy focused on increasing the efficiency of raising and managing investments. The new plan involves setting up a family of private equity funds that will be controlled by RUSNANO management company. Both the management company and the first equity fund are expected to be established in late 2013 or early 2014. The management company, acting as a GP, will raise capital from the private investors (LPs). RUSNANO is already at an advanced stage of negotiations with potential investors.

With a five-year experience of developing the Russian nanotechnology industry and a thorough understanding of the domestic high-tech market, RUSNANO is able to offer its partners new low-risk investment opportunities. Enjoying good relationship with both business and academic communities in Russia, the company currently represents a gateway to the Russian market for international technology investors.

This text has been prepared by RUSNANO’s media relations department and is based on a transcript of an interview given by Anatoly Chubais to a Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti at the 2013 Northern Light summit. Suomen Kuvalehti is not responsible for this material.

Reference

RUSNANO Joint-Stock Company was founded in March 2011 through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. JSC RUSNANO contributes to implementation of the state policy on the development of the nanotechnology industry by investing directly and through investment funds of nanotechnology in financially effective high-technology projects providing the development of new production facilities in the Russian Federation. Its primary investment focus is in electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology, metallurgy and metalwork, energy, mechanical engineering and instrument making, construction and industrial materials, chemicals and petrochemicals. 100 percent of shares of JSC RUSNANO are owned by the state. Thanks to investments RUSNANO currently opened 73 factories and R&D centers in 28 regions of Russia.

Management of assets of RUSNANO JSC is carried out by Limited Liability Company established in December 2013, RUSNANO Management Company. Anatoly Chubais is the Chairman of its Executive Board.

Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and carry out educational programs is fulfilled by RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which was also established during the reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.