IV International Nanotechnology Forum Takes Stock of Its Work
The IV International Nanotechnology Forum has ended. Nearly 6,500 people took part in the three-day event, which is held annually in Moscow.
President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev addressed the plenary session at the forum’s opening on October 26, 2011. Other high-ranking officials and executives taking part in that session were Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ivanov, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO Anatoly Chubais, President of the Skolkovo Fund Viktor Vekselberg, President of the United Aircraft Corporation Mikhail Pogosyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sistema Vladimir Evtushenkov, partner at Sequoia Capital Douglas Leone (USA), and President and founder of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology Edward F. Crawley (USA). Eric Drexler, scientist, author, and popularizer of nanotechnology, most notably molecular nanotechnology, gave the closing address at the plenary session.
The Commission for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy held one of its meetings as part of the forum’s first day activities. During the meeting, the Skolkovo Fund and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology signed a three-year agreement to collaborate in founding the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. Opening ceremonies were also held under the auspices of the commission for a plant within a RUSNANO project to manufacture flexible polymer packaging material.
In all, about a dozen agreements were signed over the course of the forum. The agreements provide for implementation of joint nanotechnology projects, development of infrastructure for the industry, and/or fueling demand for high-technology products. Among them was the October 26th signing of an agreement between the Skolkovo Fund and holding company Composite to conduct R&D in carbon fiber composite polymer materials at Skolkovo Innovation Center.
A signing ceremony was held on the same day for a three-party agreement among the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, ROSATOM, and Sistema. Under the agreement, the parties will realize an R&D and manufacturing project cluster, Rosatom-Sistema, at the Sarov tech park in the town of Satis, in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
The second day of the forum opened with the signing of two agreements between RUSNANO and two new partners, both leading innovators-EADS and DAEWOO. Also on October 27, 2011, RUSNANO announced that it had initiated two projects in medicine. In the first of these, the project will open a network of regional centers for positron emission tomography using radiopharmaceuticals of its own production. RUSNANO’s partners in the endeavor are the Voronezh, Lipetsk, and Orlov oblasts and the Republic of Bashkortostan. In the second, RUSNANO made public its investments in Selecta Biosciences и BIND Biosciences, two US-based companies with Russian subsidiaries that have begun developing and commercializing vaccines and cancer-fighting agents in Russia.
On the third day of the forum, RUSNANO and national telecommunications company Rostelecom signed a cooperation agreement. The document sets out the basis for partnership to introduce, apply, and develop innovations in the telecommunications sphere. Also on that day, RUSNANO announced that it had entered a project to manufacture cosmetics using a double encapsulation method. Earlier, this project won support from another development institution, Russia Venture Company and its seed investment fund. This is not simply a successful investment project but one of the first examples of how “innovation lift”—a system of state institutions working to contribute to the growth of innovative companies-fulfills its purpose.
The exhibition that accompanied the forum included presentations by several promising projects. For example, visitors were able to acquaint themselves with the Store of the Future, a new retail format that RUSNANO, Х5 Retail Group N. V., and Sitronics jointly developed. This forward-looking retail outlet uses radio frequency tags for distance reading of information about goods instead of traditional bar codes. A model of the NanoHouse, which had been built using nanotechnologies developed by RUSNANO’s project companies, was also available for study and questions were answered by its innovators. The first operating prototypes of Russian electric transport from LIOTECH, a RUSNANO project company, drew a great deal of attention from those who visited the exhibition.
This year was the second time that the International Nanotechnology Forum organized a special program for high school and university students. It included lectures, chemical experiments for lay audiences, and an excursion. An exhibition titled Looks-It’s NANO was central to the youth program. In all, around 1,000 high school students and 450 university students participated in the program.
Material from the Business and Science and Technology sections of the forum, including session reports, presentations, and work by young scientists will be posted on the site of the International Nanotechnology Forum Rusnanotech 2011.
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RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO’s mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.