Nanotechnologies Congress in Moscow: ‘We Will Turn the Globe’—Rusnano Head
Heads of Russian innovation companies have discussed key problems in the nanotechnology business in Moscow. The Second nanotechnology industry Congress took place at the headquarters of RUSNANO. The spirit of innovation was felt even in the conference room where chairs were gliding on wheels, LED-panels glowed and a giant TV screen gleamed.
Delegates at the Congress represented different sectors of teh economy and varying-scale companies. They were drawn together by their involvement with cutting-edge technology and the fact that the result of their business is a product that had barely been dreamed of just a few years ago. However, in starting such a business you face many barriers, RUSNANO head Anatoly Chubais noted. He believes that much has to be done both in legislative regulation and to stimulate demand.
Through its Foundation, RUSNANO can not only invest in private enterprises but also promote its products, offering to include them in a list of recommended purchases. For example, RFID cattle tags, which immediately transmit data about an animal’s condition and health to a computer. The head of RUSNANO speaks about the most outstanding projects:
“There is a very interesting project in agriculture code-named ‘Horns and Hooves’. We are building a plant for the production of proteins from raw bio-materials in accordance with a unique protected Russian technology. Another sphere is energy production, acquisition of diesel fuel from carbon dioxide using genetically modified bacteria. It’s an absolutely unique technology. We are building a pilot plant. There are a number of bio-tech projects in the pharmaceutical industry. One of the trends is producing new pharmaceuticals on biological basis. It is also connected with restoration of human tissues.”
Is it real to introduce innovations in such a traditional industry as gas-extraction? Cooperation on this basis with Gazprom has already started, Anatoly Chubais continues.
“We have grandiose intentions. We intend to turn the globe. One of the central ideas is changing the technologies of gas transportation—transition from main gas pipelines made of classic steel to those of polymer-composite materials. This means a changing of the whole Gazprom complex, a total change of concept.”
Participants of the forum listened to reports on relevant topics. Which is better: to select personnel on the market or to orient students to a particular enterprise in advance? How to make old norms not to hinder innovation? How to advertise products? It is clear that these issues arise outside the framework of the Congress. In order to always receive answers, and at the same time to defend their position in government bodies, companies should better unite. So, a year ago, at the First Congress, the Inter-Industry Association of Nanotechnology Industry was created. Its General Director Olga Kryukova says:
“We’re going to expand the work of this discussion platform in the framework of our alliance. Another direction of our activity is information and analytical one. This is a service we provide to our members. We are also planning to create and develop collective projects of supporting enterprises on our platform.”
The Russian nanotechnology business will have to find its own way. We cannot just copy foreign experience, Anatoly Chubais explains.
“We have seriously studied all the innovative models that exist in the world: from Taiwan and Singapore to Korea and Israel. Certainly, there are some good things to be used in Russia in each of these experiments. However, none of these models can be reproduced in Russia. We have very specific conditions, a gigantic scale, and a different industrial environment.”
The innovative sphere is confidently moving towards the goal defined by RUSNANO. This implies reaching the production level of 300 billion roubles in companies invested by RUSNANO, and 600 billion roubles in independent companies by 2015. These operation factors did not change even during the crisis, because our nanotechnology industry firmly stood up on its feet. So, did the birth of the industry take place? — a Voice of Russia correspondent asked Anatoly Chubais.
“Before our very eyes. 160 enterprises are represented here, most of which simply did not exist 5–6 years ago, at the time of the creation of RUSNANO.”