The Far East High Technologies Fund to Invest up to RUB 350 Mln in Pilot Innovation Projects
As part of the Eastern Economic Forum, currently being held in Vladivostok, the Far East High Technologies Fund (the Fund), founded by the Far East Development Fund, RUSNANO and the Russian Venture Company (RVC), has entered into a number of agreements with companies developing promising innovative technologies. It may invest up to RUB 350 mln in these companies.
For example, the Fund will support companies developing unique hydrogen fuel components for drones and robotic devices, an intellectual modular system to ensure industrial safety, VR training platforms, and an autonomous energy saving system allowing gas from pipelines to be converted into heat and electrical energy.
“The Fund invests in innovative projects which will make it possible to solve the specific problems affecting the Russian Far East, and promote the development of manufacturing in this macro-region. We are confident that, with the support of the Fund, promising technologies will provide a reliable support for businesses dealing with issues relating to electricity supply, mobility and staff training. I hope our investments will bring a significant contribution to transforming the Russian Far East into a technologically advanced, competitive macro-region,” says Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
“The Far East has huge potential for the implementation of groundbreaking innovation projects. Many talented people live in the region, and many major companies are based there, creating a demand for high technology goods and services in sectors including agriculture, fishing, oil and gas and mining. State support for the introduction of effective innovations will help to make the Far East’s economy more competitive,” says Alexey Chekunkov, Head of the Far East Development Fund.
“The creation of the Far East High Technologies Fund was first announced a year ago at the 2017 Eastern Economic Forum. Since then the Fund has started actively investing, and is successfully developing a pipeline of projects. It is important to point out that, in accordance with its investment strategy, the Fund prioritises projects in markets covered by the National Technology Initiative. These include driverless transport, neurotechnology, personalised medicine, new production technologies and smart energy systems. The Fund is the fifth fund in the RVC’s portfolio focussing on National Technology Initiative projects. In this way we plan to enlarge the range of instruments available to providing venture support to National Technology Initiative projects,” says Alexander Povalko, CEO of the RVC.
“The creators of the first innovative technologies to be supported by the Fund have come up with imaginative and effective solutions to real problems faced by manufacturing companies in the Far East. The important thing is that the initiators of these solutions were able, themselves, to go from the idea stage to the practical implementation of their innovations. We see our mission as the further promotion and development of promising projects—both by providing financial leverage and by active partnership to expand the sale and distribution of products and services by involving large businesses and state companies with manufacturing capacity in the Far East in this process,” says Ruslan Sarkisov, CEO of the Far East High Technologies Fund, commenting on the Fund’s first projects.
A number of major Russian industrial companies have expressed interest in the Fund’s projects. Notably, as part of the Eastern Economic Forum, the Far East High Technologies Fund has signed a number of partnership agreements with the government of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic and major manufacturing companies working in the mining sector, aimed at promoting promising innovative developments and implementing them in practice.
Information on projects of the Far East High Technologies Fund
A VR staff training system using augmented reality technology
Developer: VR Trading Systems
The Fund plans to invest assets (of up to RUB 30 mln) in the further development and implementation of VR training systems developed by the project’s initiator. These systems will allow employers to significantly reduce their spending on staff training and, thanks to VR digital technology, enable staff to master industrial processes without any health risks to the employee or risk of damage to the employer’s property. For example, they can be used to develop emergency scenarios for use in complex industrial facilities such as deep mines and oil rigs. A number of major industrial companies in the Far East have already shown interest in this technology.
Pavel Achikyan, Business Development Director of VR Trading Systems, says: “Partnership with the Fund has provided us with a lot of opportunities for the development of cooperation, not only with other companies on the Russian market, but also with companies from nations in the Asia-Pacific region. The next phase will be the formation of a technological and commercial basis for strengthening our presence in the region. In the last few years state investment has already led to the creation here in the Far East of the infrastructure needed to provide all our business needs, from qualified personnel to access to advanced technologies.”
Energy sources based on hydrogen fuel elements
BMPower’s innovative fuel elements based on proton exchange membranes make it possible to transform chemical energy in the form of hydrogen into electrical energy, without burning the hydrogen, which is a very ineffective process. This technology also solves the problem of the low power capacity of batteries. Typical cargo drones can fly for a maximum of 15 minutes because their batteries have a low power capacity, but BMPower’s electrochemical power elements make it possible for autonomous equipment (unmanned aerial devices, robotic systems, unmanned sea and river vessels) to function for over 3 hours on a single charge. This technology has applications in both industry (for example, to monitor pipelines and transport networks in the Far East) and in such sectors as agriculture and the arms industry.
Alexey Ivanenko, founder of BMPower, says: “The Far East is a highly promising region for the development of unmanned aviation, as so much of its territory is very difficult to access. Our company’s power units are increasing our ability to access these territories using drones, which will have a positive impact on the overall development of the region.”
Smart modular system to automate industrial health and safety-related business processes
The developer of a smart modular system to automate industrial health and safety-related business processes. The software developed by Visitech is an example of the successful introduction of digital technologies into the manufacturing process: it allows a company to use smart automation to manage its industrial health and safety systems more effectively. This combination of equipment and software (Integrated Systems to Ensure Work Safety) allows companies to make the manufacturing process safer and increase both production speed and quality. The Fund may invest up to RUB 70 mln in the project.
Rustam Milanov, CEO of Visitech, says: “Visitech’s growth in the Far East will enable the region to meet its demands for modern technological solutions to optimise manufacturing processes, and it will open up new potential for expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Autonomous system for supplying power to inaccessible facilities
Developer: Technoautomat Research and Production Enterprise
Technoautomat Research and Production Enterprise develops autonomous electrical supply and monitoring units. The equipment developed by Technoautomat allows natural gas transported through pipelines to be converted into electricity and heat energy. The equipment is installed at tap points along pipelines and is an effective solution to the problem of supplying electricity to small communities and businesses in the Far East, if these are located near gas pipelines. The module is equipped with equipment and materials that allow it to work in the most extreme climatic conditions. The company plans to use part of the money provided by the Fund to equip its manufacturing facility in Khabarovsk for the mass production of the autonomous electrical supply and monitoring units. The Fund may invest up to RUB 150 mln in the project.
Oleg Kachanov, CEO of Technoautomat Research and Production Enterprise says: “The autonomous supply of electricity to inaccessible places at the minimum cost will be one of the key factors in the development of Siberia and the Far East.”
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 RUSNANO’s shares are state owned. Thanks to RUSNANO’s investments, there are currently 138 factories and R&D Centers opened in 37 regions in Russia.
Management of assets of RUSNANO JSC is carried out by Limited Liability Company established in December 2013, RUSNANO Management Company.
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.