The Mordovia Nanocenter Has Become the Industrial Partner of the Vyatka State University for Biotechnology

20 February 2020

The Vyatka State University will conduct scientific research at the Center for Biotechnology Implementation commissioned by the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials of the Republic of Mordovia in exchange for royalties from the profits of the future business. The relevant agreement was signed on February 20, 2020. 

The university and the nanocenter intend to jointly invest in new technology companies. The Biotechnology Research and Education Center and the VyatSU Biology and Biotechnology Institute will use their resources to conduct biotechnology research on the terms of reference of an industrial partner. The resulting technologies will form the basis of new startups of the nanocenter. When the startup becomes profitable, the university will start receiving royalties, which can significantly exceed the cost of research. Savings on upfront investments will help the nanocenter to simultaneously and quickly launch several startups in promising areas of biotechnology on an annual basis. 

The nanotechnology centers of the investment network of the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs are mass-producing technology companies. Biotechnology for agriculture, crop, and livestock is among the technological specializations in the Mordovia nanocenter. In 2018–2019, the nanocenter started to build 5 high-tech companies in this direction and evaluates the potential of 7–10 new startups annually for the direction. 

“With VyatSU, we have already implemented several projects within the framework of the usual relationship where the customer pays; the university develops the technology and transfers it to the customer, not having the rights to it in the future. When trying to start a technology business “from the invention”, the number of surviving startups is very small, and the payoff period is 10–15 years. We see that VyatSU has the potential to significantly increase the pace and number of developments, and we have the potential for the same increase in the number of such startups," said Maxim Chepezubov, CEO of the Mordovian Nanocenter.

The Biotechnology Implementation Research and Education Centre was established based on the VyatSU State University in 2015 as a framework for practical training of qualified personnel for biotechnology industries, development of experimental technologies to ensure their subsequent scaling and production of experimental series of biological drugs.

“Developing the sought-after technologies as per the terms of reference of an industrial partner in exchange for deductions from profits will provide the university with a stable financial result from scientific work. The strategic partnership with the nanocenter as an industrial partner in biotechnology aims at serial production of commercially promising biological drugs in a wide range of applications. Such an approach to the interaction of the university and business is not unique for world practices. A striking example is the Technology Transfer Center of the KU Leuven. Serial development of products and transfer thereof to the business based on licensing agreements form a large part of the center’s income,” said Sergey Litvinets, Vice-Chancellor for Science and Innovation at VyatSU.

The first research under the agreement signed between the Mordovian Nanocenter and VyatSU will be the development of crop protection products, new food enzymes, animal protection products, means for cleaning equipment at the enterprises of the food and oil industries, means for processing biological waste, as well as the development of biodegradable packaging. In the project training form, the biotechnology students will participate in the full cycle of new product development.

Reference

The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211-FZ “On reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.” The Fund aims to develop the innovative infrastructure in the sphere of nanotechnology and implement the educational and infrastructure programs already started by RUSNANO.

The supreme collegial management body of the Fund is the Supervisory Board. Under the Fund’s Charter, the competence of the Supervisory Council, in particular, includes the issues of determining the priority directions of the Fund’s activity, as well as its strategy and budget. The Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Board, the collegial management body, is the Chairman of the Board of Management Company RUSNANO LLC Sergey Kulikov.

* * *

The Republic of Mordovia Centre for Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials is a member of the investment network established by the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which is engaged in establishing and then selling of production start-ups in material-based industries. The network-based approach to the organization of nanocentres makes it possible to concentrate developments and infrastructure in the single most appropriate location, so that it can be accessed a number of the region’s ecosystems simultaneously. It specializes mainly in such areas as power electronics, lighting technology, instrument engineering and nanotechnology products for the construction industry.

For more information about the company, visit cnnrm.ru.