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High-Tech Business: Identifying What Is Needed to Achieve Fast Growth

4 September 2019
Высокотехнологичный бизнес: что нужно для быстрого роста


Developing hi-tech is the cornerstone for the country’s successful development

“Today, further economic development is unthinkable without hi-tech and innovation,” Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skolkovo Foundation.

“The progress and the development dictated by the environment and the changing conditions push us towards participating in the digitalization and the technological breakthrough we have been witnessing over the last five years,” Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus.

“Developing hi-tech industries is a priority for the government. A huge groundwork has been completed: we have adopted the law on innovative research and development centres in particular,” Oksana Tarasenko, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Regions of the Far East are actively creating conditions for hi-tech operations

“We are not fixated on the IT park. We are quite busy working on hi-tech industries: this year Yakutia venture company has become one of the founders of the Innopraktika’s innovative engineering centres. We believe that large mining companies that operate in Yakutia, in the Far East need to become more innovative and hi-tech,” Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

Using innovative technologies is a factor of business efficiency improvement

“What makes a technologically advanced company different from its competitors? It is the ability to manage a complex business – from geological survey to gold production – through a digital model, starting with a digital geological model that embraces all stages of production and can remotely react to the ever changing factors without human interference,” Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer, Polyus.



Lack of skilled workforce

“The condition of human capital in the Far East in its basic state results in risks for the future hi-tech development. I would like to share some numbers. Let’s take the results of the Unified State Exam in Computer Science, Physics and Chemistry in Primorye Territory. 352 people scored 60 and up in Computer Science. 28 people scored 80 and up in Physics. 41 people scored 80 and up in Chemistry," Nikita Anisimov, Rector, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

“One of the most relevant problems for our country and it is the same everywhere: lack of skilled workforce. Now we understand that over half the companies have problems with finding specialists in hi-tech and IT,” Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

“Developing hi-tech business in the Far East faces a number of significant constraints. They include lack of financial centres, decision making limited to Moscow, lack of infrastructure and – most importantly – human resources,” Rustam Milanov, Chief Executive Officer, Visitech.

Introducing hi-tech into practical use is difficult 

“One of the most painful problems is going from an innovative model or a model solution to its practical use and transforming it into a large business,” Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skolkovo Foundation.

“Developing a hi-tech business is not a goal in itself. It is a way to develop the country’s economy while keeping in mind we are striving to improve its competitive ability. We have seen that a lot of effort is invested in small companies, in start-ups. We have a number of events related to the development of entrepreneurship, but we do not have enough solutions for medium hi-tech companies. I strongly feel this is the area with a certain potential for global markets and national hi-tech leadership,” Alexander Povalko, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board, RVC.



Applying hi-tech takes combined effort of the government, business and scientific community

“It would be hard to achieve a fundamental shift in hi-tech in the Far East without critically changing the situation. We as a foundation are ready to cooperate with universities in this department,” Ruslan Sarkisov, Chief Executive Officer, Far East High Technologies Fund.

“In order to improve decision making efficiency and speed when it comes to hi-tech, we need the government that already offers a broad range of state support tools and opportunities to hear the business community and their call for innovation,” Gennady Alekseev, Chief Executive Officer, SDS-Ugol.

“There is a certain gap between applying innovations in large businesses and the hi-tech entrepreneurs’ supply. Eliminating this gap, creating joint pilot testing ground where large companies could try new technologies to take the usual introduction stage down from two years to 3–6 months as global hi-tech leaders do it. This is our objective as we see it and we are appealing to large businesses,” Ruslan Sarkisov, Chief Executive Officer, Far East High Technologies Fund.

Creating infrastructure for hi-tech business

“Developing hi-tech business takes both technological infrastructure (at least good Internet and mobile coverage) and support infrastructure for hi-tech entrepreneurs, accelerators and technology parks. This item is unattainable without the government’s involvement and appropriate regulation,” Ruslan Sarkisov, Chief Executive Officer, Far East High Technologies Fund.

“We have developed an interesting topic: the digital economy ecosystem <…>, the IT City project. This is going to be an international innovative digital area of 600 thousand square metres for 20–30 thousand people. This is the topic when a city for successful hi-tech business development is being created,” Mikhail Grudinin, President, Giprogor Project City Planning Institute of Spatial Modelling and Development.

“The law on Skolkovo’s exterritoriality creates a significant advantage: you do not need to go to Moscow. You can be part of Skolkovo being in Vladivostok and use all the benefits,” Oksana Tarasenko, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Developing career guidance system for school children 

“Now in the Far East it is important to knock on the door of every school. And we have been very proactive in it. We invest our own money and work with governors,” Nikita Anisimov, Rector, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

Focusing on global markets

“The Far East will eventually turn into our own Asian hub integrated in the Asian economy and markets. We are not there yet, because hi-tech business generally counts on the domestic market in the Far East and the European part of Russia. This does not work. Countries close by should be the initial target,” Oleg Fomichev, Director for Strategic Planning and Development, ComplexP.

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