On November 13-15, the XII St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum was held in St. Petersburg. The main topic of this year was “Export as an instrument of innovative economic development”: the prospects for Russia’s entry into global markets and improvement of national competitiveness were discussed at the country level.
The forum is traditionally known for its highly topical business programme and high status thanks to the support of the Government and of the largest international companies such as Russian Railways and Controlling Company “RUSNANO”. A large number of innovations were presented, strategically important meetings were held, and cooperation agreements between Russia and participating countries were signed during the three days of the forum.
On the second day of the business programme, Acsour organized a round table dedicated to technology transfer as a platform for innovation and investment activities. The participants of the session discussed issues arising at different stages of the process of the commercialization of technology in another country:
– How to transfer the results of research and developments to another country and at the same time to protect a result of intellectual activity?
– How to support the domestic scientific capability and to create favourable conditions for international companies in Russia for the purpose of the further creation of R&D centres?
– Is Russia currently attractive for investment in the minds of foreign business?
Experts with a range of practice in the industry were invited to discuss these and other aspects; they analyzed the process of technology transfer by way of examples of their cases. Thanks to this, the audience was able to see by visual examples what difficulties large international companies can face when entering the domestic market, and was also able to become acquainted with the problems of a start-up business. The discussion was moderated by Acsour’s General Director, Tatiana Modeeva, and the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce, Maria Chernobrovkina.
The world market of intellectual property is a complex system of relationships involving the assignment of rights to use achievements, so the protection of such rights is a key element of technology transfer. The Head of Acsour’s Legal Department, Anna Khrustaleva, highlighted the issue of legal support within the framework of technology transfer: she described in detail the legal matters of preparation for technology transfer, as well as demonstrating in practice the process of creating of a joint venture agreement as one of the most effective ways to organize business abroad.
Then the discussion switched to scientific activities: the participants emphasized the need for international companies to open R&D centres in Russia, because this promotes the development of the potential of scientific personnel, the modernization of Russian science and of this sector of industry, and the introduction of new process design solutions. Anton Rassadin, the Head of Corporate Communications Department of BSH Household Appliances, citing the example of his company, highlighted the difficulties faced by an international business while attempting to open R&D centres. He shared recommendations that can make the country more attractive for the opening of localized scientific units of international companies.
It is important for first-time businesspersons not only to have a worthwhile innovative idea, but also to find investment support. The Executive Partner of the venture fund Ruvento, Alexandra Zotova, spoke about forms of innovation acceleration and the latest trends in the commercialization of new technologies by way of the example of the largest universities in the USA and Singapore. On the subject of start-ups, Lev Sokolov, the Head of the “Start-ups and venture capital investments” Department at “Tochka” Bank, identified the main difficulties faced by foreign projects entering the Russian market. His speech was illustrated by the founder of the PUMO pizza project, Kent McNeley, who shared the experience of his company and explained how a foreign project could overcome the difficulties of setting up a business in Russia.
At the end of the discussion, the participants came to the conclusion that technology transfer has potential for development and can become one of the levers of the Russian economy, based on successful foreign experience.