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Club of successful business
Anatoly Semenov - about the prospects of the technopark "Yakutia"
- Anatoly, in December Technopark "Yakutia" celebrated its first anniversary. You started quite late, compared to many other similar structures in Russia. Do not you feel "catching up"?
- Technopark "Yakutia" was created by the decree of the President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2011 year. The opening took place 22 December 2012 year, that is, in fact, we have been working for less than a year. In some respects, we are, in fact, "catching up" - in Russia there are technoparks that have more than a decade of history, which have grown up businesses with billions in turnover. But we do not experience any complexes in this regard - over the past year, together with our residents, we have achieved concrete financial results, we are talking about the growth of turnover for whole orders. We started later, but the dynamics at the start showed very impressive.
- The main success for this year was provided to the technopark by IT products and small production lines aimed at producing quite traditional products. And where is nanotechnology, microelectronics?
- Things that you are talking about - whether it's nanotechnology, renewable energy, microelectronics - are not done in one year. We will definitely come to similar projects. Perhaps this will happen in the very near future. The fact that we do not have them yet is natural, we are not a research institute. And we can not and will not take such complex projects from the zero cycle. Financing R & D is not our task at all. To be honest, I'm even glad that we started from a much more "mundane" level - indeed, because of the absence of hyper-complex tasks, our resident businesses were able to show quite a synchronous positive dynamics.
- But if there are no such high-tech projects today - where will they come from tomorrow?
- This confidence is based on a number of arguments. First, it is the presence in the republic of the Federal University. The university invests a lot in innovative development, has its own Arctic Innovation Center. Secondly, it is the Yakutsk scientific center, which includes nine institutes of the SB RAS. We have already included projects from the Institute of Physical and Technical Problems of the North, the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, the Institute of Biology, and the Yakut Research Institute of Agriculture. Thirdly, large players come in the form of large mining companies. They also begin to invest.
- And when to engage in science and new developments?
- In order to effectively engage in innovation, it is necessary to understand the principles of investing in innovation. This is also a business - you invest in new developments in order to remain the best, in order to preserve the market. But if you do not pay off these investments - you are bankrupt. I believe that people who understand these principles are much more likely to succeed in implementing scientific and innovative developments.
- In general, you say it as if the technopark is such a club of successful businessmen.
- And what are the advantages of business development in Yakutia? Prices are high, the market is small ...
- But the conditions at the start are almost greenhouses. The market is small, but easily calculated. Prices are high - it means there is a huge potential for reducing them through the use of new technologies and innovations. For example, high prices for imported paint is the factor that helped “shoot” our resident “Biga”. Another important moment is that today the most developed in the country support system for innovative business has developed in Yakutia. There is a technopark, there is a venture company, there is the State Committee on Science and Innovations. There are scientific institutions. Functionality and powers are distributed between them in such a way that there is almost no duplication. And they all work in the logic of “All the flags will be visiting us” - we are extremely interested in localizing the most advanced experience in the most diverse areas of the economy in the republic.
- Do you suppose that there will be demand for this?
- Let's not forget that we are talking about the richest Russian region. In the 1990-s Yakutia, the first of all Far Eastern regions showed an increase in population. Despite the frosts, people go to us, including those who have left earlier. Year after year more and more people try, invest, take risks - and more and more interesting results we get.
- And can the technopark help financially in the development of business?
- We are not a financial instrument, we do not invest in projects themselves, we issue services. Starting from cheap rental, a community center with unique equipment and ending with coaching, mentoring and packaging projects.
- How is the interaction of the technopark with big business built?
- And do you yourself often come up with innovative ideas? Can you share a couple - suddenly one of the readers will find time and opportunity to do their implementation?
- Yes indeed. Since I have been analyzing various ideas for a long time, I also have some thoughts. Let's say that a lot of ideas arose during a series of brainstorming sessions on the project of the Republic of the Games, when we jointly came up with interactive IT projects. I very much want someone to find strength and technology to use the energy of the cold. As they say, so that we could turn our "minuses" into "pluses". Krionapravlenie is one of the key for Yakutia due to our natural features. Cold can be used, for example, to create economical climatic installations for the operation of data centers. Another idea is to use the cold correctly to store products and biomaterials.
- You are so free to share ideas. And if someone still realizes - will you demand your "copyright" participation?
- Did not think about it. (Laughs.) You know, one very good friend of mine once said: “The main thing is for the idea to live. It doesn't matter if you embody it or someone else. ” I can not say that I fully share this principle, but I know a lot of creative people who come up with good things much more than they can realize on their own. Of course, there is a patent right (and a technology park here can also help protect intellectual property). But what is better - to kill a lot of time and have 10 patents for unrealized inventions or to focus and "skim the cream" from two or three, and in your free time enjoy how your other ideas live their lives? I would choose the second option.
- Tell me, what will the technopark look like in a year? Five?