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"There are still no industrial clusters in the Far East"

Head of the Russian Association of Technoparks Andrei Shpilenko on industrial policy and its regional features

“Technopark” and “cluster” - in which context only in recent years have these words been used in Russia. Director of the Cluster and Technopark Association, Andrei Shpilenko, explains to EastRussia why it is so important to establish in the legislation the criteria for assigning an infrastructure site to a technopark, when and due to which investments of constituent entities of the Russian Federation in industrial technoparks pay off, and why it is beneficial for local authorities and businesses to create industrial clusters - however in the Far East, he adds, the idea, unfortunately, has not yet been implemented, and this has its own reasons.

"There are still no industrial clusters in the Far East"

- The association that you head is created in 2011 year. What are its main objectives?

- The merger initiative came from technology parks that developed under the program of the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media on the development of technology parks in the field of high technologies. Initially, the High-Tech Technopark Association was created, which was then transformed into the Clusters and Technoparks Association. Now it is a tool that aims to define the rules, set the methodology in the activities and development of technoparks. Over the years, the association has repeatedly been involved as an expert in the development of several important documents. This is a solid public organization that defines the “rules of the game” through direct dialogue with the business. Our recommendations to the authorities are based on the results of the public discussion, which allows making decisions that are interesting to the business.

- How much this dialogue is representative, how many in the association of participants?

- Now it includes more than 60 members - these are the managing companies of technoparks and special economic zones, specialized organizations of clusters, centers for cluster development. Residents of technoparks and participants of clusters included in the Association are about 2,5 thousand legal entities. Members of the Association are in more than 30 subjects of the Russian Federation and form up to 0,45% of the country's GDP. This is quite a lot. 

- What documents did the association participate in? Can you give examples?

- We participated in the development of the decrees of the Government of the Russian Federation dated October 30.10.2014, 1119 No. 30.12.2014 and dated December 1605, XNUMX No. XNUMX. The first regulates the distribution among regions of subsidies to reimburse the costs of creating infrastructure for industrial parks and technoparks. The second is the distribution of subsidies for state support of small and medium-sized businesses. The descriptions of technoparks, requirements for area and infrastructure contained in the decrees were proposed by the Association on the basis of consultations held with business representatives.

In addition, with the assistance of the Association, amendments were made to the Federal Law "On Industrial Policy in the Russian Federation", which fixed the definition of "industrial technology park". The amendments were approved by the State Duma in the first reading. I hope that in the near future they will be adopted finally and at the beginning of next year the subjects of the Russian Federation will make the necessary amendments to the regional laws regulating the activity of technoparks. This will make life easier not only for business, but for the subjects themselves. In the meantime, practically every region has its own understanding of the term. Moreover, a "technopark" can be understood as a separate cabinet with an appropriate signboard, and an old abandoned building, and a site where children are engaged in robotics. And representatives of universities often declare the creation of an industrial park in the form of a structural unit or a department in management that deals with innovations.

- How did it happen - technoparks were created, but there was no agreement on what they were?

- Almost immediately after the collapse of the USSR, technology parks began to grow like mushrooms: it was very fashionable, although no one understood the essence of this process. By 1996, the 54 Technopark was established in the country, mainly at universities. In 2000, only the MSU technopark remained. The reasons are simple: no one understood how technology parks are regulated, how they are financed and what their role is in the innovation structure of the Russian Federation.

Then the second time we "stepped on the same rake". Several ministries have begun to implement programs on technoparks in parallel - the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. But the single legislation was not adopted, therefore, accordingly, it was not possible to exchange best practices, determine the most effective business model. At some point, the number of technoparks exceeded 2 thousand, while technoparks then called everything right up to the park for storing equipment.

The Association analyzed these processes and sent its proposals to the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. A year ago, the President issued a three-point instruction. The first is to include target indicators and indicators for the development of technoparks in the state program. The second is monitoring the implementation of Resolution No. 1119 on the return of expenses of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation for technology parks. And the third point is to give proposals on the legislative consolidation of the concepts and types of technoparks. The Association has done a great job on all these three points.


"With the legislative consolidation of the term, as you say, they have almost achieved success, right?

- A great achievement was the fact that the concept of “industrial technopark” appeared in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, that their performance indicators were included in the state program “Development of industry and increase of its competitiveness”. The State Duma approved in first reading a bill enshrining the concept of “industrial technopark”. Interacting with technology parks, we are working on updating the government resolution No. XXUMX in terms of support for industrial technology parks.

- Can you formulate one phrase, what is a technopark?

- This is the infrastructure for supporting enterprises in high-tech industries. I emphasize - the infrastructure. Under the infrastructure means a set of buildings, structures, utilities, equipment, which allows residents to reduce costs. The threshold of entry into the production business is quite high: it is necessary to purchase equipment, get certification, accreditation, take into account the costs of rent. And when it comes to mastering the production of new products - enterprises bear large costs for R & D, the creation of prototypes, testing, development of design documentation. Industrial technoparks are designed to minimize costs.

- And what is the difference between an industrial technopark and a technopark in general?

- Industrial Technopark can now be identified by the provisions of Resolution No.1119: it is a set of industrial buildings, structures, and, most importantly, the availability of a technological infrastructure - for example, a business incubator, laboratory complex, engineering center, certification center, as well as any production and technological equipment that can be used by residents. But the hard division is not worth doing. We live on the threshold of a new technological revolution, which actually blurs the boundaries between industries. Practice shows that many industrial parks, created initially in the non-productive sphere, evolve into industrial technoparks. And on one site may be, for example, the production of machining parts and IT-company.

- There will be a legislative definition. What's next?

- The Ministry of Industry and Trade should develop a draft resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation that defines requirements for industrial technology parks. They will be spelled out the minimum area, equipment, requirements for the management company. And only those industrial technoparks that will meet these requirements will be able to count on measures of state support. In particular, according to the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of 11.08.2015 No. 831 "On subsidizing the interest rate to the management companies of the industrial technology park," by decree No. 1119.

- Do other types of technoparks also have curators? Or are they there?

- It will probably be logical, if industrial technoparks will be supervised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and all other types of technoparks - the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Communications of Russia.

"The Lord is a good tool, but it works for those who invest in the future"

- You have repeatedly mentioned the decision number XXUMX. Tell us more about this mechanism, does it make sense to lay claim to these same support measures?

- Decree No. 1119 regulates the rules for granting subsidies to the constituent entities of the Russian Federation for the development of industrial parks and industrial technoparks. The regional authorities submit an application to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the object is included in the corresponding register - and the region gets the opportunity to return part of its costs for the construction of infrastructure: for the installation of engineering networks, the purchase of equipment. At the same time, it is important that the subsidy cannot be more than a certain amount paid by the residents of technoparks in the form of taxes to the federal budget. This amount is formed from the federal part of the income tax (3%), 50% of the VAT and customs duties paid by residents.

- Are the costs reimbursed immediately or gradually?

- Gradually. If the business starts to generate taxes, then the management companies really work. The region can choose any five-year operating period of the technopark for the first 15 years, when its residents pay the most federal taxes, and receive reimbursement of their expenses - in the amount of payments for these five years. For example, starting from the moment when all enterprises reach their design capacity.

- And, say, at the 10-15-th years to get the maximum subsidy? A good tool. 

- Good. But here you need to think about who it will work for. Primarily for those entities that previously invested in technology parks. And who has not invested, like the Far East, will not receive anything - for now.

- Why did not you invest? In Yakutia there is an industrial park, it even consists in the Association.

- Technopark in Yakutia was created under the program of the Ministry of Economic Development, and it is small. This means that he will be able to claim compensation after the residents' taxes cover the volume of federal funds already invested in this project. We know that the region plans to apply for a refund in the near future, and I hope that this will help the technopark develop further. However, so far out of the entire huge number of technoparks over the three years of the instrument’s operation, only one technopark could take advantage of this support measure, Technopolis Moscow. The tool itself is good. But if you look at how many regions have previously provided for investments in non-profitable infrastructure in order to get a deferred effect through 5-10 years, it turns out that there are not many of them. Only those who have long understood the feasibility of developing technology parks can use the subsidy now. But the tool will still be useful for subjects, I am sure, when amendments to the regulatory framework at the federal level will be adopted and the new model will work.

- So, the authorities of the regions need to change their approaches, and quickly?

- If they are ready to invest in the future of their regions, then yes. For example, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications created technoparks in the field of high technologies. The federal budget invested about 1 billion rubles a year in this. The government decree No. 1119 states that first it is necessary to compensate for investments from the federal budget, and only then the regions will receive compensation. So, a technopark was created in Novosibirsk on terms of co-financing 50 to 50 percent. He is one of the most successful in the country. But even there it has not yet been possible to recoup the federal part of investments.

- Because taxes are not enough?

- Practice has shown that, in general, small and medium-sized businesses are located in technoparks. And they, as a rule, use a simplified system of taxation, and they do not give much income to the federal budget. Novosibirsk Technopark has existed for more than 5 years and is only beginning to come out on the payback of federal funds. Accordingly, in the near future the technopark will begin to return the funds of the subject.

- It gives for budgets of subjects a return on investments in technoparks not less than 10-12 years, and then depending on the amount?

- Technopark is a structure of the future, it is created as a place to reduce costs. And this is, first of all, the task of the state, so that new businesses are created and young people do not leave the regions. Practice, both Russian and world, shows that technoparks reach their design capacity in about 10 years. It takes time to create infrastructure, adapt the business and the management company. Technoparks are intended for the development of small and medium-sized businesses that develop using the services of a management company and infrastructure.

- What other support measures can the technoparks count on?

- Decree 831 of the Government of the Russian Federation establishes the procedure for subsidizing the interest rate on a loan from the management company of a technopark for construction, reconstruction, modernization, as well as the purchase of technological equipment for an industrial technopark. Part of the interest rate is subsidized, up to 70%.


- If you go back to the Yakut Technopark, he can claim what? And will he lose with the adoption of the “new model,” as you say, the status of a technopark?

- I remind you that there is an order from the President, where the Ministry of Economic Development was instructed to give a legislative definition of the types of technoparks. The Association has submitted a proposal to fix three types. The first is an industrial technopark. The second is a technopark in the field of high technologies. And the third is a children's technopark. In the field of children's technology parks, the requirements have already been determined by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, which creates technology parks in the Quantorium format throughout the country. The Yakutsk Technopark already meets the requirements of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. But if he applies for additional measures of state support, then he will need to meet the requirements for an industrial technopark, which will be adopted next year. We will definitely take into account the wishes of the Technopark, as a member of the Association, to these requirements, so that they are within its reach, and we will transfer this position to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

- Technological parks are now somehow certified, is there standardization?

- Two years ago, the Association initiated and developed the National Standard “Technoparks. Requirements ". The professional community has confirmed the necessity and expediency of a standard that defines and prescribes what area, what infrastructure, what services of the management company should be in the technopark. Moreover, at the end of 2016, the Association developed and introduced a voluntary certification system for technoparks. Three years ago, the Association began publishing an annual ranking of technoparks, and this year its third issue was released. In total, 125 technoparks were considered, of which 33 were able to pass the qualification selection to participate in the rating. The rating methodology was developed with the participation of the Rating Expert Council, which included representatives of government bodies, development institutions, and business. As a result, technoparks were assigned to 5 groups in accordance with the levels of efficiency - from high to moderate. The fact of inclusion in the rating already indicates that the technopark fulfills its function: there is a specialized infrastructure and services for residents, new projects are being implemented on its territory and jobs are being created, residents are offering the market high-tech products and services.

- Is the optimal model found?

- State technoparks show high efficiency, for example, in Novosibirsk or Mordovia. These are large-scale projects, they have already proven their viability, but from the very beginning they were heavily financed by the state, there are not many such projects throughout the country. If we talk about private technoparks, then according to the rating of the Association, today the most effective model of a technopark is the Troitsk Nanotechnology Center, created with the support of Rusnano. The center has turned into a real startup factory: 30-40 new industrial companies are created annually. In total, there are more than 300 such companies in the network of nanocenters. They have very tough input expertise, after which there is a whole technological chain, starting from the center of prototyping and the center of industrial design to production. The effectiveness of the model lies in the fact that, firstly, the management company of the nanocenter is a shareholder and investor in startups, that is, it does not just provide services to residents, but actually creates and grows them for further sale. And secondly, product startups, which are created for the purpose of commercializing developments, and infrastructure businesses are strictly separated. That is, a startup cannot request investments for expensive equipment, for example, to create a prototype. But he can order this prototype from another resident of the nanocenter - an infrastructure company that provides such services on the basis of contract manufacturing. This allows you to drastically reduce the cost of startups at the initial stage. At the same time, the contract model allows infrastructure companies to earn and recoup investments in equipment.
- And how many of these 300 startups survive in the five-year period?

- According to the global statistics, 5-7 technology companies from 10 created during 3-5 years will be closed. But in the case of nanocenter, the survival rate is higher due to the presence of a rigid input filter and the capabilities of nanocenters. But even a closed company is an invaluable experience of its founders and a higher chance that the next project will be successful.
If something like this appeared in the Far East, at least it would be possible to answer the question: who will the territories of advanced development be populated in a few years. After all, there are not enough existing successful businesses in all the territories, we need to create new ones.

- Are there any private ones among 33 technoparks in your rating?

- Undoubtedly. For example, “Space, Oil, Gas” is a technopark in Voronezh, created on the basis of a large enterprise. Now it occupies an area of ​​about 19 hectares, where residents are located, mainly small and medium-sized companies that are engaged in mechanical processing, design, and assembly of oil and gas equipment in the interests of Gazprom. Not a penny of federal or regional budget funds was invested there.

- And what are the development prospects for such a technopark if the orders are provided by Gazprom?

- They have already moved on. The first industrial cluster of oil and gas equipment appeared on the basis of the technopark's management company. Each enterprise included in the industrial cluster gets the opportunity to subsidize the costs incurred in the amount of up to 50%.


- What does this mean?

- The Federal Law on Industrial Policy, adopted in 2014, determined that the industrial cluster is the main instrument for implementing regional industrial policy. This is a set of industrial enterprises that are functionally dependent, producing industrial products and located within a subject or several subjects of the Russian Federation. For example, there is a company that produces a machine tool. For the machine, some companies supply the bed, the electric motor, the wiring, the spindle - dozens of components. Others make metal, parts, someone collects them. This is how production chains arise.

Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 31.07.2015 No. 779 describes what an industrial cluster is, how many enterprises it needs to create, what kind of cooperation chains and level of cooperation. Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation from 22.01.2016 No. 41 defines the procedure for granting subsidies for reimbursement of costs incurred to implement joint cluster projects. To receive subsidies, it is necessary to file an application with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, formally describing who is in the cluster and enter the register. From now on all cluster enterprises have the opportunity to subsidize the costs incurred to implement the cluster project. The tool is "young", he is only two years old. But for this time already eight projects have received support for the total amount of 1,6 billion rubles.

- Costs are reimbursed in the amount of "up to 50%", you said. And in which one, who determines?

- Industrial clusters allow you to subsidize costs at all stages of the life cycle - from development to putting into production. This is a unique and complex mechanism. We are talking about the costs of design documentation, the creation and testing of pilot batches of products, the purchase of tooling for equipment, software and hardware systems for production management. Also, the tool allows you to reimburse the costs of paying the interest rate on loans for the construction of industrial buildings and the purchase of equipment, payment of lease payments for equipment.
- Can a foreign investor enter the cluster?

- Of course, if it registers a subsidiary in Russia or creates a joint venture. There are no prohibitions on the participation of foreign capital.

- But this applies only to industrial enterprises? Can't you put in a chain, for example, an oil refinery?

- There is a provision that the cluster chain should include import-substituting products, and this does not include primary processing of hydrocarbons. But if the refinery produces higher value added petrochemical products, which are now purchased in large volumes abroad, then of course such a cluster can be supported. Moreover, from a formal point of view, an oil-producing enterprise is also engaged in industrial activities and can be included in a cluster. But supporting such enterprises is not a priority; they have their own investment programs and colossal resources.


- Why have not clusters been created in the Far East yet?

- There is no need to create anything - clusters already exist, this is a system of cooperation. The creation of a cluster does not require any co-financing from the entity. The main thing is to formalize the relations between interconnected enterprises and it is possible to create a construction cluster, timber processing, aviation.

- Can you go beyond the boundaries of subjects or macroregions? Relatively speaking, to combine Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk and, say, Samara into a chain?

- Yes, and there are such precedents. Now Rosatom is creating a composite cluster, which will include three constituent entities of the Russian Federation at once: Tatarstan, Saratov and Moscow regions. There are no legal restrictions. There are administrative costs when several regions are involved, but this is surmountable. I think it is possible to create both a forest cluster and an aviation cluster in the Far Eastern Federal District ...

- And fishy?

- If we are talking about enterprises that are engaged only in fishing, then no, because only industrial enterprises can become members of an industrial cluster. But a fish processing cluster may well be formed. We can talk about both food products and deep processing of fish.

However, industrial clusters in mechanical engineering still have a greater potential. For example, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) or the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) could be the first in the Far East to create clusters. They have production chains, while their strategies determine the further need for the withdrawal of non-core operations outside of corporations, the development of cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, they are in the priority development territory mode. But there is no such interaction yet.

- In your opinion, why?

- Large corporations are rigidly vertically integrated structures. But not everything depends on the parent company. It is necessary that local people understand the mechanism of creating clusters and want to participate in it. Recently, we were at the Far Eastern Forum of Engineers in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and made sure that local business does not understand this tool. Although it is the business that first of all must understand this in order to receive subsidies directly from the federal center.

- And what, in the east of the country there are absolutely no examples of clusters?

- The only region that we can proudly talk about is Buryatia. In 2016, an industrial cluster of high-tech mechanical engineering and instrument making was formed in the republic on the basis of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, which is part of Russian Helicopters. The cluster includes an aircraft plant, an aircraft repair plant, a blade plant, an instrument-making production association, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises - Energotekhnomash, Vostokles, Liteyshchik, Metallurg, Aerotech, and Teploarmatura. All this is within the boundaries of one subject.

- The final product is a helicopter, and at what stage does the refund take place?

- Earlier one of the companies made high pressure pipes for fuel systems. After the creation of the cluster, a certain status appeared that attracted an investor. He invested in a high-tech enterprise - Aerotech. The project provides for the creation of a closed cycle for the manufacture of aircraft pipelines using 3D models. The investor invested a seemingly relatively small amount - 175 million rubles, and the state returns him 72 million rubles. So Buryatia is now especially attractive for investors who can integrate into the existing production chain within the cluster.

- Did the local authorities somehow contribute to this?

- Since this all started. The federal internship, which the Ministry of Industry and Trade conducts in all federal districts, was attended by the Minister of Industry and Trade of Buryatia, Alexei Mishenin. He heard about an industrial cluster. I informed all the departments involved, personally phoned business representatives. The Association held a two-day strategic session in Buryatia on the creation of clusters. Then, together with the enterprises, we prepared documents and submitted them to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. And that's it! There is no need to look for some secret passages: everything is spelled out in the law, take it and execute it. If every governor in the Far East assigned responsibility for the creation of an industrial cluster to one of his deputies, I think things would go faster.

- What is the role of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in this?

- The Ministry of Industry and Trade forms the general policy, requirements, procedures. And the department works, but it is not the only thing. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is ready to finance any number of projects, but the principle is important here: only costs incurred are subsidized. In other words, the project should work. And this is a tremendous help - a non-repayable subsidy. Business needs it. And if at the regional level there are less than 10 enterprises ready to join the cluster, you can attract enterprises from other regions. It is important to know all these details.

- For this, there is you - to help, to prompt.

- First, the association is always ready to prompt. Secondly, the practice has long been formed: 1,6 billion rubles. subsidies are already allocated! The Association works with all regions, we sent a letter to all executive authorities of the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District with the proposal to form industrial clusters. Now we are interacting with the Khabarovsk Territory, invited to Sakhalin and Kamchatka. Moreover, the work can be done remotely. At the same time, the consolidating role of regional executive bodies is fundamental, which will inform and attract business to the creation of clusters. We have not yet seen this in the Far East.

- And what is the desired result of the activity of the association itself?

- Members of the Association of Clusters and Technoparks generate 0,45% of GDP. Probably, the indicator for us is when this percentage will be even higher. Our activity is aimed at making the members of the Association earn more. But the important thing is not the number of clusters, but an increase in the volume of investments and the release of new products. Therefore, we try to ensure conditions under which growing enterprises can receive support from the state and develop even faster.
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