Central regions | Finance, business | Technology & innovation

Russia seeks international partnerships in pharma, clean tech, mechanical engineering and then some

22 May '13
New chemistry, drugs and medical devices, engineering tools making, engineering, new materials, timber projects, ‘green’ biotechnologies, biofuels and biodegradable plastics—these are Russia’s priority sectors open for wide cooperation with international players, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the official media mouthpiece of the Russian government, quoted Igor Karavaev, a Russian spokesman, as saying at the opening ceremony of the First Russian-Swiss Innovation Day in Switzerland’s Lausanne last Friday.

According to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce of Russia, his country has built a “full-fledged legislative base” for rapid industrial modernization and mutually advantageous cooperation with the outside world. There are five government programs now, approved and already operational for industry’s innovation shift, he said.

Mr. Karavaev explained that in the pharmaceutical sector, for example, the government’s strategic goal is to increase the share of domestic products in the market to 50% and in the medical equipment sector to at least 40%.

Later this year as much as “about half a billion dollars from government coffers” will be allocated for support of pharmaceutical innovation clusters in regions as diverse as St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kaluga (Central Russia), Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Altay (all three in Siberia), the deputy minister claimed.

There are dozens of companies in these regions specializing in R&D and production of innovation drugs, he added.

Mr. Karavaev invited Swiss pharmas, both big and small, to come to Russia. Dr. Pierre Helg, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Russian Federation, said that Swiss manufacturers would be happy to do so, given the size of the Russian market, but the fact that to deploy R&D and production capabilities in Russia and start making money there “at least three or four years are required” poses a serious problem. This is the time to be spent on permits, licenses and other tons of paperwork. “This is out of small companies’ league,” Dr. Helg explained.

In addition to the pharmaceutical sector, Swiss investors are very much interested in Russian innovation in mechanical engineering and hydrocarbon production and processing clean tech, the Ambassador said. They are eagerly looking at Russia’s regions, too, he added. For example, according to Dr. Helg, Swiss capital is present “in all sectors of the Samara regional economy” in the Lower Volga area.
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Tags: Igor Karavaev (1) / priority sectors (0) / Pierre Helg (0) / First Russian Swiss Innovation Day (0) /

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