31 Mar '08
!-- bullet -->The scientific community of Tatarstan is rapidly adapting to a more knowledge-driven economy. Although technology transfer centers are in their infancy, the government and the private sector are aggressively funding innovation – $500m. in 2007 alone. The most promising fields are in R&D, IT and nanotechnologies.
The nanoindustry in Russia has become a priority sector and the RF government recently announced that it will be earmarking billions to support its development. In Tatarstan, the focus is on new sensors for food quality control, new samples of materials and nanostructures for quantum electronics, effective catalysts for petrochemistry and the chemical industry, a new generation of polymeric materials, medicine and new nanostructures for their delivery.
Technoparks have also attracted enormous investment from the government – $321m, of which $70m is from non-budget sources. Technopark Idea is the largest physical complex in Europe. Modeled on the Swedish system, it has a business incubator, an Innovative Technology Center and Technopark Idea. Its diverse range of users include more than 100 start-ups as well as such multi-nationals as DHL, McDonalds, and Siemens.
Solid government support for the IT market has also lured all of the biggest transnational corporations such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Alcatel, Siemens and Huawei to the republic.
Like all early stage development projects, investors need to do significant due diligence. Key sources in Tatarstan are the Investment Venturing Fund of Tatarstan, the Chamber of Commerce of Tatarstan, the Republican Council of Inventors’ Society, the Republican Association of Industrial Companies, the Union of Enterpreneurs and the Agency on Support for Entrepreneurship. Direct contact with technopark directors and meeting with company owners is highly recommended.