Nanotechnology in the Russian Federation

Business Intelligence Report (sample)

In 2007, the Russian state leadership published a decree about the development of nanotechnology in Russia. For the purpose of nanotechnology development, the state company Rosnano was founded, with former vice prime-minister and initiator of economic reforms in the 90’s Anatoliy Chubais at its head. Rosnano company was not formed with the objective to commercialize nanotechnology products or to financially support nanotechnology research, but its main function is financial support for facilities producing nanotechnology products (Rosnano can have only a 49 % share in all nanotechnology projects it supports, never a majority one) in the territory of the Russian Federation.

To put it in different words, Rosnano concentrates on building nanotechnology infrastructure on the project basis and budgets higher than 10 million USD (including already built facilities). However, only a few facilities with nanotechnology specialization have been built – their main problem is demand, because Russian industry is not interested in this sector (maybe with the exception of mobile phones and IT). More than 100 projects have been approved (around 5 % of all proposals) until now. Also, nanotechnology is not a real priority of the Russian government, to which Rosnano took the stand, “We’ll give you money, do with it what you want.”

Before everything else, Russia needs modernization, and only after that needs innovation (the majority of Russian factories and plants are in desperate conditions – obsolete technologies, equipment and non-inventive personnel). In Russia, the word “innovation” is already compromised due to empty promises of the Russian power elites. Only a few government officials are really interested in innovations (the priority is export of oil and natural gas – the main source of income for the Russian budget). Rosnano company receive generous state assistance, but allegedly nobody in the company knows what to do with these financial resources. That’s why the efficiency of the company is respectively low. Besides, the company is going through personal changes and cuts, where whole departments are being dissolved.

Foreign and/or international companies interested in commercialization of nanotechnology products in Russia have to concentrate on joining its activities to “business platforms” on a B2B principle, gathering Russian nanotechnology experts, research laboratories and especially businessmen, who intend to invest into this sector or buy production. The other option is joining the Association of Innovative Clusters, however their business activity is not very intensive. Basically, a few contracts were signed with the help of this association.

In Russia there are not many research laboratories dealing with nanotechnology – the most known are the Faculty of Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information and Cognitive Technologies MFTI (since 2006) and the Physical-Technical Institute IrGTU (since March 2007). Information support is provided by the National Electronic and Information Consortium (NEIKON) and also by the Russian Nanotechnologies journal (Rossiyskie nanotekhnologii), website nanometer.ru works since 2007.

Lastly, between 2010-2012 the amount of investments to research centers declined by almost half (from 5,8 bln. rubles to 2,9 bln. rubles annually).

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