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Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia
Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia

The 3rd International Nanotechnology Forum is underway in Moscow, bringing together scientists and businesspeople from Europe, Asia and America for three days of discussion on developing Russia's innovation sector and the outlook for Russia's nanotechnology industry.

Dmitry Medvedev addressed the forum and outlined several priority development areas in this sector.

3rd International Nanotechnology Forum

Moscow | Posted on November 3rd, 2010

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

I was watching a broadcast from the forum on my way here (modern technology really is a wonderful thing). I am sure that you have already had some interesting discussions. But I noticed in what I watched that the main question being asked was is it even possible to develop innovative production in Russia?

I think it is perfectly fair to ask this kind of question. But at the same time, we sometimes get carried away with asking what we can and can't develop, when the real issue is simply that we must develop. We must make progress, and the sooner we do this the better it will be for our economy.

Russia started really paying attention to nanotechnology not long ago, only a few years ago. Initially the decision to set up RUSNANO and the whole subject of nanotechnology were seen as rather exotic. But this has changed as things have developed, and everyone has realised that this is an important sector in the global economy and something that we can get involved in too. This technology is clearly set to play a leading part in the economy of the future.

We understand this well in Russia, all the more so as many areas of nanotechnology are based on ideas and discoveries that came out of the Russian scientific school. This gives us reason for optimism, and also a dose of sadness too, because many of the advances in this sector were not made here, and even in cases when discoveries were made here they were carried out in practice and commercialised in other countries.

But Russia today is ready to become a part of the global nanotechnology community. Our development institutions (RUSNANO and VEB) are already promoting their projects abroad. RUSNANO even has the chance now to acquire relevant assets from foreign companies and buy their technology. We see their interest in venture financing too.

Incidentally, we have begun working together with the CIS countries too on bilateral and multilateral projects. In particular, the 3rd CIS Higher Courses on Nanotechnology took place in Dubna this year. I hope that the graduates of these courses will continue to work in science and in practical work too.

Our aim is to organise not just a few big enterprises in Russia, which would not be an ambitious goal, but to build up a whole nanotechnology sector. All areas of business should be involved: private business, state-owned business, and transnational companies. If we carry out these plans and raise the share of nanotechnology production to around one trillion rubles [around $32.5 billion] by 2015, this would bring Russia's share of the global nanotechnology market up to three percent. This would be a good result. We are therefore working on developing a national nanotechnology network today. This will help us to resolve complex tasks, from developing modern equipment to training professional personnel.

Our aim is to have our enterprises produce technology needed on our domestic market, and needed for our state purchase needs too. This includes medical vaccinations, and LED-based energy saving systems, for example. (This kind of technology makes a real impression when you see it in use. I was in Kazan, or in Naberezhniye Chelny to be more precise, not long ago. We saw new technology being used in the housing sector and the results were impressive. Energy consumption fell 15-20-fold, and this represents completely new standards). This includes accumulator batteries for electricity-powered city transport, and much, much more. I stress that these are all goods for mass use.

Another important task is to set up nano-centres that will bring small and medium-sized business into the sector too. I know that RUSNANO has already signed agreements in this area with Kazan, Dubna, Zelenograd, Tomsk, and Novosibirsk.

I am sure that you have discussed the difficulties involved, and you will no doubt continue these discussions too today. We will make an effort to remove the legislative barriers that exist.

We have already made changes to our immigration laws that simplify the procedures for bringing in highly qualified specialists from abroad.

The State Duma will soon put the draft law on customs regulation through its second reading.

But barriers still exist. Clearly, the state's main task is to improve the laws, the tax, administrative, and civil laws, where necessary, and ensure they are enforced, of course.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is clear today that our country made absolutely the right decision to concentrate on nanotechnology. In just two years, as you have probably already heard, RUSNANO approved 94 projects and has another 300 bids under examination at the moment. This shows that we have no shortage of research teams with promising developments in the nanotechnology area.

It is very important too that we have a new generation of young scientists who will find the incentive to work knowing that there is demand for the results of their labour. We are establishing prizes and competitions for our young scientists. The important thing is for these young people to understand that work in the nanotechnology sector must be directly linked to the economy of tomorrow.

I wish you success and hope that such conferences will become a regular event in our country.

All the best!


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