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The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted the signing of the investment agreement for a project RUSNANO, SITRONICS, and X5 Retail Group will launch-the Store of the Future.
With RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais and Sistema Chairman of the Board Vladimir Evtushenkov looking on, RUSNANO Deputy CEO Andrey Malyshev, SITRONICS President and CEO Sergey Aslanian, and X5 Retail Group CEO Andrei Gusev signed the investment agreement.
The project will create nano-enabled solutions for introducing and exploiting RFID technology in Russia's retail industry. If successful in its development work, the project will establish a company-integrator to introduce RFID technology to domestic retail trade.
Radio frequency identification is a great boon to retail: RFID tags reduce expenses throughout the distribution and sale of goods. They effectively control merchandise turnover in the supply chain. The tags, electronic certificates for consumer goods, protect the buyer from falsified items, improve product surveillance, and prevent inadvertent sale of expired products, particularly drugs and foodstuffs.
The project has a budget totaling 350 million rubles. Investment will be divided equally among the three participants over two years.
In 2013, assuming successful development of the RFID technology, the project will open Russia's first model grocery store for the future. X5 Retail Group will provide the platform. The project will also develop sector standards, which are prerequisites for changing the regulatory and legal framework for retail production and trade.
"Cost of the RFID tags is the greatest barrier to their broad use. Once RFID in retail trade begins on a large scale, the cost of the tags will decline and RFID will be extended to other economic sectors. With project success, Russia will become another large market for RFID tags, and that will give Russian microelectronics producers the opportunity to enter an arena where sales are forecast at up to 50 billion tags per year," Andrey Malyshev explained. "We expect this project to foster demand for nano-enabled products and other RUSNANO projects related to RFID technologies."
"RFID technology could help our customers avoid unnecessary hassles when shopping," said Andrei Gusev. "We are pleased to have joined the project as expert and practitioner. As such, we'll be taking a hard look over the next years at the viability and value of using RFID technology in retail supermarkets."
"The project will create an experimental site where we can apply our expertise and build competencies in systemic integration of RFID solutions," said Sergey Aslanian. "There will be interesting technical challenges to resolve; there will be new technology and know-how with promising avenues for commercialization in retail, medicine, and industry. The technology for radio frequency identification is in a period of growth that may lead to an excellent market."
RUSNANO was founded in 2011, resulting of the restructuring process for the Russian Nanotechnology Corporation. RUSNANO implements the government strategy for nano-industry development stepping in as a co-investor for the nanotechnology projects with significant economic or social potential. 100 percent of RUSNANO’s equity is owned by the government. The Chairman of the Board is Anatoly Chubais. The Russian Nanotechnology Corporation objectives of developing nanotechnological infrastructure and educational programmes are being fulfilled by the Foundation for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes founded as result of the above mentioned restructuring.
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