Technology Platforms: Russian and International Experience
On December 7th 2011, an international seminar entitled ‘Russian and European Technology Platforms: Development of Cooperation’ organized by the HSE Research Laboratory for Economics of Innovation took place at the Higher School of Economics.
Participants included representatives from the European Commission, Russian Ministries of Economic Development and Education and Science, leading experts from Great Britain, Germany, Spain, USA and France, as well as Russian researchers and representatives of technology platforms (TPs).
Leonid Gokhberg, First Vice Rector of the HSE, in his welcoming speech reminded the audience that two years had passed since people had begun to talk about TPs. A lack of cooperation had caused a serious gap in the innovative sphere, but TPs have helped to bridge it.
Geert Schoch, former Director International at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, and Managing Director of Schoch & Partners, gave a presentation on ‘Open innovations: bridging the gap between science and business’ and spoke about Dutch TPs. According to Schoch, open and closed innovations are a method of economic development and can help improve the whole economy.
One of the problems, according to Geert Schoch, is that small and medium-sized enterprises are not sufficiently involved in the innovation process, and there is still a gap between research and business. Another problem is the distribution of intellectual property rights, although this can be solved, depending on the initial terms of cooperation. The key principle seems to be ‘the one who invests more, gets more rights’.
The presentation by Artem Shadrin, Director of the Department on Strategic Management (Programmes) and Budgeting at the RF Ministry of Economic Development, was dedicated to Russian TPs as a mechanism for public-private partnership in the innovation sphere.
Among the difficulties related to the work of TPs Artem Shadrin listed the generally low innovative activity of the business community, the limited level of planning, and the presence of duplicate research and development in public institutions. At the same time, the fields where Russian TPs have been launched are similar to the areas in the USA, Japan and the European Union. This provides an opportunity for international cooperation. And the task here is clear: to ensure the presence of Russian technologies both in domestic and international markets.
International cooperation, particularly Russian-Finnish, was the topic of the presentation by Kari Liuhto, Director of the Turku School of Economics Pan-European Institute (Finland). In the sphere of modernization and innovation Russia has been cooperating with France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Slovenia and other countries. Russian investments in technology transfer are considerable; business unions have been created, international researchers are being attracted and joint research centers have been created. Unfortunately, foreign investments in Russian developments are still low.
To take cooperation to a new, higher level, Kari Liuhto recommends building more links between universities, developing the Skolkovo project and creating joint centers in Saint Petersburg. According to the Finnish expert, it would be useful to use the technological developments of the military complex for the civil sector and innovations in the service sector, which can give a boost to the whole economy.
Ricardo Ferreira, National Expert — Policy Officer at the European Commission used his speech to focus on cooperation between universities and companies in the sphere of innovation. According to him, it is necessary to ‘justify the level of cooperation’ between universities, business and research centers. Yes, universities carry out research, but often business doesn’t know about that, and university staff don’t understand the needs of the business. That’s why closer cooperation is necessary in knowledge transfer, and business should take part in the development of state educational policy.
Patrick Jones, Director of the University of Arizona Office of Technology Transfer, and former President of the Association of University Technology Managers (USA), spoke about possible approaches and mechanisms of intellectual property distribution in technology alliances. And Michael Guth, Senior Consultant at the Center for Innovation and Technique for North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), in his report on ‘Opportunities and threats of international cooperation in science, technology and innovation’ presented the BILAT RUS framework project for Russian and European researchers focused on TPs.
In addition to the above mentioned sessions, the seminar discussed many other issues including the participation of government and business in the creation and the work of TPs and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in TPs.
Andrey Shcherbakov, HSE News Service
Photos by Nikita Benzoruk
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