‘World is global and Russian entrepreneurs can really supply Russian technologies worldwide’ - Rosnano

28 June 2013

The Voice of Russia

Dmitry Lisenkov, ROSNANO managing director tells in an interview to the Voice of Russia on the sidelines of SPIEF 2013 about joint projects between the United States of America and Russia in Nano technology.

Actually ROSNANO was established almost 6 years ago and we actively invest in projects in companies which do high tech and we actively look at the companies out of Russia obviously, understanding that there are great technologies which are not yet in Russia would like to bring them here.

Basically we talk about technology transfers. ROSNANO has key points in a mandate, Nano as I said before and Russia. We do direct investments in companies which are located in and operate out of Russia but we always, always take care that these companies would establish some substantial operations in our homeland, in Russia meaning that if it’s at the early stage we ask for R and D (research and development) activity, actual R and D to be done in Russia, or it can be manufacturing, producing the final goods, if it’s a company in the expansion stage.

I can give you a few examples if you wish in that activity which we deal. Would you like that?

For example, a couple of years ago we a deal with 2 companies from the Boston area. They are both in the bio-tech field. One is into drug discovery, mostly oncology. Another one is into vaccines and they both are originally from MIT, from the lab of renounced professor Bob Langer, who’s well known worldwide for not just teaching but creating businesses. I believe over 30 companies came out of his laboratory and basically we agreed with these companies, which are still in the developing stages but with very promising technologies, platform technologies which is allowed to create a new type of treatment for patients. We agreed with these companies that they will establish, each of them, substantial operations in Russia, which would do R and D, necessary for the global operations of this companies. Plus, when they’re ready, they establish actual production in Russia and basically 2 years later we see great progress here, both companies have serious operations in Russia.

They open their labs near Moscow in Khimki actually, that happened late last year with one company, in the beginning of this year, another company. The names of the companies are Bind and Selector. Basically, we see what’s happening right now that these Russian operations really contribute their global research of these companies. Not just creating an additional value for these companies but in the meantime creating a substantial know-how and learning in Russia, for the Russian scientists and business developers who work In Moscow.

We really see this as an opportunity for international companies to come, to get very qualified people in Russia for the global goal. There’s an even more interesting spin to that. One of the global CEOs of these companies, whose actually present at this conference at the forum today, he decided to move his office from Boston to Moscow because he really sees opportunities here which are coming not just from the business area but from the developing programs here in Russia, from support of the government and the idea of Pharma 2020, creating big Russian corporations in this segment. So he moved his office here and he now manages the global company from Russia, which I think is a sign of real advantages which this country can give to businesses.

Dmitry, what difference has joining the WTO made for your business in particular?

I would say that it’d yet to see the results of joining the WTO and depending on the stage of the company also, for some companies definitely it can be an issue because right now, most companies innovation sphere, they still only supply to the local Russian market and that’s more competition for them. In the meantime, for the guys who are very advanced, not just in terms of technology, the marketing skills actually they also have, for them it’s a new opportunity to come to international markets more aggressively without limitations which were imposed before.

This coin has 2 sides. We hope that Russia will learn that not just through lifting the barriers, it should learn that the world is global and Russian entrepreneurs can really supply Russian technologies worldwide. And, we will see opportunities here that many products which our portfolio companies developed, they’re really in demand worldwide but the thing is that we need to learn how to promote those technologies worldwide and sell it.

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