The Second Congress of the Enterprises of Nanoindustry: Synergy is on the Agenda
Olga Kryukova, Director General of the Interbranch Association of Nanoindustry, told about the aims and tasks of the association which already integrated over 100 companies. Participants in IAN work in most varied branches of the economy, but they are united by their focus on innovations, therefore they face similar problems: out-of-date norms which complicate introduction of the nanotechnological products; complexity of work with the state orders and large corporations; and shortage of a qualified personnel, first of all, technical specialists. Besides, we should mention a poorly developed cooperation between the enterprises of nanoindustry and problems with attraction of investments. Activity of IAN is aimed to solve the above problems.
The working bodies of the association are committees which are formed on the initiative of its members. So far there are three committees: on market development, personnel and technical regulation. The association represents and protects the interests of the enterprises in relations with the authorities, in the Russian and international organizations. For promotion of products of IAN participants meetings of representatives of the enterprises with potential customers are organized. Also the association plans to provide a complex information-analytical support: to carry out monitoring of the perspective markets, to trace legislation changes, to render a consulting assistance. An important direction of work of the association is development of cooperation between its participants: joint development of products and solutions, organization of common stands in exhibitions, establishment of a distributed test centre, and also a uniform policy in the field of quality and safety (about IAN plans also read in O.Kryukova's interview on p.6–12).
Effective technical regulation
Evgeny Mayanov, Chairman of the IAN Technical Regulation Committee, Director of NIIgrafit, said, that elaboration of new standards, which meet the modern requirements, is an indispensable condition for a successful introduction of innovative products in the market. Effectiveness of the technical regulation system should be constantly improving, because in the conditions of a tough competition one of the key factors is the speed of introduction of an innovation. Using as examples the products of NIIgrafit, involved in development of new carbon composite materials, E.Mayanov depicted a circle of problems facing the enterprises of nanoindustry: quick ageing of the normative-legal base, orientation of the regulations (SNiP) on application of the traditional, instead of innovative products, long periods of elaboration and amendment of the operating normative documents.
IAN Technical Regulation Committee co-operates actively with Rosnano, Rosstandard, Rospotrebnadzor and other organizations. The work is conducted in several directions. Thus, within the framework of the project "Normative support for production and application of nanoindustrial products" priorities are formed for elaboration and actualization of the normative documents, standard systems of the association are created, the regulations and albums of the technical solutions are developed, lists of standards for implementation of the technical regulations are formed, preliminary national standards and also the documents ensuring penetration into the regional markets are developed. The reporter especially underlined the prospects of development of cooperation with the regions. For example, now NIIgrafit participates in 12 regional programs for introduction of the composite materials in the sphere of construction and housing and communal services.
The distributed collective test and measuring centre is called to optimize the time and material inputs of IAN members for carrying out of measurements and tests. For realization of this project the Technical Regulation Committee plans to create an information resource for the test and measuring facilities of the enterprises of the association.
The System of Quality of the Nanoindustrial Products project includes creation of the quality symbol of the Russian Nanotechnological Products, which will promote the goods and services of the enterprises in the market. Considering the fact, that for a successful work in the international market becomes the ecological safety of products acquires more and more importance, a recognized significant direction of the activity of the committee is development of the concept of "green" nanotechnologies. In future it is planned to organize a pool of the enterprises, which manufacture ecologically clean products, and develop special marks for them.
Presentation of Alexander Zazhigalkin, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology, was also devoted to the problem of standardization. He underlined, that standards ensure a sustainable economic development and in the breakthrough innovative branches, in particular. Standardization in the innovative sphere is realized now by a design principle, because the majority of the enterprises are interested to get as soon as possible the normative documents solving the concrete problems, which is not possible with a complex approach demanding longer periods of time and working hours.
In cooperation with Rosnano and Skolkovo Foundation, Rosstandart established the Center for Standardization in the Innovative Sphere, which operates on the basis of VNIINMASH Institute. The reporter said, that so far the enterprises of an innovative direction did not use actively the facilities of this centre, and called upon the participants of the congress to promote cooperation at different levels – from a joint elaboration of the national normative documents up to participation in the work of the technical committees of the international organizations on standardization.
Personnel for nanoindustry
Oleg Ochin, Chairman of the IAN Committee on Personnel, Adviser of the Director General of NTO
IRE-Polus, told about the work which had to be done in order to ensure an inflow of the qualified specialists to the enterprises. He pointed out, that an acute problem with the professional training was created by a combination of technical, organizational and marketing innovations in the nanoindustry. The reporter highly appreciated the work done by Rosnano Co. and Foundation of Infrastructural and Educational Programs (FIOP) for development and approval in the Russian Union of Industrialists and Businessmen of the professional standards (two standards were approved in 2012, and 10 – in 2013). Also programs were created for an advanced training and retraining of specialists, and the work was going on with the universities and schools.
According to O.Ochin, the most important task of the Personnel Committee is creation of a complex system of professional training from schools up to post-graduate education, corresponding to the modern requirements of the enterprises. For realization of such a system it is necessary to pay special attention to selection of the teaching staff. Also very important is development of the systems of remote training and estimation of qualifications on the basis of special software. The Personnel Committee’s plans of work envisage: examination and approval of the professional standards, introduction of such standards in the association companies, creation of a system for estimation and certification of the qualifications of experts, a professional evaluation and accreditation of the educational programs of the higher schools, information and consulting support for the companies on the questions of retraining of personnel, and a vocational guidance work with the youth.
Igor Popkov, Head of IAN Committee on Market Development, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RKhB-Prodact Co., told about the basic directions in the work for provision of assistance to the enterprises with promotion of their innovative products. He underlined, that problems in this area were partly caused by the natural conservatism of the consumers with their preferences oriented on the proved technologies and authorized suppliers and also avoidance of the risks, inevitable with introduction of innovations. Additional obstacles in the way of new solutions were created by an out-of-date normative-legal base. However, according to I.Popkov, the basic problem was due to the faults and errors of the manufacturers themselves, first of all, their insufficient attention to promotion of innovations – a low marketing budget, lack of qualified marketing experts among the staff, and ignorance of the target markets. Besides, many companies do not use the resources which are provided by the federal, regional and branch support programs. The reporter gave examples of a successful appearance in the market of the mobile laboratory developed by VGUP FMBA and Ruskhimbio Co., and also of a complex of express diagnostics using immunostrips from RKhB-Prodakt Co. and RFID-labels from ISBC.
The Committee on Market Development plans to realize programs in the following directions:
monitoring of the market and resources – normative-legal base, support programs for the innovative business, requirements of customers;
development of cooperation between the enterprises of the nanoindustry – formation of package offers, integrated and engineering solutions, consortia of the modular design-budget documentation, joint participation in exhibitions;
methodical support – provision of methodical materials and consulting services, organization of educational events, development of international contacts;
organization of presentations of products and solutions at the federal and regional levels of power, branch associations, and also in the corporate market.
Andrey Trapeznikov, Executive Director in Charge of theedExternal Communications of Rosnano, told about the assistance, which FIOP renders to the innovative companies for their advancement to the market. In particular, an extensive program of participation in the Russian and international exhibitions was offered annually, and in order to reduce the costs collective stands were organized. An interesting marketing tool was the startbase.ru Internet portal – a social network launched in 2011 for innovators and intended to ensure a search for investors, personnel, technologies and partners. Another FIOP project to be realized jointly with IAN was the annual award for the contribution in formation of nanoindustry in Russia.
Engineering of an innovative infrastructure
Sergey Aleksandrov, Deputy Director in Charge of Innovative Projects of Eltech SPb Co., told about a practical operational experience in the sphere of engineering and transfer of innovative technologies. In particular, one of the recent successful infrastructural projects realized by Eltech SPb Co. jointly with the partner companies and support of Rosnano and other development institutes was establishment of scientific and technological center of thin-film technologies at FTI named after A.F.Ioffe in St.-Petersburg and construction of the first in Russia enterprise for a batch production of Hevel thin-film photo-electric modules in Novocheboksarsk.
According to the reporter, the international and Russian experience in development of the hi-tech research centers and industrial enterprises showed that for an effective realization of the complex projects a general contractor was necessary. The given model – the so-called EPC-contracting (from the English words Engineering, Procurement, Construction) ensured optimization of the time and financial costs, equation of the technological solutions, possibility of a parallel implementation of works and other advantages. The problems with the technological parts of the projects were solved due to the partner relations with the leading Russian scientific and technical universities and western centers of the technological competences. Continuity of the technological development was realized by means of creation of the engineering centers, capable to ensure improvement of the technological processes, reduction of the industrial costs and increase of the competitiveness of the enterprises’ products.
In order to overcome the drawbacks connected with the imbalances in the development of different regions of the country, it was expedient to integrate the research and industrial resources of the largest technologically developed centers for the purpose of the further transfer of the industrial technologies and personnel to the less developed regions. Main principles for creation of such centers were the following:
integration of the scientific-technical resources;
orientation on creation of a technological cluster, integrating the leading universities and research centers which would ensure a variety of scientific schools and views, and also an interdisciplinary interaction in the applied research works;
interaction with the other Russian and foreign technological centers.
S.Aleksandrov made an example of such a center – the integrated technological hub of
St.-Petersburg which was established in the autumn of 2013 and incorporated Eltech SPb Co. engineering centre and scientific-educational potential of the leading technological higher schools of the city: SPbGU, NIU ITMO, NIU SPbGPU and SPbGETU. The main aim of the hub is development and realization of the package solutions for establishment and modernization of the high technology productions based on innovative technologies.
The second part of the conference was organized in the form of an open discussion. The participants of the congress supported IAN initiatives, and in particular expressed interest in elaboration of a new normative documentation, creation of a quality symbol, organization of a distributed collective test and measuring center, stimulation of development of the "green" technologies, and also in development of the systems of remote professional training.
Great interest was expressed to the presentation of Andrey Shubin, Vice-president of NT-MDT Co., who told about the factors hindering the development of business in the field of innovative technologies. Among them he named high rates of insurance payments for the small and medium businesses, high cost of credits, lack of a thought-out protection against the export of products from foreign competitors, high costs of imported components of the equipment, including the ones, not produced in Russia, and also adoption of rash administrative decisions raising the non-productive costs of the enterprises. In order to solve the above problems A.Shubin proposed the following measures:
to lower the rates of insurance payments up to 12%;
to open a special credit line for the high technology enterprises for updating of their fixed assets with a preferential rate of 5%;
to create a system of an independent expert appraisal for certification of Russian hi-tech products for conformity to the best foreign analogues and to recommend within the framework of the law on state purchases to give preferences to the products, which passed such certification;
to abolish the customs duties on imported components and accessories, to simplify the customs procedures and currency control measures for the high-tech companies;
to minimize the number of the adopted legislative and departmental certificates, which increase the administrative pressure upon the enterprises and result in growth of non-productive costs, by means of their preliminary expert examination and coordination with the business community.
Certainly, it would be very difficult for the interbranch association to lobby the above solutions single-handed, but it is just the beginning of the road. Meanwhile, it is possible to say, that with the establishment of IAN the enterprises of the Russian nanoindustry got important tools for increasing the business efficiency. ■