Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Russia Aims for $29 Billion in Nanotechnology Sales by 2015, RUSNANO Plans $10 Billion in Investments, Evaluating 237 Projects


On December 23rd, RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais held a press conference in Moscow to announce the results of the Corporation’s activity in 2009. In order to implement the government approved strategy of increasing total sales of Russia's nanotechnology-enabled products to $29 billion (900 billion rubles) by 2015—RUSNANO plans to invest about $10.2 billion (310 billion rubles) in nanotech projects. To help meet that goal, in 2010 RUSNANO plans to raise funds in the form of external loans guaranteed by the State.

A priority direction for RUSNANO is co-investment in industry, infrastructure and educational projects in the field of nanotechnology. The Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO) was established in 2007 by the Federal law № 139-FZ to enable Government policy in the field of Nanotechnology.

The Corporation started to accept applications for nanotechnology projects financing beginning April 1, 2008. As of December 22, 2009 RUSNANO received 1,356 applications with requested financing exceeding $59.6  billion (1.8 trillion rubles), including financing requested from the Corporation exceeding $36.4 (1.1 trillion rubles). 237 project applications now undergo the Corporation’s expert evaluation procedures.

By December 23, 2009 the Supervisory Council of RUSNANO approved financing of 61 projects, including 51 industry projects, three infrastructure projects, one educational project, as well as six investment funds. The total financing of these 61 projects amounts to $6.3 billion (192.8 billion rubles), including the financing from RUSNANO $3 billion (91 billion rubles).

The projects’ financing is increasing rapidly. By the end of 2008 the Supervisory Council approved seven projects, as of 23 December 2009 the number increased almost eight times to 54 projects. The number of projects increased partly due to the new approach to the Corporation’s investment policy, the essence of which is the gradual transition from the passive acceptance of applications to active search of investment projects. In July 2009 the Corporation achieved its designed capacity of starting 15 new projects per quarter.

By the end of 2009 RUSNANO eliminated the underrun in the actual funding of projects from targets set by the Corporation’s strategy. Furthermore, the actual volume of project’s financing in 2008-2009 amounted to $1.05 billion (31.8 billion rubles) comparing to the target of $960 million (29 billion rubles).

In addition to the industrial projects co-financing, the RUSNANO approach to nanotech industry development implies establishing the R&D, financial and educational infrastructure of the innovative economy. In 2009 it was decided to form five venture capital funds with the Corporation’s participation. RUSNANO and MICEX also launched the new Market for Innovations and Investments (MICEX MII), designed to attract investment, especially in mid and small capitalization sector of Russia's innovative economy. The first IPO at MICEX MII was launched on December 10, 2009.

In 2009 RUSNANO adopted key documents, laying the foundations of the Corporation’s activities in several key areas including education. The concept of RUSNANO activities in education was approved by the Supervisory Council on 4 August 2009. According to the document, RUSNANO will focus on building human resources capacity through support of education programs of advanced training and retraining for nanotechnology industry professionals.

 In 2009 RUSNANO held four competitive tenders for this kind of educational programs. By 2015 the number of the educational programs supported by RUSNANO should increase to 120. Another area of RUSNANO activities is assistance in the preparation of professional standards. RUSNANO plans to participate in the development of inter-institutional educational training programs for the high qualification workforce and adaptation of the best foreign training courses.

On October 13, 2009 the Supervisory Council of the Corporation approved the concept of nanotechnology centers—infrastructure facilities intended for the commercialization of nanotechnology developments. The key feature of nanotechnology centers is the concentration of technological equipment and incubation competence for small innovative companies (marketing, management and information support). The first competitive tender to create nanotechnology center is to be announced before the end of this year and to be finalized in the first quarter of 2010.

On October 6-8, 2009 Moscow hosted the Second Nanotechnology International Forum, designed to provide a global platform for professional discussion of nanotechnology developments and innovations. This year it was attended by 11,394 participants and visitors from Russia and 38 foreign countries.

In December 2009 RUSNANO, in accordance with the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation, transferred $2.2 billion (66.4 billion rubles) of temporarily free funds to the state budget. By the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No 1454-r the transfer of RUSNANO’s free funds to the state budget is carried out on a return basis: it is expected that in 2010-2012 these funds will be transferred back to the Corporation.


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