29 november 2018

 Most Memorable Events of the 2018 Zheleznogorsk Innovation Forum

Most Memorable Events of the 2018 Zheleznogorsk Innovation Forum

The forum was held on November 23-24. The overall theme of the event was “Centers of Science and Innovation - Drivers of Digital Regions”. The forum focused on key changes, new opportunities and challenges for cities and regions in the sphere of digital economy with due regard to the  changing context: new national priorities according to the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of May 7, 2018 “On National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Development of the Russian Federation through 2024”,  the expansion of the  Russian Digital Economy Program, the launch of new national and federal projects, a course for digitalization set by large business, new guidelines for the development of science and innovation.

The  research intensive “Smart City + Digital Solutions” was held on the first day of the Forum as part of the youth program. Click here to view the intensive results. The second event of the youth program was the educational acceleration program for the winners of the UMNIK 2016-2017 program.

The round table on “Renovation of Social Facilities and Creation of Multifunctional Cultural Centers” was organized on November 23 as part of the Forum’s business program. The participants discussed the level of development of the socio-cultural environment in Zheleznogorsk. They noted the considerable unmet demand of residents for services in this sphere and the need to introduce new formats in organization of the leisure activities. The proposal to transform the city Leisure Center as a promising direction for the development of the socio-cultural sphere of Zheleznogorsk was made during the discussion.

The main business program events took place on the second day of the Forum. The central event of the day was the Plenary Session  on “The Role of Cities in the Implementation of National Goals and Projects of Innovative and Technological Development”. A key issue in the discussion was the prioritization of urban goals and objectives to achieve new national goals. Experts noted two main barriers to the effective contribution of cities to the implementation of national priorities: 1) the lack of a common urban policy in Russia, which leads to the lack of understanding by regions and cities of their role in the process of achieving priorities; 2) insufficient amount of resources provided by municipalities for the implementation of a new package of national projects. A separate item on the agenda was digital transformation of key enterprises and its impact on the change and competitiveness of the cities where these enterprises were located. It was noted that the introduction of advanced digital technologies and their transfer from the manufacturing sector to other urban sectors was essential to improve the quality of life of citizens. However, for this to happen, the digital transformation must begin with changes in the minds of the authorities, business leaders  and citizens themselves, the way of thinking and the intensity of communications must change significantly, and the vector for preserving intellectual capital in cities, especially small and medium ones, must be strengthened.

Participants in the round table on "Rebooting" of Nuclear and Space Innovation Clusters in the Context of the New System of National Priorities discussed opportunities for cooperation between different clusters to ensure new high-quality results in the context of achieving new national priorities and the situation in the markets for high-tech products. A separate discussion was dedicated to the issue of prospects for the development of the Yenisei technopolis, the innovation cluster in  the Krasnoyarsk Krai. Participants agreed that one of the main criteria for the success of clusters in the long term was adoption of open innovation  and  cooperation with SMEs and the corporate sector.  The participants agreed that positioning of clusters as “digital hubs”, where the main stakeholders were platform companies capable of changing their specialization over a short period of  time, was  a promising direction for the development of the cluster format.

Participants in the round table on “The Potential of Engineering Solutions for Smart City Projects” discussed the implementation of smart technologies in the urban environment. It was noted that there were some strong players in Russia who shaped the landscape of the smart cities technology market: telecoms, financial institutions, large manufacturers of original equipment and a number of state corporations (Rostec, Rosatom). A single digital platform is an important tool to address urban challenges, and many cities including Zheleznogorsk already have the capacities to create the platform.  Some of the discussion participants expressed doubts about the openness of such platforms and noted the need for cooperation among different players for working with common databases and  taking efficient decisions. The issue of ensuring information security in the development and implementation of smart city solutions became the” red line” in the discussion. At the same time, it was recognized that key players had elements that could become the basis for a qualitatively new interaction in the implementation of smart cities projects: the availability of financial institutions, prototypes of technology platforms and security systems. Such cooperation may serve as the basis for  creation of an alliance that could work first  on pilot sites.

The seminar on "Triggers for the Development of the Urban Environment" featured presentations on implementation of environmental projects in cities, including in Zheleznogorsk and Zelenogorsk. The task of creating comfortable urban environment involves not only improvement of urban areas, but also creation of an integrated planning structure of the city, introduction of digital technologies, modern urban leisure formats and development of the urban community. The participants agreed that environmental projects were viable only if the city administration interacted with urban community and business leaders. Business representatives participating in the discussion expressed two competing views regarding the potential of small towns for location of new facilities: on the one part, local residents showed little interest in local projects, on the other part, there was a low threshold for entering a small town and opportunities for an effective marketing campaign.

Participants in  the round table on  “Prospects, Opportunities and Limitations of  Science and Technology Development in Cities: the Role of Human Capital”, noted that 2018 had become a key year for preparing the legislative framework in the field of  digitalization of the Russian economy. It is  expected that about 70 billion rubles will be allocated to support research centers focused on cutting-edge scientific research for the benefit of industry. Therefore, the innovative capitals of Siberia (Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, and Tomsk) have a chance to get sufficient funding. Panelists also spoke about the role of high-tech enterprises and universities in the process of digitalization of cities. They came to the conclusion that in order to achieve the desired effect it would be necessary to combine the efforts of education and industrial sectors. It would be necessary to create research and educational centers, to develop new tools to introduce results of scientific research  into the real sector of economy. The issue of the modern of form of organization that would enable universities  to stay relevant and  efficient in the framework of the development of high-tech industries remained unsettled.

Participants in  the round table on “Formation of a System for Attracting Residents of the Areas of Advanced Social and Economic Development (TOSED) in Closed Administrative-Territorial Formations” (ZATO) specified the role of  a TOSED as a driver for development of SMEs and  an instrument for attracting business to the areas. They specified the problem of the low dynamism of TOSED and emphasized the importance of continuous and close cooperation with business representatives to identify their rapidly changing needs, as well as active analytical work to develop a code of best practices. According to experts, in order to ensure TOSED attractiveness to potential residents, such  an area should have a well-formed market, favorable conditions for starting business and  high-quality urban environment, including modern social and leisure facilities. The question of criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of TOSED was left open.

The Forum business program also included a number of associated events, including a meeting of the  “National Information Satellite System” Technology Platform participants and a meeting concerning development of the Innovation Technology Cluster in ZATO Zheleznogorsk.

An exhibition of advanced technology solutions for cities was organized on the sidelines of the Forum. The exhibition featured latest developments of industrial leaders and small innovative companies for solving specific and highly-focused problems. Among the flagship enterprises were the Krastsvetmet company, Mining and Chemical Combine, ISKRA Design Bureau, JSC Information Satellite Systems. A large section of the exhibition was devoted to regional universities projects. Siberian Federal University introduced a digital platform for knowledge sharing and copyright management, based on blockchain technology. Krasnoyarsk State Medical University demonstrated its latest achievements in the field of digital medicine. Siberian State University of Science and Technology made a presentation on the format of small artificial satellites.

During the  Forum ANO "Innovation Engineering Center" signed cooperation agreements  with Siberian Federal University and with  Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology

Organizers and partners of the Forum: Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Rosatom State Corportation, Roscosmos State Corporation, the Krasnoyarsk Krai Government, ZATO Zheleznogorsk Administration, Innovation Technology Cluster in ZATO Zheleznogorsk, CSR “North-West” Foundation, ANO “ Digital Economy. ”