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Parks of the innovation period

Parks of the innovation period

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Parks of the innovation period

3,000 new jobs and a production volume of almost 150 million rubles: how science and technology parks are developing and what they expect

Over the past year, Belarusian science and technology parks produced products worth almost 150 million rubles. Approximately 80 percent of which is innovative. Every year, the State Committee for science and technology (SCST) optimizes the innovation infrastructure. In all regional centers, Novopolotsk, Pinsk, Bobruisk, Gorki, Borisovsky and Lyakhovichi districts, there are already 16 technoparks and 8 technology transfer centers, where more than 2.8 thousand people work. Who are they-residents of technoparks? What innovative projects do they offer today? What markets do they enter? What challenges are faced and what progressive solutions are offered to the global technology market? The Republic correspondent was looking for answers to these questions.

The ecosystem solves everything
 
Yanka Kupala state University of Grodno (Grsu) was the first regional University to enter the pilot project of the Ministry of education "Improving the activities of higher education institutions based on the "University 3.0"model. Today, they are successfully implementing modern training technologies and implementing the concept of practice-oriented education.
For the development of entrepreneurial activity, the University has created subjects of innovative infrastructure — the technology transfer center and the science and technology Park. Their goal is to commercialize scientific research, develop the entrepreneurial initiative of employees and students, and train innovative and receptive specialists. In September 2019, the University created a Studio for projects and startups.

Yuri Romanovsky, Vice-rector for research at the Yanka Kupala state University, who oversees the activities of innovation infrastructure entities, explains:

interv_03_04_1.jpg— The main task of the Studio is to involve students and teachers in business activities, to teach them to correctly form   and promote innovative ideas, implement their own business projects. It is important that students, after graduating from University, are ready to work in the real market, possess the necessary competencies and knowledge. By the way, in the near future, it is the students of the University who plan to open another IT enterprise on the basis of the science and technology Park

Today Kupala University-the center of scientific thought, new ideas and developments — forms an innovative ecosystem of the region and seeks to become a regional platform for the development of entrepreneurship. In fact, a place where the best innovative ideas would flock.

House of technologies

The building where the Technopark is located today received a second life in 2018. With the support of the SCST, the Grodno regional Executive Committee, at the expense of innovative funds, it was reconstructed. 

Alexander Vasilevich, Director of the Science and technology Park, recalls how the first residents moved here in February last year. Now there are seven of them. 17 new jobs were created. By mid-April, the Technopark is waiting for four more residents. It is too early to make forecasts for the end of 2020, but the Technopark assures: they are ready to accept even more companies. 

— Three of the residents are so-called spin-off companies. They were created by students, graduates or teachers of our University,   

interv_03_04_2.jpg- says Vice-rector for research Yuri Romanovsky and gives an example: —  
OOO "Information technologies in construction" has gone from the formation of a business idea to a full-fledged enterprise. First, there was an interest of teachers in a new type of activity. Together with students, they created a student design Bureau, where they tested ideas. Five years later, the Bureau became a legal entity. The team consists of seven teachers of the Department of civil engineering and two graduates of the same faculty. Today, the company also earns money by training specialists. Yuri Azinovic jokingly admits, they say, is competition to the University. 

What does it cost to build a production facility?

The Technopark is equipped with all the necessary equipment. In the "Fablab" zone, residents can create prototypes of future developments. In addition, the Science and technology Park itself provides 3D prototyping and 3D printing services, as well as develops and produces educational equipment. One of the residents produces kits for converting cars into electric vehicles — so to speak, a regional solution for their development.

— But the area of the Technopark is limited, and in the future, especially with the arrival of new residents, new office space and production facilities will be needed?  I am interested in the interlocutor..

Since December 2019, the construction of the second stage of the Science and technology Park on 6.5 thousand square meters has begun,-emphasizes Yuri Romanovsky and shows a detailed drawing of the project: — Production areas in the form of universal premises — 3500 "squares"-offices, exhibition center, conference hall, coworking and open-space premises. In addition, there are so-called "clean rooms", where, for example, you can organize the production of medical products. It is planned that the building will be put into operation by the end of 2020. By the way, there are already applications for rental of premises from residents.

However, where, for example, will potential residents take thousands of rubles for production equipment? The management seems to have the answers to any question:

— Becoming residents, companies can receive funding for projects from the Republican centralized innovation Fund and the Fund of the Grodno regional Executive Committee. Residents can apply to any of them, try to apply to venture funds. The University has also created its own innovative development Fund to commercialize the University's developments —  says, Yuri Romanovsky.

In the ordinary sense, a Technopark is equipment, electronics, and programs… However, in Grsu them. Yankees Kupala emphasize the term "technological". Not only those whose business has a technical profile can become residents, but also those who are engaged in the development of socially significant technologies — pedagogical, psychological, and others. Confirmation of this is a resident of the Park, individual entrepreneur Ekaterina Tabala, owner of the consulting center. Ekaterina is a student of the psychology Department. Based on the knowledge obtained at the University, she developed a new methodology that includes business coaching and self-analysis of personal qualities.

Import substitution and medicine

Reduced income tax, preferential rent, exemption from paying land and real estate taxes to the local budget are the main benefits that remove a significant part of the expenses from residents. Simply put, they get the opportunity to invest more resources in the development of their business.

Associate Professor of pediatric surgery, Grodno state medical University Alexander Gutkin and associate Professor of the Department of technology, physiology and nutrition hygiene, Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno Oksana Pavlova they are working on a joint project. Oksana is engaged in obtaining multifunctional products, and Alexander from a medical point of view offers options for their intended use. They already have several options for possible cooperation.

First, work with substances of polysaccharide nature-chitin and chitosan, secondly, with substances of polysaccharide nature-chitin and chitosan, and secondly, with substances of natural origin-sedimentary 

breeds that came from Kazakhstan. It can be used in various areas, such as medicine, veterinary medicine and even in the manufacture of carpets. Thanks to diatomite, a sedimentary rock of diatoms, and its unusual structure, it is possible to apply road markings with high performance characteristics.

Alexander, by the way, a recent finalist of the Republican youth contest "100 ideas for Belarus", developed bandages with silver ions for the treatment of wounds. It cooperates with the manufacturer, which is now solving the issue of transferring production to the base of the Kupala University Technopark. The center for endocrinology in Moscow showed interest in the development.


Together with Oksana, we have developed body and face scrubs. They require improvement, but theoretically they are a finished product. It is unique in that diatomite is added to it. Due to this fraction, you can choose a specific composition for each skin. However, we lack a certified production base. Its presence will allow access to the EU and Russian markets, — shared by Alexander.

Partners talk about another idea. According to market research, there are no specialized cosmetics in Belarus to moisturize damaged skin. According to statistics, 35,000 people are burned every year. Trophic ulcers, open wounds-they need to be treated. There is an imported product — 60 milliliters will cost an average of 70 rubles. Therefore, we are talking primarily about import substitution.

— The Technopark is our starting point. So to speak, the stage of formation. All that we can implement is the prospects for now. We hope for the best, much will depend on marketing, advertising, promotion, — do not hide the interlocutors.

Three steps ahead

 Construction is undergoing a paradigm shift in the design process. Old technologies for creating projects are changing to new ones — these are the words that Eduard Gnadek greets us with. He is the head of the very enterprise that was created on the basis of the student design Bureau.

The essence of the new information modeling technology (BIM) is to create a 3D model of the building and get the rest of the necessary documentation based on it. Using this technology, projects of buildings, landscape objects, and interiors are performed, video is recorded, and photorealistic images are obtained. The model allows you to clearly see what the object will look like after construction and make adjustments.

— In addition, we make content for companies ' websites, for example, for those who sell real estate and present objects. Demand is still coming more from buyers from Europe and Russia than from the domestic market. We carry out projects with different costs: from 50 and 1000 rubles, — says Eduard Gniadek.

At the same time, the company develops various models. Eduard Georgievich demonstrates the layout of the dugout, which is designed for one of the customers. Another area of activity is the creation of models of lost architectural monuments: according to archival data, a model of the Church was made for the memorial complex "Khatyn".

Together with the Institute for advanced training, we prepared the course "Autodesk Revit. Development of an architectural project", a 3D modeling school is being created for schoolchildren. This year, the company's staff will be supplemented by two graduates of the construction and physics and technology faculties.

In another room, we are met by two students of the Grodno Lyceum — Ksenia and Alexandra. Girls-participants of the educational and practical program "Youth engineering Academy". Head of the development Department of OOO "Magsoyuz" Andrey konyushok says:

— Many people have heard of "industry 4.0", which is associated mainly with automated machines and robots in factories. We are implementing post-industrial solutions in culture, education, and healthcare. Artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of things, and so on come to the rescue.

The children are actively working in the field of culture-they post and update information about museums, cinemas and theaters in the official mobile app of the Grodno region.

The company has created a special innovative product for museums. With the help of smart Souvenirs-special gift panels on the surface of which augmented reality is created, you can find out what events are happening in the city, buy tickets.

Smart Souvenirs are integrated with individual voice assistants, which are endowed with artificial intelligence and can issue recommendations during voice communication with them, how and where to organize a tour or a quest tournament with the issuance of prizes through robotic machines.

Minsk technoclimateinterv_03_04_3.jpg

Large-scale construction is underway not only in Grodno. Minsk city Technopark plans to complete the reconstruction of the main production complex this year.

Now we have approximately 15,000 square meters to accommodate residents. After commissioning of the main building of the third stage of reconstruction, it will be about 40,000 square meters. The main focus is on the selection of residents. According to forecasts, there will be about 50 of them by the end of the year, — Vladimir Davidovich, Director of OOO "Minsk city Technopark" , tells the story.

The Technopark has 37 residents. At the end of 2019, the project of Belarusian developers on electric transport and electric scooters won the Republican competition of innovative projects, which was held by the state Committee for transport and the Belarusian innovation Fund. Minsk Technopark opened its doors to them and accepted them as residents.

The Director says that he can talk about residents and their projects for hours. However, it can't tell you about one company. A company that produces fire-fighting devices that protect people from fire is working on a project with possible investments from the United States. The developers offer a mobile program that allows you to find the shortest way out of the building in case of an emergency. When it comes to financing, Vladimir Davidovich notes:

Technopark tries to become a platform where startups and business angels meet. As a rule, when a startup grows into an enterprise and receives the first revenue, there is a need for venture financing. Such functions are currently performed by the Belarusian innovation Fund and the Belarusian-Russian venture Fund. In addition, a new financial product has appeared on the market, which should soon replace others — a loan at half the refinancing rate. The condition is to be a resident of the Technopark. More than 10 of our companies have already used it.

COMPETENTLY 

Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee on science and technology, doctor of Economics:

interv_03_04_4.jpg

— Innovative development of the country is one of the key tasks set by the Head of state. To increase the efficiency of commercialization of developments and development of innovative entrepreneurship in the regions, we have focused on the accelerated formation of innovation infrastructure.

In 2019, 98 innovative projects of the program were implemented.two billion rubles were allocated for their implementation, of which more than half were foreign investments, including credit lines.

10 production facilities have been put into operation and 12 new production facilities have been commissioned. For example, the production of optical components and laser systems of a new generation at the Institute of physics of the Academy of Sciences and the organization of mechanical Assembly of small-scale products based on additive technologies (JSC "Screen"), a cluster of complex medical equipment and security systems at ADANI, and others.

2020 is the last year of implementation of the state Program 2016-2020. Now we are concentrating our efforts to successfully complete its activities and projects, eliminate previously admitted backlogs, and meet all the targets set. This is a stressful task, but, as the calculations of the State Committee for science and technology show, it is a feasible one.

SCST forecasts that the share of shipped innovative products will reach 21.5 percent, the share of innovative organizations — 26 percent, and the share of exports of high-tech and high-tech products — 33 percent; more than 1.5 thousand new high-performance jobs will be created, and in total more than 10,000 under the state program.

As for the emerging state program for innovative development for 2021-2025, the State Committee for science and technology has developed a number of conceptual approaches. First, it is necessary to shift the focus to indirect mechanisms of state incentives for the implementation of projects and activities of the program. Second, plan for even closer integration of the elements of the innovation cycle "from the idea through research and development to production". Third, granting the consumer the right to purchase from a single source products created using domestic technologies within the program during the period of its development or three years from the start of production. Fourth, the formation of a legislative mechanism for the transfer of intellectual property and the creation of private enterprises by scientists on the basis of their own developments carried out in state scientific organizations and universities. And other approaches that should give an additional impetus to the innovative development of our country.