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Интервью ИЦК для бюллетеня Посольства Франции в России

[the text is a translation from the original version in French. You may read the french fersion by clicking here] Прочитать оригинал на французском

ICK was established in 2000 by the municipality in order to assist the start and the development of local innovation enterprises. Main spheres include technology transfer, partner search and consulting.

In 2006 a business-incubator was also established in Koltsovo, with 23 companies incubated for the period of 3 years maximum. Selected through public procurement, the company can benefit offices at low price. The center for collective usage is built and will be opened in 2015.

Novosibirsk state university’s Master program in biotech is launched in Koltsovo, will welcome 10 students during the first year in 2015, with the potential to increase up to 40 annually.  The certification center for biotech products mainly will speed up the market entry for products of local entrepreneurs.

The status of the Science town was assigned to Koltsovo by the order of the President in 2003, gives local business and start-ups preferences.

December 2014 the bulletin of the French Embassy has met Maria Pelipas, head of technology transfer, and Julia Linyshina, head of marketing, of Innovation center Koltsovo for an interview.

1)      Could you please briefly introduce your structure and its main objectives?
Innovation center Koltsovo
The mission of the organization is to facilitate the start and development of innovation companies. For over 14 years, ICK has worked to bring together business and science through the integration of ideas, resources, and competences.  Our services include: business-incubation, financial analytics, business planning, marketing, IPR protection, technology transfer, and partners search.

2)      What is the specificity of Koltsovo ?
The history of Koltsovo is inseparably connected with the history of the State research center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector”. In January 2003 Koltsovo was assigned a status of science town of the Russian Federation. This event was a turning point in the history of Koltsovo and opened up new possibilities for its development. Today it has a developed infrastructure for innovation business -  Innovation center Koltsovo, Business Incubator, Biotechnopark with Engineering center for collective usage.
Koltsovo has a full chain of support for commercialization in practice– from idea to industrial production.

3)      Vector seems to be the cornerstone of Koltsovo. Could you please detail how companies benefit for its presence ? How is Vector working with SME ?
Vector is a first link in the innovation chain of the biotech companies – it is responsible for fundamental science and research.  Vector works with SMEs through outsourcing of lab services (for example if a new product needs to be tested, or a known pharma preparation needs to be tested for new application) or by license agreements (with subsequent royalty payments).  Vector also has joint projects aimed at new products and technologies development.
Vector is one of the most prominent science and research centers in virology, its collection of virus strains amounts to several thousands, including the second in the world variola virus (smallpox).

4)      Several structures have been created within Koltsovo : biotechnopark, cluster, ICK, business incubator and a center of common use, for instance. What are their core activities and how do they work altogether?
They core activity is to stimulate new prospective businesses by providing favorable conditions starting with registration or area provision to certification of products and market entering.

5)      How do you help and support innovative companies ?
ICK works both with start-ups and mature companies. For starting projects we offer business planning, market research, legal assistance (for registration of legal entity, IPR), for grown businesses our services include partners search (including proactive, such as business missions), investment attraction, strategic consulting (optimization of business processes), etc. Since we know nearly all local projects and businesses we can assist them in finding common ground or stimulate cooperation between them, organize interregional or global cooperative chains, not only on the level of B2B but also for science-business.

6)      Do you welcome all innovative companies ? Otherwise, how do you select them ?
We have a large experience in working with biotech companies in spheres like medicine, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and test-systems, functional food and feed, veterinary projects, agricultural development, environment protection and others. We prefer to work with companies in biotech, but we have had clients with projects in construction, IT, and even non-innovative businesses. As for technology transfer and business partners search we do not limit ourselves to one specific sphere, we work with any SMEs registered in Novosibirsk region, since this work is financed by regional Ministry of industry, trade and entrepreneurship development (Minpromtorg).

7)      Currently, most of science towns are organized regarding the principle of the so-called Lavrentiev’s “magic triangle” (university-research-enterprises). Do you follow the same scheme ? How is it important ?
It really is a successful scheme and not only is it applied in Science towns. It recently received a fresh start as the concept of the Triple Helix (university-industry-government) promoted by economist Etzkowitz. We develop local innovation ecosystem based on the same principle, fostering creation and development of innovation businesses.
Although there is no University in Koltsovo, but we have a close cooperation with Novosibirsk State and Medical Universities in terms of manpower education and trainings. Besides, classes of Master’s degree in Biotechnology of Novosibirsk State University will be launched in Koltsovo in 2015.

8)      Are you currently working with main public stakeholders that are involved in innovation development and support ? (RVK, FASIE, Skolkovo, etc)
ICK is a partner of the Seed Fund of the Russian Venture Company (RVK). This status allows ICK to “pack” innovative projects and submit them for approval to the specialists of Seed Fund of the RVC for attracting investment.
We work with FASIE by submitting projects to both international calls (Era.Net and others) and to Russian calls (Umnik, Start and others).
We work with Skolkovo by assisting our clients in receiving Skolkovo resident status, attracting Skolkovo grants and experts support.

9)      Do you work with the SB RAS or now FANO ?
We work with SB RAS institutes in technology transfer. One of ICK projects is Siberian branch of Russian technology transfer network (rttn-sib.ru), it has technologies of enterprises and institutes from Siberian federal district displayed in both Russian and English languages.

10) What are your main ongoing projects or projects that are going to be launched soon ?
In 2014 we have launched a first of such magnitude event in Koltsovo – OpenBio.  It was held on October 7-8, 2014 in Koltsovo, and brought together more than 400 representatives of science, business, infrastructure and authorities.  The main idea behind OpenBio is an establishment of a framework for integration of educational, scientific and business processes, taking place in the Novosibirsk region and in Russia in the field of biotechnology. The event has united scientific conference, business exposition and forum for participants. Not only Russian experts and scientists participated, but also those from CIS, EU and the USA. From now on, the event will be held annually. We plan to develop it to the level when it becomes one of the key events in biotech in Russia. Official site: http://openbio.ru

11) What are the regional priorities in terms of innovation development?
Koltsovo is a known growing point of national scale in biotech and biopharma. We develop in this direction, extending initiatives in developments commercialization and supporting large production enterprises in this sphere.

12) How is Koltsovo supported at regional and federal levels ? Do you have private investors as well ?
Koltsovo is supported at federal level through the program of Science towns support. We receive regional support through different ministerial programs (entrepreneurship support, for instance). Some programs are implemented by PPP  -  Biotechnopark Koltsovo is built as a public-private partnership. Largest investor is Scientific Future Management company.
Koltsovo actively attracts private investments, large enterprises of tests-systems, pharma productions are being build, the biggest behind Urals production of grain deep processing (7 billion roubles investments). Volume of science-production complex in Koltsovo amounts to 8 billion roubles per year, where 60% is biotech production.

13) Many programs in Siberia have been launched recently (i.e. Akadempark for instance). How do you see these initiatives ? Do you think they will succeed ?
Siberia actively develops innovation and innovation infrastructure. Local science is one of the most prominent in the country, its commercialization is assisted by biotechnopark (more projects in biotech), Akadempark (more projects in IT and instrument making). Those projects are rather successful.
14) According to you, what are the “comparative advantages” of Siberia ?
High scientific potential with a lot of Universities in top-15 of all Russian universities and high concentration of research institutes in Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Irkutsk are among the advantages.  Vector is one of the largest and most prominent virology centers in the world. Siberia is a territory with high potential.

15) Do you have any relations with foreign and Russian structures ? Why is it important for your structure ?
We have an extensive network of partners and it constantly increases. As for technology transfer services, ICK has a number of international partners, including the Shanghai International Technology Transfer Center Co-Way, center IPI Singapore, Republican Centre of Technology Transfer of the Republic of Belarus and others.
As part of Enterprise Europe network we are a part of network with branches in 54 countries and 44 regions of Russia.
Dec.2, 2014

Interviewer - Quentin Debetz