From the message to the Federal Assembly:
«On the basis of long-term forecasting, it is necessary to understand what challenges will face Russia in 10-15 years, which innovative solutions will be required in order to ensure national security, quality of life, development of the sectors of the new technological order»
“Foresight fleet” became a key point of designing and assembling of “Roadmaps” of the National Technological Initiative (NTI) in 2015.
For 5 days, over 600 participants – technology entrepreneurs, venture investors, scientists, representatives of scientific environment and development institutes, business and social associations, leaders of enterprises in the real sector economy, federal executive bodies – have been designing the prospective markets and developing “roadmaps” for Russian technological companies – national champions – to emerge in these markets by 2035.
“RVC, as a project office, is responsible for building a system of management around the NTI, allowing for coordinating the interests of participants: entrepreneurs, the academic environment, and the state”
“The NTI cannot be created by bureaucratic methods. There will be no magic. All our experience show that you can achieve the result, when there is a networks of prominent leaders, each of whom does his part of work. Not approving, not sending letters, not signing documents and orders, but doing that fragment of maps which we have agree upon. He did, we did, somebody also did, and the roadmap is launched”
The National Technology Initiative comprises:
The NTI has no tasks of import substitution or modernization of existing sectors. The NTI involves the creation of strategies to develop fundamentally new markets. However, a part of key technologies that form precursor markets for the NTI markets may appear within the process of import substitution and modernization.
The NTI generates a matrix of priorities and communities around roadmaps for new markets and key technologies. From this matrix are derived:
We have made a lot of mistakes in the management of innovations. Some of these mistakes were unavoidable – we had no experience in construction of such management models; sometimes, we unthinkingly transferred western institutions and mems onto Russian soil, that work excellently in the U.S.A., but are not suitable under Russian conditions. Now, we have gained experience and realize what works and what does not work. At the same time, we cannot go back to the U.S.S.R. to restore the Soviet system of counter-production – there is no more administrative-command system. Even the U.S.S.R., that had the power of a super-state and a human potential of 270 million people, could not stand the technological and scientific race in 1970-80s. There is no reason to believe that, in the second decade of the 21st century, having a potential of 143 million people, Russia will be able to restore the Soviet system, not very efficient as well. This would be a direct path to the North Korea.
To create a new innovation management system, we need to pass between Scylla of the Soviet administrative-command system and Charybdis of the American venture economy model.
The NTI does not imply pumping of trillions rubles into lobbied projects. We do not plan of building monumental structures or conducting propaganda with the central TV. We propose to identify future markets and to form coalitions aimed at seizing these markets. The rest will follow.
Up to now, all the majors issues of innovation development have been solved by smart officials, it has been a sphere of bureaucratic regulation. The NTI must create the conditions in which private money will be more important than public money – and we believe that projects with private investment will be more efficient.
Just distributing state money would be the most inefficient strategy. We should see “smart” strategies of development management, practice of joint investment, mutual funds, crowd-funding and crowd-investing. Some elements of such an ecosystem have been already created. For instance, we found reasonable the fund of funds model of the Russian Venture Company. We are spreading the best practices of RVC and other development institutions with the NTI.
However, the most important issue is neither money nor fine documents. Any documents we write will be another “strategy” in the series of already adopted and not working roadmaps. A group of like-minded is more important than a stack of paper. That’s why we need a network of bright leaders with shared vision and values from the sphere of business, science and public administration – and it is these leaders who will be able to implement any project in any political or institutional climate. These leaders may be called “technological patriots” – because each of them believes that the country can generate a technological breakthrough, and their trust in each other based on high value foundations is more important than the struggle for resources. These people are ready to extend their personal interests for 20 years ahead, so that their children and grandchildren would go to the same schools as they did – and they wouldn’t be ashamed for the grandchildren, the schools or the country.
The institutional and investment climate, unlike the natural one, is changed by joint efforts of people, rather than by the grace of God. In Russian, there has never been an entirely favorable business climate. We believe that everybody for whom the Californian comfort, sun, wine, mountains and oceans are the most important, had already left Russia. Others realize that the sun, wide, mountains and sea in Sevastopol are just as good.
A bad climate is not an excuse for inaction. We must move forward with possible steps rather than wait for somebody to change this climate instead of us. At the same time, every roadmap of the NTI shall include proposals to change the situation, for which we will fight together. Our experience in the implementation of the National Business Initiative, the program of “Global Education”, WorldSkills shows that sometimes we manage to do even more than expected. We have to elaborate positive tools for keeping high-skilled professional in the country.
The year of 2035 is a planning horizon, i.e. the extreme point to which we extend our forecasts and projects. Meanwhile, the NTI roadmaps will be built at the level of practical actions for 2015–2018 with the control of their implementation every six months. It means that we have to look for 20 years ahead, but to act starting from today.
The outcome of our work in the nearest future will be new companies, new educational programs, new research laboratories – and if all goes as it should, after few years, will see a significant increase in the Russian high-text exports.
The Agency for Strategic Initiatives is a structure whose main goal is launching strategic initiatives by order of the country’s leadership. We have proven successful in the programs to support the entrepreneurship and in the projects related to the development of children’s professional education. The topics of the national technological development lacked just these links –working with entrepreneurs who give the order for new technological solutions, and working with the education (including children’s clubs and children’s circle activities), that create competitive skills for development of technologies and markets.
We are not going to manage the science and the venture sector. The Agency for Strategic Initiatives is a platform for convenient negotiation between different groups and segments of society; our role is that of a moderator, not a supervisor. The ASI has no plans to claim any funds in the NTI management. All of our previous work experience consists in initiating major change processes, while staying a small managing structure. And who should manage the NTI will be shown by the foresight and the further work to create roadmaps. As moderators of this process, we have no special secrete knowledge.
The global technological revolution replaces the existing sectors and creates new markets. Most Western technology strategies are using the year of 2035 as a key point: they allocate the nearest ten years for completion of technological solutions and for launching new products in the market, and the following ten years will be used for sharing the world market and for substitution of existing technologies. For instances, there is not a single major automobile company that would invest into an internal combustion engine or into a human driver after 2025 – all of them are preparing for unmanned electric transport. But we continue to invest into the construction of an industry, that has to live 10 years and that is controlled by foreign manufacturers who do not intend to transfer to us the intellectual property for the key competences of the future market.
Why does the names of all the markets includes the word “net”, i.e. “network”? All the new emerging market either use the physical infrastructure of Internet either its protocols or they are built in its likeness. This principle will be used for operation of “smart networks” linking a number of energy producers and consumers – i.e. EnergyNet. Thus the transport systems of the future – AeroNet, AutoNet and MariNet – will be organized. Even conservative markets, such as agricultural machinery, are being transformed into networks of cyber-physical devices owned by the manufactures, leased to farmers and updated under a software license. It means that all the markets of the future will be also networks.
Why these nine? We don’t believe there may be a comprehensive model to describe the future, and our formula is a combination of system analysis and leadership energy. In the pilot work on the NTI roadmaps, we bet on obvious markets, where we can see similar movements in other countries, and where there are strong leaders and communities here in Russia. The list of markets is not exhaustive, and we are planning to start working on new markets every year. If we see that we have missed some significant market, we will start working thereon in 2016.
Those markets that are highlighted for actual work, are organized according the following scheme:
Technologies themselves mean nothing, if there is not demand for them. For this purpose, a market is usually needed – and if a technology is not demanded in the market, its development becomes difficult.
Surely, the approach through markets is not only possible. No less important is the vision through the issues of national security – thus many modern markets have evolved, from the energy and basic foodstuffs markets to the markets of cybersecurity and space launches. However, the maximum effect is achieved where the both tasks are being solved – meeting the market demands and ensuring the national security. As an example, we can cite the GLONASS project – this is at the same time the national security and in the area of geopositioning, and a very large market for those companies who have started working with it. Probably, it is through this prism that the foresight fleet 2016 will be organized.
If you believe that there is a new important market to be taken into account in the further work on the NTI, you should firstly answer yourself the following questions:
If the answer to these questions is yes, we ask you to file to the ASI an application to include the new market, and we promise to organize a comprehensive public debate on such application and include it, in the case of a positive decision.
We believe that experiment of building the state capitalism in Russian has already shown the inefficiency of this model, and the future belongs to the models of public and private partnership. We generally cannot manage without the important role of the state even in new branches of the economy. It is demonstrated, for instance, by a struggle between Yandex and Google, occurring before our eyes. But relying upon only state giants only is unpromising, we need well-developed chains of suppliers and ecosystems of medium and small technological companies.
One of the key NTI markets is FoodNet, i.e. the food market, that solves the problem of more efficient production, delivery and processing of foodstuffs, taking into account the needs of big cities. This market is already emerging before our eyes and, although it will reach its maturity in 15-20 years, many solutions may be applied just now: for instance, robotization of dairy farms greatly increases the milk yield, the production quality control and the efficiency of delivery to the end user – and such a technology pays for itself in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, the end user is not aware of the majority of modern technological solutions and is not motivated to apply the same – and this is a consequence of the current model of state incentives in this area. That is why the state shall demonstrate new priorities to start to launch the technological renovation. Practice has shown that our country is able to quickly create entire sectors of agriculture – in less than 10 years, we have turned from importers to exporters of chicken meat. In line with this logic, by 2035 we may become leaders in a number of high-tech agricultural production areas.
Solving global problems is a possible strategy to achieve global leadership, through the prism of which it is essential to review all our technology initiatives. We have to make it in the framework of the project, including during the Foresight fleet.
This is one of the NTI’s key risks. However, the fact of selling companies to Russian state-owned companies having a global potential (such as Rostekhnologii) or even to international technology companies (such as Google) is not necessarily a bad thing – this is one of the market strategies in the innovation markets, which enables business creator to capitalize their efforts.
It is important to keep a part of new businesses that will decide to develop independently and challenge the existing giants in the struggle for new markets – just such companies may become the new global champions. The goal of the NTI is the maximum increase in the number of such companies which shall keep the potential of global growth. How to achieve this goal – we propose to decide it in the next few months, we are open for ideas and suggestions. One of such solutions may the practice of corporate spinoffs – major corporations should learn how to create their own venture funds and to identify prospective areas into separate business unit. Another solution shall be creation of “patent trolls” of the new generation in unoccupied niches. The third one shall be the practice of transferring IP to the country and fast growing of national champions under the state order, with predefined model of exports to the Asian markets. There are several options.
To implement the NTI, we want to use the successful mechanism of the National Business Initiative (NBI), which enables Russian to significantly improve its positions in the world business climate rankings (thus, in the Doing Business ranking, Russia demonstrated a record dynamics, climbing from the 124th to the 60th place in 2 years). The NBI is based on the following model: the roadmaps to improve the business climate are development under the ASI coordination; each roadmap is managed by a group consisting of businessmen and officials that shall prevent the roadmap from bureaucratic castration. At the same time, the NBI roadmaps are controlled at the top level of public authorities. A similar mechanism is put in the NTI basis.
This would mean that we have badly done our job. The principal decision on the NTI has been already adopted, the issue comes down to the forms of its implementation. We shall develop maps until we do it well.
The NTI is first of all people, and not a roof or a pocket. If for the success of your project you need only public money, probably, you shouldn’t participate in the NTI.
On the other hand, it is clear that for the success of the NTI we have to launch new scientific research and provide assistance to high-risk technological projects. That is why the NTI development involves the representatives of the Russian Science Foundation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, RVC, Skolkovo, the Assistance Fund, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Economic Development, who will implement the NTI’s priority in their policy to support new projects.
A set of institutional solutions required to launch a market shall be developed by the working group itself. However, we are not going to transform it into a lobbying process and predetermine these of other decisions. The final criterion shall be the possibility to create a market with a maximum growth potential, rather than taking into account the interests of certain players.
This is what we have to solve together while working on the NTI.
In the development of the national technology policy, it is essential to start it on the national level. The next step will be building systems of cooperation and consortiums with international partners, but at the start, this shall be a predominantly national issue.
In the development of the NTI roadmaps, we use the results of all principal international, national and corporate foresights in the relevant areas. The participants in the Foresight fleet for specific areas are deeply integrated into the international process of developing the future market standards. In particular, based on the Russian initiative “Education Foresight 2035”, in 2014 we launched the project named Global Education Futures, under which the education leaders from all over the world generate their vision and global standards for development of the new education markets to support the lifelong learning.
We believe that a number of mistakes in the scientific and technological development were due to noncritical adoption of western concepts-mem, beyond which there were marketing interests in the promotion of specific companies. It is fundamentally important for us to observe the “semantic hygiene” and to use the terms that refer to specific markets and technologies to focus on specific areas having potential for growth.
An example of noncritical attitude is the notion of the “smart city with centralized management”. Practice shows that we face an attempt of imposing super-expensive technological solutions, whereas the most efficient solutions are those of supporting de-centralized management supported by local communities.
When in 1932 the rocket and space project was launched, the country was in a much less advantageous position – but it coped with the task. Even in worst scenario, we are doomed to renovate and develop our economy – unless we simply have no future.
However, we hope that the process of developing our technology policy will be carried out in cooperation with major countries of the world, with which we have no isolation, and we have already started working on a number of standards, – these are China, India and other BRICS countries, as well as a number of fast-growing new economies. But we hope that the science will remain global, and no new “iron curtains” will be created therein. Russia continues numerous projected focused on global cooperation, rather than isolation, this is the program of “5 in top 100” for the leading Russian universities, this the “Global Education” program for training specialists in the leading educational institutions worldwide with their return to the homeland, the Big Science project, and other.
According to our definition, new markets differ from the existing ones by the fact that they have no established international technology standards. At the same time, we must understand that in a number of technology markets – including in Internet – the U.S. position is too dominant, and this is not good enough for other economies. The common position of the BRICS countries is that the standards for the next-generation markets should not be an Americano- and Euro-centric one, and that truly global standard should emerge.
We see the urgency of the task to build truly global standard for all the BRICS countries. That is why we immediately start dialog with them on this issues, to be able to mutually take into account our national interests – at least, in the format of the “second standard”, that may be based on the open architecture principles. We do not limit the participation of the U.S. and the EU countries in this dialog, but it should be based on general rules. And over time, it is likely that a condition of admission to the BRICS countries’ market will be the very ability to meet the formulated standards – just as it occurs with the admission to the markets of the European Union and the North America.
The NTI does use the results of the scientific and technological forecast. Its co-authors work in all the NTI groups.
The most valuable property of a businessmen is his practical experience, which can be acquired only in fight. If we don’t let into battle all those who have once lost, we shall have no fighters. At the same time, we have to consider the achievements of each leader, including scientific and social ones, his or her ability to recover from defeats.
The NTI organizes its work based on the future and the market needs. The bet on the backlogs which has served as a basis of the scientific and technology policy in recent decades, has already shown to be ineffective. We cannot endlessly rely on the Soviet experience, it’s time to create new backlogs where it is possible to make the maximum use of their potential.