Innovation projects with India accorded high priority - Oleg Fomichev

Oleg Fomichev: "We’re going to enact the agenda of economic cooperation between our countries through innovation projects." Source: Evgeny Biyatov / RIA Novosti

Oleg Fomichev: "We’re going to enact the agenda of economic cooperation between our countries through innovation projects." Source: Evgeny Biyatov / RIA Novosti

Russia’s deputy minister of economic development, talked to RIR about how the Russian and Indian governments’ plan to oversee the implementation of bilateral innovation projects.

Last week, the Russian capital hosted the Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development. The Indian private sector has been showing an increasing interest in the forum as well as cooperating with their Russian counterparts in high-tech projects. Oleg Fomichev, Russia’s deputy minister of economic development, talked to RIR about the scope for private sector cooperation in innovation and how the governments of Russia and India could give companies a helping hand.

When do you think Russia and India’s first successful joint innovation project will materialize?

I think there are already quite a few right now. In the defence industry, there’s BrahMos Aerospace, a joint Russian-Indian venture that produces supersonic cruise missiles. Our countries are currently promoting BrahMos missiles on third-country markets.

In any case, in the context of new realities, civilian projects are relevant.

At this time we’re enhancing partnerships in the high tech sector. The point is not to create cooperation between research organizations, but to have Russian and Indian companies produce joint projects. They can do this in both India and in Russia by, for example, working with the Skolkovo innovation fund. This can include joint research and development divisions focused on creating new products for solving problems that Russia and India confront. These problems frequently coincide. We’re seeing mutual interest in energy, specifically, regarding energy efficiency. India is also interested in teaming up in the area of water purification.

What role in all this should and will the government play—for instance, the Ministry of Economic Development, which you represent?

Between Russia and India there are bilateral mechanisms such as the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, and a working group on high-priority investment projects. Up until now our projects have been rather industrial in nature—creating businesses, buying assets and so on.

Now we’re going to enact the agenda of economic cooperation between our countries through innovation projects. We think that Skolkovo, which in the past organized a round table here on Russian-Indian scientific and technological cooperation and conducted a series of successful negotiations, will be able to find an Indian contractor for its projects. These projects may be a successful component of Russian-Indian relations overall.

We are going to include innovative projects on the list of priorities. We’re going to discuss them at the levels of both the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation and the working group on high-priority investment projects. We’re also going to oversee their implementation.

You referred to energy efficiency as a high-priority area of cooperation. What are other areas in which you see a future for a Russian-Indian partnership?

Atomic energy—I think that the mutual interest in this area is obvious. Information and telecommunication technologies—these are fast-developing industries in Russia and India. Biomedical technologies—they’re the basis of the future development of agriculture and of its competitive advantage.

Russia is also always pleased to see Indian colleagues in innovation settings and at industry events such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Open Innovations Moscow international forum.

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