First Day of “Open Innovations” Forum “CORPTECH: DNA OF THE CORPORATION OF THE FUTURE” Completes in Moscow

Digital transformation of business and development of corporations of the future became the key topic of the first day of Open Innovations Moscow International Forum. This year the Forum brought together at Skolkovo Technopark some 18,000 participants: internationally famous futurologists, professors of leading international business schools, technological evangelists and leading experts in management, managers of startup companies and IT entrepreneurs, more than 1,000 representatives of mass media.

Open Innovations 2017 Forum was opened by Vice Premier of the Government of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich and Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation.

“Open Innovations presents an excellent networking opportunity for forum participants looking for investments. The Government is ready to support innovations, provide for sustainable growth and become a partner for the business community and the society,” Arkady Dvorkovich said.

In his introductory remarks at the first plenary session of the Forum, entitled “Companies in a digital era. Corporation or collaboration,” president of Skolkovo Foundation Viktor Vekselberg, said: “Over the past several years the Open Innovations Forum has earned itself a good reputation. Since 2016 the number of Forum participants grew from 12,000 to 18,000. Russia was and is today a very attractive platform for adoption of global solutions. Our country has a tremendous potential and excellent opportunities, and can serve as a competitive player in global economic space. Moreover, Open Innovations Forum is a great place for representatives of small and medium-sized business to do some networking and reach a new level of quality.”

The Forum opened with a panel discussion entitled “Transform or Die. A New Life of Old Industries,” moderated by Pekka Villakainen, Senior Advisor to the president of Skolkovo Foundation. The participants agreed that technologies along can help change business in a fundamental manner; it is especially important for large companies that will need to modernize business processes to remain afloat. Technologies, at the same time, should not remain the only focus, they should serve just as a way to achieve goals.

David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, presented Sofia, a robot created by the company. The presentation was met with great enthusiasm. The Sofia project, Mr. Hanson said, is an attempt to create artificial intelligence that could learn to understand people and take care of them, as well as be motivated to improve life conditions on the planet Earth.

John Nosta, president of NostaLab, one of the most famous and active supporters of a digital revolution in the sphere of digital medical technologies, and the gospel-writer in this area of science, spoke at the session entitled “Digital Medicine Revolution.”

Digital technologies transform the habitual notion of medicine, expanding the capabilities of practicing physicians, and handing over some of the important health monitoring functions into their own hands, John Nosta said.

Mitio Kaku, a famous physicist and futurologist, became the headliner of the first day of the Forum, speaking at the panel discussion entitled “Applied Quantum Technologies. How is the World Changing?” in which he talked about the ways in which our life will change within the next few decades.

“Development of quantum computers will allow us to send our emotions and feelings via the web. The new internet will be a network connecting one human brain to another without intermediaries,” Mitio Kaku said.

Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich, who spoke at the panel discussion, said that the Government of the Russian Federation will be working on concrete projects in the sphere of quantum technologies, focusing on basic issues that highly qualified expertise can bring to fruition.

Skolkovo Technopark hosted MBA express, a mini lecture course. For 2 1/2 hours representatives of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Yan Xu and Xi Chang, as well as Jonas Hedman of the Copenhagen Business School, talked about the essence of innovative activities of large corporations, the future development of FinTech direction, and cash-free transactions.

Top mangers of major Russian and international companies discussed the working conditions of staff in modern open offices during the panel discussion entitled “Ping Pong for Billionnaires. What is the Setup of the Corporate Culture of Technological Giants?”

Timur Bekmambetov, a famous Russian film director and founder of BAZELEVS Film Company, introduced DREAM APP, a new reality show that was created to support startup companies. Specially invited star investors of the program were Timur Bekmambetov himself, actor Emmanuil Vitorgan, singer Valeria, producer Iosif Prigozhin and other media personalities.

German Klimenko, advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, speaking to the press at the Forum, discussed the problem of reducing numbers of jobs due to fast development of new technologies.

According to Mr. Klimenko, technological progress in general leads to an increase in the number of jobs requiring high qualifications. People will always find a job in such a gigantic country as Russia, he said.

The program of the Forum consisted of more than 60 sessions, and more than two dozens business contracts were signed. For instance, the IIDF and VEB Bank signed an agreement worth RUB 200 mln, on investments into StartTrack, the leading Russian collective financing platform. Another agreement worth RUB 100 mln concerned investments of the Gruzdev Family Foundation into IT I Skolkovo Venture Foundation.


Russia’s Gazprom Topples U.S.’ ExxonMobil for 1st Place: S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings®

S and P Global PlattsThe results of the 2017 S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings® , now in its 16th year, show a two-pronged changing of the guard, the most profound in the Rankings history. First, Russia’s Gazprom snagged the number 1 spot, ending U.S. oil and gas giant ExxonMobil’s 12-year reign at the top of the list (ExxonMobil holding within the lead ten at 9th place).
And, second, integrated oil and gas (IOG) companies are not the biggest movers up, even as they continue to make a strong showing as they have since the Rankings were first published in 2002. Rather, utilities and pipeline companies were among the biggest gainers. In the coveted top 10, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) tied, both with 4 representations each, while the Americas has only two of the elite spots.
The annual Top 250, published by S&P Global Platts, ranks companies based on financial performance using four key metrics: asset worth, revenues, profits, and return on invested capital. All companies on the list have assets greater than $5.5 billion.
“European utilities and North American pipeline operators got a boost from sticking to what they know best and shying away from more risky enterprises and territories,” said Harry Weber, senior natural gas writer of S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. “Regulated utilities, in particular, have an advantage because their revenues are largely defined and consistent, and are not as susceptible to swings in oil and gas prices.”
Among this year’s biggest movers: Germany’s E.ON climbed 112 places to 2nd place from 114th. British utility Centrica is now 15th, up from 156th. Japan’s JXTG Holdings landed just outside the top 25, at 26th, an advance of more than 100 ranks. Brazil’s Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras, known as Eletrobras, made the lead 50, at 47th, up from 193rd. And Houston-based CenterPoint Energy surged to 105 from the prior year’s rank of 220.
There were familiar names rounding out the top 10, behind Gazprom and E.ON, such as 4th-ranked South Korea’s Korea Electric Power, which debuted in the top 10 just last year; China Petroleum & Chemical at 5th place; Russia’s PJSC Lukoil at 6th; Indian Oil Corp. at 7th place, and U.S. refiner Valero Energy at number 8.
But it was India’s Reliance Industries rising to 3rd place from last year’s 8th and France’s Total rising two slots to 10th from 12th — returning to the top 10 after a two-year absence — that showed the strength of pipelines as the other sector that was among those that surged up this time around. Both have been making investments in the U.S. that benefit from increasing supplies of natural gas and the new pipeline infrastructure that is being built to carry those resources to the Gulf Coast for regional use and for exports to overseas hubs.

Moscow | RBCC RussiaTALK Investment Forum at CCIRF, Thursday 2 November 2017

rbccThe Forum will be started off by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent (Patron of RBCC), Sergei Katyrin (President, RF CCI), Roger Munnings (Chairman of the Board of Directors, RBCC), representatives of British Embassy and Russian government.
The Forum will be concluded by evening reception hosted by Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Dr Laurie Bristow CMG. The guests will enjoy an opportunity to celebrate Anglo-Russian relations and further cooperation at the Residence (14, Sofiyskaya emb.).


09:00–10:00: Registration
10:00–10:30: Welcome addresses:
Sergei Katyrin (President, RF CCI)
His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent (Patron of RBCC)
Roger Munnings (Chairman of the Board of Directors, RBCC)
Alexander Shokhin (President, Russia Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs)
10:30–10:45: Blitz-interview on the productivity in the financial sector (Stuart Lawson)
10:20–11:50: First panel: Tools to improve productivity

Economic outlook of the productivity challenge by the World Bank’s representative
Productivity of SMEs
PPP programs
Opportunities for Anglo-Russian trade cooperation
Investment optimisation
Digitalisation and brand promotion opportunities
11:50–12:10: Coffee Break
12:10–13:40: Second panel: How Russia is using local and foreign experience to create leading products?


Investment and innovation in enhancing productivity capacity
Transportation and logistics as a key feature to productivity
Productivity of Oil & Gaz sector with regard to challenges of sanctions
Biotech, chemichals, forestry and other industries
13:40–15:00: Lunch

Contact details: +7 495 961-2160


Fitch Ratings ups Russia’s GDP outlook to 2% on consumption recovery

fitch ratingsFitch Ratings upgraded Russia’s GDP outlook for 2017 to 2% from previous 1.6%, according to the Global Economic Outlook (GEO) of the agency.
Fitch is the only “big three” agency maintaining an investment-grade rating on Russia, the outlook on which it recently improved to Positive.
The agency noted that Russia’s GDP growth accelerated in the second quarter of 2017 to 2.5% thanks to private consumption and investment. Consumption, in turn, was supported by low unemployment, higher incomes, and improving crediting conditions.
Fitch’s believe in a consumption-lead recovery is supported by the breakdown of the second-quarter GDP data. “Consumption [growth] accelerated to +3.3% y/y in 2Q17, remaining the only sustainable support factor for GDP, while investment and inventories are volatile,” Gazprombank commented on October 3.
The bank believes that gradual acceleration in consumption “seems logical given that households are smoothly emerging from austerity mode seen in 2015-16 amid a lower non-mortgage debt burden and costs to service such debt.”
Moreover, consumption is developing in conditions of stable low unemployment rate and growth in wages.
Alfa Bank on October 3 noted that there is still a gap between the retail trade dynamics and household, which it attributed to growth via online purchases.
“All in all, the household consumption figures show quite steady growth, while retail trade is not such a reliable indicator of the consumption trend,” Alfa wrote.
Gazprombank sees investment as still hard to predict, as “the lack of noticeable revival in corporate lending underscores the absence of sustainable investment demand beyond certain state projects.”
Positive effects from investment are also offset by increase in imports as machinery and equipment accounts for over 40% of Russia’s imports. In January-June out of the $26bn increase in imports in $18bn was mainly investment import items, Gazprombank estimated.



Russia’s services sector continues its strong expansion

service sectorRussia’s services sector continues its strong expansion, leading manufacturing and putting yet another month of gains, according to IHS Markit’s PMI index.

The growth in the services PMI posted 55.2 in September up by a point from a month earlier and well above the 50 no-change mark. Services have also been dragging up the composite index, which posted 54.8 in September, up a jot from the 54.2 the month before.

The services report follows on from a decent, but not exciting, manufacturing report a week ago where the manufacturing PMI index was up slightly from 51.6 in August to 51.9 in September.

In general industrial production is growing but remains weak. Production expanded by 2.5% in September, a good result, but expanding by 1.5% and 1% in the previous two months.

However, services continue to outperform. Output levels rose at a strong rate and were supported by a steep upturn in new orders, reports Markit. The expansion in new business was the quickest since December 2012.

The rate of job creation also accelerated to the fastest in over four years, as Russia’s unemployment is at historic lows – just under 5% of the population.

One warning sign was the cost of inputs has been rising quickly, a lot more quickly than the headline inflation rate of 3.3% on an annualised basis, that was brought down by falling costs of agricultural goods at the end of the summer.

“Both input price and output charge inflation accelerated. However, the rates of inflation were both subdued in the context of the series history,” Markit said in a press release.

Business confidence is improving and reached an eight-month high, driven by robust client demand, Markit’s panellists said.

In general there was a strong increase in total business activity across the Russian service sector in September. The upturn was the quickest in three months and signalled a solid end to the third quarter. The pace of expansion of services was the fastest in nearly five years.

Services is one of the few Russian sectors that is adding new jobs and the current sequence of job creation has run for nine successive months, with the increase in staffing levels at the fastest since May 2013. Firms are hiring new workers in order to meet the growing number of jobs on order books. Goods producers also reported the first increase in staffing levels since February.

The increased cost of input prices was caused by the rising cost of raw material and labour prices. Although cost burdens rose at a strong rate, the pace was muted in the context of the series history, says Markit. Panellists linked higher output prices to the sustained rise in cost burdens.

Inflationary pressures are also intensifying in the manufacturing sector, with the rates of input price and output charge inflation both accelerating to ten- and nine-month highs respectively.

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) resumed its monetary easing with another rate cut in September by a large 50bp, but CBR governor Elvira Nabiullina has warned the pace of cutting may slow from here as she is still worried by underlying inflation pressures – fears highlighted by the Markit survey.

Still, the new orders are clearly buoying owners and business confidence in the Russian service sector was robust in September. Output expectations for the next 12 months improved sharply to an eight-month high, Markit reports. Similarly, firms in the manufacturing sector signalled stronger levels of confidence, and expectations were the most robust since May 2015.

IHS Markit currently forecasts Russian GDP growth in 2017 at 1.7%, with the latest survey data signalling a strong end to the third quarter.



vebFrom 25 to 26 September, the first conference of Vnesheconombank’s regional managers was held. The conference brought together managers from 16 Russia’s regions, who had been selected via a multi-stage selection procedure, as well as industry and government officers.

In anticipation of the conference, regional managers from 13 regions submitted 28 projects to VEB to choose from. 16 of the projects that were offered for sectors such as infrastructure, power generation, defence industry diversification, pharmaceuticals, aviation and polymer chemistry meet the Bank’s strategy. The project selection panel consisting of Vnesheconombank’s top mangers shortlisted five best projects. The winner was Chernyakhovsk land port construction project by Oleg Skvortsov, Deputy General Director of Kaliningrad Region Development Corporation.

The opening speaker was Alexey Ivanchenko, Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board. In his welcome address, Mr. Ivanchenko said: “Vnesheconombank is implementing a new approach to searching for and selecting investment projects for the Bank’s loan portfolio via a nation-wide network of its representatives that is now being created. We have appointed 25 regional managers in 16 Russia’s constituent regions. In November, we are planning to complete our work in the rest of the regions and to start implementing our initiative all across the country. Regional managers will select projects requiring more than RUB1bn funding with an implementation period of five years or longer that meet new Vnesheconombank’s priorities as well as projects for the Project Finance Factory.

Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), told about ASI’s regional initiatives. “Our objective is to find leaders, ‘stars’ in the regions who will compete such payers as Uber or Amazon. VEB’s regional managers will help find and develop such leaders,” Mrs. Chupsheva noted in her speech.

Among the keynote speakers was also Alexey Repik, President of Business Russia, who spoke about business in regions with a focus on challenges in finding and implementing investment projects. In his speech, he stressed how important the work of VEB’s regional managers is. “VEB’s regional managers will help reduce the existing gap and overcome the lack of understanding between regional businesses and the central federal authorities.”

Anton Alikhanov, Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, talked about the regional investment policy and expectations they have about Vnesheconombank’s regional managers. “We are really thankful to VEB for its sending representatives to regions. This will enable more efficient investment and will help reduce gaps between regions,” Mr. Alikhanov said.

Alla Zavodina, a winner in the regional manager selection, Investment Director of the Novgorod Region Development Agency, shared her plans: “The Novgorod Region is quite attractive for investors. That is why the presence of VEB’s qualified certified managers who speak the same language with investors and are able to prepare all the documents required to apply for funding will be an important competitive advantage for the region. I believe that keeping people informed about VEB’s programmes is a really important mission for me. Because the lack of information impedes development and results in the lack of confidence among investors.

During the conference, Vnesheconombank signed contracts with 25 regional managers, who were also officially awarded honour certificates. Thus, the regional managers have become official representatives of Vnesheconombank in 16 Russian constituent regions.


Representatives of the Trade Delegation of Russia in the United Kingdom attended The Flood Expo – 2017

IMG_3664-1Flood 1Representatives of the Trade Delegation of Russia in the United Kingdom attended The Flood Expo – 2017 with co-located The Marine & Coastal Civil Engineering Expo (M&CCE Expo) and The Contamination Expo which took place on September 27-28 at London’s ExCel.
The event is the largest exhibition and the conference in the UK dedicated to showcasing the latest innovations in the detection, management, testing and removal of contamination, flood protection and the solutions for marine and coastal civil engineering projects.
The key event of the show consisted of 9 stages which provided a space for representatives from UN Climate Change, EDFHinkleyPointC, ARUP, Fugro, The Met Office, The Environment Agency, MoD and for 100 other speakers to discuss the problems, solutions, innovations, and technologies of the industry with the thousands of professional visitors.
Throughout the two days over 200 exhibitors unveiled their latest innovations and provided invaluable insight and one-on-one advice to all that need to stay up-to-date and on top of the profession.

Registration is open for IV International Agricultural Dairy Forum November 8-9, 2017

dairy forumIV International Agricultural Dairy Forum organized by the Government of the Moscow Region with support of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation will take place in the House of Government of the Moscow Region, November 8-9
Main topics of the Forum in 2017 are the dairy industry’s common challenges and development strategies in today’s world. Representatives of Russian authorities, industry alliances, business communities and foreign guests will discuss a wide range of issues related to the development of the dairy industry in Russia and around the world.
Speakers and Forum participants will summarize the preliminary results of three years of sanctions in the dairy industry and assess the feasibility of electronic veterinary certification and the requirements of the Customs Union. Within the Forum’s sections and round tables discussions will be held on the structure of state support for the industry and countermeasures for falsification in the dairy industry.
The business program of the Forum will also include topics related to the development of the world dairy market, a reduction in demand for dairy products, the role of business and cooperation in the production of milk. Cluster solutions in the dairy industry will be a separate topic of the Forum.
On the platform of the Forum will take place an exhibition with presentation of dairy products, industrial equipment, and results of the investment projects related to dairy industry in Moscow Region.
To participate in the Forum, you need to go through the registration procedure at Participation in the Forum is free of charge.

Official website:

Theresa May’s speech to Conservative party conference: key points

theresa may speachMay delivers a mea culpa. She acknowledged her election campaign was “too scripted, too presidential” and allowed Labour to paint the Tories as the party of continuity. This was an implicit criticism of Lynton Crosby, who crafted the overarching “strong and stable” message, rather than her former adviser Nick Timothy, who was in charge of the disastrous manifesto. May also gave a direct apology to activists, something she had avoided several times previously. The passage was well received by the hall, which gave extended applause for her decision to start the speech by eating some humble pie.
An independent review of mental health provision. The first new announcement of the speech was a promise to launch a review of how the NHS and other public services deal with people suffering mental health problems. She has asked Prof Sir Simon Wessely to review the Mental Health Act with a view to updating the law. This is part of May’s promise to deal with “burning injustices” and inequality in how people of different races are treated, as she tries to turn the focus on to her domestic agenda and away from Brexit. The prime minister claimed repeatedly: “That’s what I’m in this for,” which appeared to be an attempt to show she is still motivated and has clear policy goals after the personal disappointment of the election result.
No new detail on Brexit. The Florence speech last week was intended to deal with developments on Brexit, revealing new information about how she sees the transition period. She spent just 10 paragraphs in this conference speech on issues of leaving the European Union, merely repeating promises about a new “deep and special partnership” and reassurances for EU citizens that a deal on their rights will be reached. It was a sign that May really wants to emphasise her domestic agenda and fight against the inevitability that her premiership will be engulfed by Brexit.
New council homes and more housebuilding. A major theme of May’s speech was the promise of a “British dream” for young people, strongly echoing Ed Miliband’s promise in 2014 to help them fulfil the “British dream” of home ownership. The big announcement was that May will meet the Conservative manifesto promise to renew the building of council and social housing, making £2bn available. Councils and housing associations will be able to bid for the money and provide certainty over future rent levels, with some homes being built for social rent below market levels. This added to earlier announcements at the party conference by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, that he would extend help to buy and give more protection to tenants. There is a risk though that these measures will be seen as insufficient compared with Labour’s promise to build a million homes, of which half would be council houses.
A cap on energy bills. May promised to end “rip-off energy prices” with a new cap on bills, fulfilling a manifesto promise that looked set to be watered down. There was very little detail in the speech though about how many people the cap will cover and whether it will be an absolute cap or a limit on rises. This is another policy that straightforwardly copies Miliband, who was mocked by the Tories for returning to marxism when he unveiled a two-year energy price freeze before the last election. It also showed May and the business secretary, Greg Clark, have seen off objections from the chancellor, Philip Hammond, and Javid.
Review of student university fees and loans. May confirmed the review of university funding and student financing that was briefed to the newspapers over the weekend, along with a freeze in the cap on tuition fees at £9,250 and a higher earnings repayment threshold of £25,000. This is the second policy aimed at attracting young people, after under-30s voted for Labour in their droves at the 8 June election. But, like the housing policy, there is a danger that it does not look like sufficiently bold or decisive action to turn around the Conservatives’ fortunes with younger people.
Party unity. May did not make any direct digs at Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, who has made the last few weeks difficult for the prime minister by undermining her Brexit policy in public. But she did issue a plea for unity and called on her party to “shape up”, saying most people paid little attention to gossip in the corridors of Westminster and just wanted politicians to focus on protecting the jobs of working people. She did make one joke at George Osborne’s expense about not being an “ice maiden”, despite his reported comment about chopping her up to put in his freezer. But otherwise she took a conciliatory tone towards the former chancellor, praising the “northern powerhouse”, and defending the economic record of David Cameron’s coalition. The tone went down well with the conference audience, who gave her multiple standing ovations – sometimes to give her time to recover from repeated coughing fits. The biggest applause of all was for her claim that the “test of a leader is how you respond when tough times come upon you”.

Representatives of the Trade Delegation of Russia in the UK attended The TCT Show-2017

IMG_3634riyazRepresentatives of the Trade Delegation of Russia in the UK attended The TCT Show-2017 which took place on September 26-28 at Birmingham’s NEC. The event presented unique opportunities for 12000 visitors from over 60 countries and more than 300 exhibitors to gain insight and advice from leading experts across 3D printing industry on building sustainable businesses.
One of the key events at the TCT Show-2017 was The Start Up Zone introducing the latest and most promising start-ups to enter the industry. With exhibitors coming from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the USA, the 2017 Start Up Zone became a global platform for dynamic new businesses to unveil their innovations to the 3D Printing market.
The Main stage of the show provided a space for thought leaders and respected industry figures to deliver insights, information and updates that will be beneficial to business. Quick-fire presentations highlighting the most innovative ideas, technologies and processes conducive to efficiency, productivity and success took place at the Tech stage.
The new ZMorph VX Multitool 3D printer was launched at the TCT Show 2017. The 3D printer can also be used with a CNC milling toolhead, a laser toolhead, dual extruder or thick paste extruder. The VX marks a shift from earlier versions with an improved quality of components used and a renewed focus on the 3D printing element of the machine.
One of the key 3D printing trends in 2017 is the increasing number of 3D printers capable of working with materials such as PEEK and PEI/ULTEM like the INTAMSYS FUNMAT HT displayed at the show. The FUNMAT HT extruder can operate at temperatures to 450°C in a constant temperature build chamber of 90°C.

Other forthcoming products on display included a prototype from SLA resin manufacturer PhotoCentric. The Maximus 3D printer uses a 40 inch, 4K LCD TV screen as the light source and currently priced below £10,000 will be available in the Q1 2018. The Maximus 3D printer will have a build area of 490x880x700mm and has a build volume of 300 cm3.