Statement from RVC CEO
Dear colleagues and friends!
The world is changing faster and faster every year. Whereas, not so long ago, we used the expression “in our century of new technologies,” the pace of innovation is no longer being measured in decades and sometimes not even in terms of years. New products and new markets are emerging right before our eyes, and we have an opportunity to occupy a respectable position in these markets by investing ahead of time in people, technology and infrastructure.
In 2014, when the words “National Technological Initiative” were first mentioned, only a small group of enthusiasts believed in the success of this undertaking. Today, the concept of a technological breakthrough that is bringing the future ever closer is a clear and universally accepted truth. Thousands of people are now engaged in this work, and RVC, as the NTI Project Office, is called on to provide the organizational, financial and analytical basis for the initiative.
2018 marked an important frontier for the NTI: we completed the establishment of the basic infrastructure that was laid down in the concept for the initiative. Thanks to the RVC team’s collaboration with our partners, the NTI’s anchor projects – Centers of excellence, Up Great technology contests, infrastructure centers – got under way. The Government of the Russian Federation has approved a set of regulatory road maps for the NTI that provide for the gradual elimination of administrative barriers to the launch of breakthrough products on the market. The objective of the next stage of the NTI’s development is ensure that the infrastructure is functioning properly and to create a convenient and understandable interface for attracting new participants to the NTI: entrepreneurs, universities, corporations and scientific and research organizations.
The NTI is a programme about knowledge, talent and energy, which are transformed into technologies and then into competitive products. Therefore, an important development in 2018 was the implementation of educational projects for a wide audience of individuals who are passionate about the technology agenda. This refers to the NTI Contest, which brought together about 40 thousand children all across the country, and the NTI lessons, which are carried out in some two thousand Russian schools. We also expanded considerably the range of projects in the NTI Club Movement last year, which should create a full-fledged social platform for technological growth within the initiative.
The financial basis for the implementation of the NTI and the creation and commercialization of new products is Russia’s venture capital market, which provides the most important source of funding, as an alternative to government-backed grants and subsidies. RVC’s objective is to improve the institutional environment and expand the community of professional players in the venture capital market industry. In 2018, RVC updated its investment strategy: we expanded our line of investment products, optimized the rules for working with management companies and introduced standards for making investment decisions in line with international practice. As of the end of the year, the total of RVC-backed funds had grown by RUB 13.7 billion to RUB 48.6 billion, more than half of which are funds invested by our partners: private investors, corporations and development institutions. Also in 2018, RVC, together with Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, developed a draft Venture Capital Market Development Strategy until 2030. The document contains more than 40 initiatives aimed at creating a mature venture capital industry in Russia, which implies a thirtyfold increase in the annual volume of transactions to RUB 410 billion.
All projects initiated and implemented by RVC last year contributed to the achievement of our long-term goal: the creation of leading Russian companies, the accelerated introduction of technology into the economy and the social sphere and, as a result, the improvement of the quality of life and well-being of the population. This is what we see as the result of our work. To learn more about the steps we took on this considerable journey in 2018, please read our annual report.