28-30 November 2018


Territorial Clusters in the Focus of Attention

Engineering centres of territorial clusters will be founded in St Petersburg on the basis of Technopark. The construction of the sites will require more than 1 billion roubles. Andrey Sokolov, General Director of St Petersburg Technopark OJSC talked about implementation of projects and trends of regional cluster development.

Andrey Aleksandrovich, dozens of clusters of industrial enterprises are being created in Russia. What is the degree of efficiency of such initiatives in present economic conditions?

Currently, clusters are actively developing in the region. In August, we held a strategic session in the St Petersburg Cluster Development Centre of Technopark. In the process of work, we detected 37 clusters. Many different, very interesting innovation projects were presented. For example, it was proposed to create a Jewellery Cluster, and Arts Cluster in St Petersburg.

In June 2015, the Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation approved the application of St Petersburg to support small and medium-sized businesses-members of territorial clusters. Federal funds will be forwarded to training programs for enterprises-members of clusters, and to support businesses in the process of entering new markets.

St Petersburg has huge possibilities for the development of innovation clusters, as the city possesses a unique industrial and scientific potential. Currently the city, and Russia in general appeared in a difficult economic situation, and the development of innovation clusters may facilitate the process of crisis surmounting, enterprises will be able to take active part in the Program of Import Substitution.

What is the role of Technopark in the development of innovation clusters?

St Petersburg Technopark represents a site that forms an innovative eco-system. Here, Ingria Business Incubator was constructed, and operates successfully. Currently, 60 residents work on the site. In the past, the Business Incubator specialized in IT, but last time the spectrum has rather extended – now it includes different projects in the sphere of medicine, robotics, composite materials, etc.

In November 2014, the Cluster Development Centre was created in Technopark. The key task of the Cluster Development Centre is coordination, support and development of cluster initiatives offered by city businesses. Specialists of the Centre perform expert, analytic and information support of clusters, provide comprehensive assistance on the stages of project opening and implementation, building of innovative infrastructure. The Cluster Development Centre promotes interests of St Petersburg clusters in governmental bodies.

There are more than 30 clusters in St Petersburg. Which of them are the most successful, and what are the trends of cluster development on the market?

The level of cluster organization development in St Petersburg is different. There are offers on the level of ideas, as well as formed business models that receive financial and organizational support from the government. Based on the results of a competition organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, the right for such support was granted to small and medium-sized businesses of pilot innovation territorial clusters, including "Pharmaceutical, Medical Industry and Radiation Technologies Cluster of St Petersburg" and "St Petersburg Cluster for the development of information technologies, radio electronics, instrument making industry, communication facilities and infotelecommunications".

Several cluster initiatives will be presented on the St Petersburg International Innovation Forum. Such Convention and Exhibition sites help to share ideas of enterprises and scientific centres. In the process of business communication specialists have a possibility to discuss problems and generate proposals. Opinion of leading experts plays an important role. That's why, in particular, in the Cluster Development Centre we are going to create a Council of professionals that will include specialists delegated by clusters. This will allow to solve vital problems, for example, training qualified employees for enterprises.

Recent researches showed that clusters of St Petersburg need engineering centres. By 2017 it is planned to create such centres for "Pharmaceutical, Medical Industry and Radiation Technologies Cluster of St Petersburg" and "St Petersburg Cluster for the development of information technologies, radio electronics, instrument making industry, communication facilities and infotelecommunications".

What tasks will be solved with the help of engineering centres?

An engineering centre allows to build a chain necessary for the development of innovations. According to our assessments, implementation of the projects will cost about 1 billion roubles. The centres will be equipped with laboratories, and advanced equipment necessary to manufacture prototype samples of innovative products. Thus, Technopark will include the full cycle: from an idea – start-up, to its implementation – production of a pilot lot and manufacturing of an innovative product on the industrial park site.