20-22 September 2017


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Maxim Meiksin

INNOVATION FORUM: Pulkovo Heights, at a New Height

In less than a month St Petersburg will become the innovation capital of Russia: on October 7-9, one of the newest and largest exhibition areas of the city, EXPOFORUM congress and expo venue, will host the 8th St Petersburg International Innovation Forum. The event is organised by the Committee for Industrial Policy and Innovations. It is for the 8th consequential year that the event draws attention of the international scientific and business community, confirming its high standing as a forum for key innovators

from all over the world. As the event approaches, Maksim Meyksin, president of St Petersburg Committee for Industrial Policy and Innovations, told us about preparations for the forum, general prospects of innovations in St Petersburg, as well as why this year's forum will be especially exciting for the younger generation.

– Maksim Semenovich, how will this forum be different from the previous ones?

– The St Petersburg International Innovation Forum evolves every year, absorbing new formats and ideas. This year we are hosting it for the 8th time, and the experience we've gathered enables us to see what its members and attendees want and to offer them what they are interested

in. The number of discussion venues will be increased, as well as the number of events. There are at least 70 presentations planned already. In essence, the forum is now a universal venue aimed for development of municipal infrastructure, industry and economy,

at solving import substitution challenges in technology and production to facilitate growth of the city. There are several other events sharing this theme to come in the future, but the key topic of this forum, development of innovations, remains constant. One of the major changes is the new

venue where the forum will be hosted. It is the first time we will hold the event in the Pulkovo Heights congress and expo venue.

– What surprises do you have in store for participants and visitors of the forum this year?

– I shouldn't spoil all the surprises, but both presentation and business programs of the event are quite extensive. A number of leading businesses and scientific institutions' representatives have already confirmed their participation, including: OAO Tehnopark of St Petersburg, Future Designing R&D Group, The Baltic Institute of Finland, North-West Institute of Management of The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, The Agency for Regional Innovative Development etc. Most of them attend the forum to present their latest technological advancements, some will join the board of judges for show sessions of Russian startups' innovative projects, and the majority will take part in discussing topical issues of innovative development. Key topics of the forum are:
Foresight, Infrastructure, HR, Demand. Each block of discussions will feature renown experts and theorists from various industries. For example, the plenary meeting will be attended by members of St Petersburg Industrial Week, an event taking place at the Garden City Lahta expo centre, hosted by RESTEK Group, in partnership with the forum. The list of experts includes production, power, marketing and management specialists as well as scientific, government and business figures.

– Who would you like to see among the attendees of the forum and what results do you expect in the end?

– This year's forum is aimed, first and foremost, at the younger generation, as we believe them to be the driver of innovation. We certainly hope to see young inventors, students and graduates in the audience. As for the results, our goal is to enable people to share their experience and insights, to present their inventions and achievements. We will do our best to help people meet the people they need. There are inventors, investors, legal specialists working with protection of innovations etc. But together we must support and encourage domestic solutions, Russian science and innovation in every area of business and industry, and change the laws in accordance with the times and the market. If the breakthrough ideas that need support and deserve it will get invested thanks to our forum, that would be the ultimate result for us.

Meyksin Maksim Semenovich

President of St Petersburg Committee for Industrial Policy and Innovations