30 June 2004
The Opening Lines of Innovation Success Stories
We had long hoped to hear success stories from the winners of the Russian Innovation Competition. Yet this year when participants began to succeed right after the winners were announced, we could hardly believe our ears.
Yuri Amosov, Irik Imamutdinov, Galina Kostina, and Dan Medovnikov
We started the competition out of despair. As journalists, we were aware of brilliant innovation projects that Russian domestic business was ignoring completely. Western venture capitalists repeatedly declared their genuine interest in Russian scientists and researchers but had no dealings with them, at least not in Russia itself.
We came up with the idea to get Russia’s best experts together, to objectively select the projects that were strongest by anyone’s measure, and to present them to the public. We were rather disappointed with the results of the first two contests, as many good innovation projects failed to become investment projects. Things seem to have changed this time. Two serious investments were announced immediately after the finalists were presented: AFK Sistema and Tekhsnabexport decided to fully fund two winning projects. Also, innovators heard the call we made last year to support the real sector. As a result, we now have a Best Industrial Innovation award.
All of a sudden, yet another award, the White Book (Belaya Kniga), also took off. It was introduced just this year. This book of honor will be the home of long-term (10-20 years) capital-intensive projects designed to have a critical impact on the national economy as a whole or its individual sectors.
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