23 January 2011
“Why Russia, Why Now?”
"Why Russia, Why Now?"
Event held in Cambridge, MA, January 18, 2011
“Why Russia, Why Now?” was the theme of a presentation and panel discussion at the Cambridge Innovation Center, across the street from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 18. The featured speaker was Ilya Ponomarev, Russian Duma Deputy and Chair of the Duma’s High Tech Subcommittee. His presentation was complemented with a panel discussion moderated by Cynthia Bouthot, partner in Russia Innovation Collaborative. Cynthia provided the opening questions to the panel of Peter Loukianoff, co-founder and managing partner, Almaz Capital; Richard Golob, president and chief executive officer GGA Software Services and Daniel Satinsky, partner, Russia Innovation Collaborative. This was followed by a spirited set of questions and remarks from the audience.
Ilya Ponomarev’s presentation centered on the measures that the Russian government has taken to promote innovation in Russia, including establishing Rusnano, Russian Venture Company, Skolkovo Foundation and related changes in legislation and public policy. The panel discussion focused on this topic from a business point of view, including the seriousness of the Russian government, the reasons why business and universities in Massachusetts should be paying attention to the new opportunities, and the advantages and obstacles to doing business in and with Russia. Most speakers agreed that Russia is at a unique historical moment in which it is opening to a serious dialogue with foreigners and foreign companies and establishing conditions for real business cooperation in diversifying Russia’s economy.
The audience that turned out for the event was more than 60 people, despite a winter storm that day. It was a very mixed group of business people, professionals, academics and political figures, most notably former U.S. Congressman William Delahunt and President Pro Tem of the Massachusetts State Senate Stanley Rosenberg. Much of the audience stayed for networking and informal conversation after the formal program ended.
The event was organized by the Russia Innovation Collaborative and sponsored by the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England, the U.S.-Russia Business Council and GGA Software Services.
Pictures from the event
Former Congressman Delahunt mingles with other participants after the event.
Former Congressman Delahunt makes a comment to the panel.
The panel discusses Russia’s modernization and the opportunities it offers local US companies.