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Rusnano to Jump Start Russian Nano-Industry
16 December 2011
Rusnano to Jump Start Russian Nano-Industry

Rusnano to Jump Start Russian Nano-Industry
By Jan Kagel
Language Connections

The Russian state-owned nanotechnology investor Rusnano has been heavily shopping all around the world, trying to import the newest technology into Russia and become a world leader in the evermore important nano-industry. A great part of the company’s investments are focused on nanotechnology developed in the United States, where the majority of advanced nano research labs are located. State-owned Rusnano, and thus Russia itself, has thus become an important investor of the new American industry.

Founded in 2007 by United Russia, Russia's ruling political party, under the name “Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies”, the company was originally a state corporation until it was re-registered as an open joint-stock company in 2011. It was renamed at that time to “Rusnano.” However, the government still owns 100% of the company’s shares, and thus the Russian president still holds primary responsibility for choosing the company’s CEO and company executives are elected by the Supervisory Council.

The goal of this joint-stock company is to create a strong Russian nano-industry that will sell its products throughout the world by 2015. The company has already announced that they will be investing around $10 billion to set up a nanotechnology center in Russia by investing in higher education, like the Skolkovo program in Moscow, and building production sites from scratch.

In addition, Rusnano requires companies they invest in to set up production sites in Russia. This is to ensure that Rusnano's foreign investments benefit the Russian domestic industry. This requires a high level of communication between Rusnano and their international partners, which includes contract and other document translation and localization, as well as interpretation at meetings. As a language service provider, we at Language Connections have been involved in providing interpreters during recent meetings between the CEO of Rusnano and other high company executives and representatives of leading biotech companies. But Runsano is not only interested in high-tech companies, they are also particularly interested in partnering with American universities such as MIT. Their interest in MIT lies mainly in the university’s ability to convert academic projects into a commercial success, a model that the Russian company would like to adopt.

Backed by generous government funds, the company has become an important and much sought-after sponsor for various high-tech projects all over the world. It has already invested in high strength/high conductivity wires, nano-ceramics, and general nano-technology, as well as the production of advanced batteries, anti-aging cosmetics, and energy-efficient glass. The company is also strongly investing in advanced biopharmaceuticals, mostly in the US Recently, for example, Rusnano invested around $94.5 million in two leading US biopharmaceutical companies - BIND and Selecta. Rusnano is so popular as a potential sponsor that the company has only been able to accept 1 out of every 20 requests from almost 2000 sponsorship applications.

The company does not aim to fully own or control the companies that they invest in. Rusnano rarely holds more than half of the shares, and does not tell the companies how to proceed with their projects. The company instead limits itself to trying to prepare the product for the market by searching for a consumer base and finding the right market niche for the product. The company also assists in the patenting process and getting the product through the bureaucratic red tape efficiently. This increases the chances of their invested project to become a commercial success.

Rusnano jumpstarted the Russian nanotech industry and can thus already be considered a success. In 2011, the company earned $312 million from modern nanotechnology product production, which is quite impressive, as the company has only been in existence for a very short amount of time. A global company in every sense, language and cultural barriers have not interfered with its success as it has used trained professionals to help overcome such barriers. Since this company has just recently started its mission, it will be very interesting to see how it fairs in the long run, as this will most likely decide the longevity of the newly-founded Russian nano-industry.

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