Sergey Gorkov: ‘How Quickly Breakthrough Technology Comes into Use Is Essential to the Leadership and Development of Tomorrow’s Russian Economy’
Russia today is a world leader in the introduction of blockchain technology with the current primary objectives to intensely introduce quantum technology and convergent technology.
“To ensure that breakthrough technology develops in Russia, it is necessary to work systematically in four key areas: building an ecosystem of start-ups, providing support for major players in innovation promotion, ensuring cybersecurity and the proper level of education and building the necessary infrastructure,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said during the session “Strategic Outlook: Russia” of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Vnesheconombank’s Chairman Sergey Gorkov said during the session “Strategic Outlook: Russia” that the focus on three areas, such as blockchains, quantum technology and convergent technology, would make it possible to use financial resources to the full and not only follow a trend towards building a digital economy but also be a trendsetter. “Russia today is not eager to attain blockchain leadership, it has already become a leader. As a development institution, we are tasked with building up a digital platform for tomorrow’s Russian economy essentially based on breakthrough technology. In our case, this concerns blockchains, quantum technology and convergent technology. How quickly they come into use is essential to retaining Russia’s leadership in building tomorrow’s digital economy. It is crucial that the Russian Government has launched the Digital Economy programme to work systematically on a massive scale in vital industries,” Sergey Gorkov said.
To intensely introduce blockchains, quantum technology and convergent technology, Vnesheconombank is setting up three global-level centres of competencies. The Blockchain Commune is already fully functional (six projects are well under way, chiefly in public services, including those provided by the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, the Ministry of Healthcare and the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending), engaging world-class experts. As expected, two more centres—for quantum technology and convergent technology—will be open in 2018.
Our focus includes reviewing the regulatory framework and exploring the possibilities of setting up sandboxes and expanding the investor pool. Vnesheconombank is active in investigating the possibilities of cooperating with international partners in investment in direct investment funds to get financing for Russia’s high-priority sectors. Major Chinese and Indian financial institutions are considered to be strategic partners by Vnesheconombank.
During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sergey Gorkov represented Russia at the session “Bits+ Blocks+ Forks”. Vnesheconombank’s Chairman also spoke at a panel session organised by the Roscongress Foundation in Russia House: Russia and the Global Digital Agenda. “Blockchains are not a technology, but a part of the development strategy for the new Russian economy. A development bank should serve as a catalyst for investment in strategic, high-priority sectors and as a key driver of innovation. I am confident that our focus on three areas, such as blockchains, quantum technology and convergent technology, will make it possible to use our financial resources to the full and ensure Russia’s leadership in fundamental, breakthrough technology,” Sergey Gorkov said.
Sergey Gorkov: "Blockchain is not a technology; it is part of the strategic development of the Russian economy"
On the verge of the 4th industrial revolution Russia has unique chances to become a leader in three priority areas: blockchain, quantum and convergent technologies. The development bank creates three world-class competence centers to achieve these goals, said Sergey Gorkov, Vnesheconombank Chairman, at the “Bits+Blocks+Forks” session of the World Economic Forum in Davos. He presented the program of introduction of blockchain in state management.
“Blockchain is not a technology, it’s a part of the strategic development of the Russian economy. Blockchain Commune is already operating. We expect other two competence centers on quantum and convergent technologies to open in 2018. VEB is focused on supporting and developing the Russian innovation ecosystem, creating national innovation champions and integrating them into global context. There are several directions of this large-scale work: legislative expertise (this year we expect state legislative regulation of blockchain to be developed), creating families of funds to attract investment, and developing an effective system to boost breakthrough startups, primarily in the Russian and Asian markets”, Sergey Gorkov said.
It is crucial for Russian innovations and non-oil economy to create additional conditions and sources of long-term investments.
"VEB is studying the possibilities of investing in direct investment funds together with international partners. These funds will finance projects in the key sectors of the Russian economy. We are cooperating with the largest financial institutions in China and India. The system of decision-making and risk management in such financial institutions significantly differ from traditional banking. We will propose appropriate changes to the memorandum of VEB", said Sergey Gorkov.
Earlier Vnesheconombank reached an agreement to create a joint venture company with the largest Indian infrastructure fund SREI. VEB and China Merchants Capital also agreed to finance joint projects as well as to create funds in the field of high technology and innovation.
Vnesheconombank's subsidiary VEB Innovations is actively developing venture projects. In addition to traditional forms, like loans, the development bank provides other forms of support, such as acquiring a share in the capital. VEB supports innovative forms of state and business cooperation in introducing high technologies. For example, Blockchain Commune is carrying out blockchain technology projects for the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography in respect of its transactions, for the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending in respect of shared joint ownership agreements and for the Ministry of Healthcare for medication control. Millions of people will get access to state services due to blockchain.
"The development bank should be a driver of innovations and an accelerator of attracting capital to strategic priority industries. This is a serious challenge for both Russia's future economy and Vnesheconombank. I am confident that the focus on three key technologies (blockchain, quantum and convergent techn) will make the most efficient use of our resources and ensure Russia's leadership in breakthrough areas", Sergey Gorkov said.