Dan Medovnikov (HSE Institute of Innovation Management): “Technoprom immediately showed interest in the Russian technology business and its problems”

This year again, The Director of the Institute of Innovation Management of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Chief Editor of the magazine Stimul, Dan Medovnikov, will visit the Technoprom Anniversary and STI Expo Exhibition. In the interview with the press center of the Forum, he spoke about the potential of Russian high-tech enterprises, their prospects for exporting and the role of Technoprom for this process.

 Do you think that there are enough enterprises in Russia with the potential to occupy a significant share of the world market in their segments?

Certainly not enough, especially in the sphere of medium and high technologies. But they are there. For several years, our institute (HSE IIM) has been researching fast-growing medium-sized technological business in our country with, among other things, export potential. Today, there are about 1,500 such companies in the database. 220 of the most stable and strong companies were selected for the “TechUp” rating. In their turn, the strongest ones with serious ambitions for revenue and export growth entered the Ministry of Economic Development priority project “National Champions” at the end of last year. Right now, the latter ones number only 30, but the selection into this elite group will continue unabated.

Besides the rapid growth and “increased” innovation potential, what else is interesting in these companies? They are leaders in their segments. Although, at times, these segments are rather narrow, they still remain global leaders. In this sense, they strongly resemble the “hidden champions” discovered by Hermann Simon – medium technology companies of German-speaking Europe dominating their niches on the world market.

What are the main difficulties that Russian companies face with exports?

According to our polls, our “hidden champions” have the following main barriers to exports:

lack of information on reliable partners on foreign markets;

lack of marketing information on the markets of different countries;

a bad image of the Russian technological products;

problems in exporting small batches of high-tech products. Registration of batches is paid for regardless of the size of the batch;

lack of political support when participating in foreign government tenders and international tenders.

In your opinion, does the Forum Technoprom contribute to the strengthening of the Russian companies, the growth of their export potential?

Most importantly, Technoprom immediately showed interest in the Russian technology business and its problems. I remember how, at the 2015 plenary session, in the presidium, there turned out to be two heads of companies, which both simultaneously became “national champions” in one year. Local technology companies are also demonstrating the great interest to the forum, rightfully claiming it their own (it should be noted that in “TechUp” and in the list of national champions, there are companies from Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk). This year, in the program of the forum, there is a special round table devoted to the national championship. Companies need this, they appreciate it.

How do you assess the effectiveness of similar international forums and exhibitions in terms of the technological development of the country?

I do not agree with the adjective “similar”. In Russia, at least as broadly and at the same time in such detail, the country's technological agenda, its strategy and tactics in this sphere, as far as I know, are not discussed anywhere else. And it does deserve the highest praise.