The Internet Initiatives Development Fund has been established to help young information technology graduates and entrepreneurs. Its establishment was announced in March 2013 at a meeting of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) Supervisory Board.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
We met at a meeting of the ASI in March this year – already more than half a year ago, seven months ago. We talked about the possibility and need to support those who are getting ready to work actively, including by doing business on the Internet. I must point out – and you know this better than anyone else – that we have the largest number of Internet users in Europe, and the fastest rates of network development in the world. We number among the top five countries for commerce conducted online.
Precisely these constantly expanding opportunities encouraged me and my colleagues to think about how to support those who want and intend to work in this field.
I know that a lot of work has been done to establish the start-up support Fund. It is already in solid shape, and has accumulated six billion rubles [more than $185 million] from different sources. In general this is not a bad start, but if we look at all the proposals we will probably see that even 60 billion rubles are not enough. This is precisely the essence of our problem today: how to ensure that the projects are selected according to objective, transparent criteria, and that the administrative and financial support for the projects you present is just as transparent, efficient and democratic. For that matter, just like the work on the net itself. So let’s not delay things any longer, and move directly to the reason for which we’ve gathered today.
< … >
Vladimir Putin: What I want to say in conclusion is as follows.
Naturally, I wish you all – those who are going to participate in this joint work – success. I am very pleased to be able to say that the projects this Fund was designed to support are being executed. This is true with regards to both form and content.
I would like to thank Mr Varlamov [Director of Internet Initiatives Development Fund] for the way he organised this work. He works successfully in this field himself, so it was probably easier for him to do so rather than some bureaucrat. It seems to me that in any case, his first steps have worked out well, and everything happened exactly as intended.
I already said this at the beginning of our meeting and want to repeat it. If necessary, if you see that volumes are increasing and we need to increase financial support, then we will find the necessary resources. This is a case and a sphere of activities on which nothing is too much to spend. Anyway, not the amount of funds being allocated now, because you can find interesting solutions as well as arrive at the most in-demand results in economics and the social sphere.
If we succeed together with you and with those who will yet get involved here, in this system, in introducing these technologies both at the regional and municipal levels, then I expect we will be much more efficient at solving problems. And we have many of those.
Thank you very much and good luck.