President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I want to discuss one area of Russian Technologies’ responsibilities, namely, modernisation of the defence industry. The defence industry has always played a big part in our country’s life, and to a large extent it was the backbone of the entire technological capability built up during the Soviet period. This is no secret but is a well-known fact. Our defence industry went through a very serious slump in the 1990s, and this resulted too in the decrease in new solutions and interesting new proposals. But without this kind of innovation and initiative our defence industry will decline instead of developing as we want it to. I know that you are promoting now some programmes in this area. I recently gave some instructions to the Government and the Commission [for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy] to ensure that these modernisation programmes continue their development. I would therefore like to hear what you have to say on this matter now. What steps do you think best, all the more so as defence industry enterprises have long been producing some of the goods absolutely essential for our industry? What has been done so far, and what are the plans now?
I know that there are many difficulties. Many enterprises are in a serious situation, although there has been some change for the better over the last years. But what we need are breakthrough ideas for the future, ideas that will help the defence industry itself, strengthen our defence capability, give rise to new technology that will be used in other sectors too, in civilian industries, and help to consolidate our position in the area of military technical cooperation with other countries. Please, go ahead.
CEO of Russian Technologies State Corporation Sergei Chemezeov: I want to brief you on a very interesting project that just got started now, namely the plan to manufacture lights using light-emitting diodes at a recently established holding company engaged in optics. The light-emitting diodes were designed by the company Svetlana, which is part of one of our holding companies. These goods are practically entirely 100-percent Russian-made. This is an important project for promoting energy efficiency and energy saving in our industries. I think that the finished products will arrive on the market by the end of next year.
Another interesting example is the establishment of a joint venture between Boeing and VSPMO-AVISMA Corporation. We used to sell just [titanium] slabs and forged pieces, semi-finished products in other words, but now we will manufacture and sell finished products and supply them direct to Boeing’s plant in Seattle. We have already signed a contract with Boeing for $1.5 billion and a contract with Airbus for $4 billion. This is a big support for the industry, especially at the moment, with demand for titanium not very high yet on our domestic market.
Dmitry Medvedev: These two areas alone that you have just mentioned are both strategic for our country’s development.
I gave some instructions on energy efficiency not so long ago. We have a serious problem in this area. We waste a tremendous amount of energy in our industry, and especially in our housing and utilities sector. We need to use completely new technology, and in some cases not just propose it to customers but force them to introduce it, otherwise the technological transition will never happen. This concerns lights and illumination in particular. I think this is an important area of work and I want to give it your particular attention.