President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I would like to congratulate all those who have just received the Zvorykin prize.
You know, we must really work at creating these positive stimuli for development – they must exist at every level at which we operate. Today everyone in this room and the others has been able to see how we go about our business. I would like to point out that this is not in any way an attempt to show off. Our Commission for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy is in principle engaged in absolutely fundamental things. Every time we meet, we usually discuss some very specific topic. Then, there is a draft resolution, which includes certain standards that need to change or necessary funding. What does this mean? It means that if we begin to concentrate our energy, our strength, on things that are very important for our country's future development, then we will achieve the desired results.
Our colleagues mentioned importance of demonstrating achievements and improvements, and I am in complete agreement with them. I appeal to everyone present here today, and to those elsewhere, regional governors, business people. We need this sort of focus. Everyone has to try to improve the situation to the extent that this is possible, depending on his or her capacities, jurisdiction, whether they're a regional governor, a minister, a business person or a scientist who, for example, runs a laboratory at a university. If you work with this sort of dedication, you will achieve what you set out to achieve. Especially those who received this award today – of course these are talented people. These people are our future. And I am counting on you to direct your efforts to ensure that our economy becomes more modern, that it is truly innovative.
Some of our colleagues have said that innovation is alien to our country. Well, I cannot agree with that. As a matter of fact we do have a desire to create, we are a very creative nation, our multi-ethnic people are very creative. Our problem is a different one: it's that we don't really know how to make money by innovating — we simply do not know how to do it. Before, if you invented something, to think about using it to make money was generally thought of as shameful. The concept was, that the government offered you favorable conditions, made it possible to invent things, to achieve your goals, to show what an important expert you were, a hard-core scientist, but setting out to earn any sort of money from such activities was shameful. That is why, by the way, I want to remind you that in the USSR all inventions were registered not by a patent, the way they were in the rest of the world, but by what was called the inventor's certificate, by which all rights were assigned to the government. And what did the inventor get? The inventor got a brand name, and his title to that brand name was guaranteed by the law. Now the situation is different, but those inner feelings haven't changed.
We really do need to combine our creativity with our abilities, with our capacity for making money. If we do, we will be the most successful nation in this area. That would be a great thing.
Once again allow me to congratulate everyone on this forum and the competition winners on their awards.