Speech at a Meeting on Issues of Creating Technology Parks in the Information Technology Sphere 2005-01-11 22:30:00 Novosibirsk, Akademgorodok President Vladimir Putin: Dear meeting participants, We are here to examine the pilot project for creating echnoparks in the information technology sphere. Today the information technology business is one of the most dynamic and profitable sectors of the world economy, and information technology itself is a powerful tool to renew and increase competitiveness of national industries and develop innovative activity. Their contribution to the GDP of the world’s leading countries is constantly growing. Our position here is still rather modest: less than one percent of the world market. Russian companies, with their limited resources, have difficulty competing on the domestic market, let alone the foreign market. At the same time, we have a human resources potential, and a serious scientific reserve in this area. I am sure that if these resources are used effectively and competently, the country will be able to achieve a serious breakthrough in the information sphere. We simply must not miss this chance, especially as a number of nations have achieved success in this sphere without having such a strong starting position. I expect that forming a modern infrastructure of the information sector of the economy can become a major national project. Its realisation requires effective partnership and joint responsibility of science, business, the state, and according legal and organisational mechanisms. I would like to note several fundamental aspects in connection with this. First, we need to understand that the technoparks created in the information technology sphere are fully-fledged market projects. They must be market projects. Their work must be based on the principles of competitiveness, effectiveness, profitability, and the product manufactured here must be oriented towards a specific client. In connection with this, it is important to make a clear prediction of long-term tendencies and requirements of the national and international economy. This first point is probably the most important thing. Not even the preferences in these zones and in this area in general which we will probably talk about today are as important. But demand for this type of service, for this type of production, is an extremely important factor. Second, we must carefully analyse both the foreign and the national practice of creating research and production complexes, technoparks and special economic zones. We have our own interesting and successful experience. It is enough to name Akademgorodok in Novosibirsk, where we are right now. Several decades ago, models of integrating education, science and production in a single territorial complex were developed. Furthermore, dozens of scientific and technical centres in the information business are effectively working on the market. I remember that you told me about this the last time I came here. And there are certain projects in the Moscow region that are working well. People are present here who are involved in this activity at a practical level. I hope that they will also speak today. Third, it is important to determine modern tools of state support for information technology centres, to stimulate and advance the export of high technology goods and services. And this cannot only concern special economic, tax or customs regimes. I would like to hear your opinion, your suggestions on the system of cooperation and on the measures of state support in this sector. Fourth, the activity of these technoparks and other elements of the innovation infrastructure must be guided by adequate legislation. I expect that the federal law on special economic zones that is being prepared should take into account the specifics of the information technology business. We must fully regulate the use of intellectual property. Research teams and developers must be interested in handing over their product for production. They must do this not through the use of shadowy schemes, but on the basis of transparent, civilised procedures that are beneficial for everyone. Everything connected with protecting intellectual property is a very important element from the point of view of strengthening the legislative basis, and of protection of intellectual property rights in practice. Fifth, forming the infrastructure of the information business must be closely accompanied by a modernisation of professional education. Mass production will require a large number of high-qualified personnel, personnel that is capable of solving specific technical and highly-specialised tasks. At the same time, it is important to maintain the competitive advantages of our education, such as its fundamental nature, and the traditions of the Russian engineering schools. Sixth, the creation of these technoparks and centres is important not just economically, but socially as well. These are new, highly-paid and prestigious work places. They are to a large degree oriented towards young people: students, graduate students and young specialists. It is important to make it possible for them to achieve success and realise their abilities here, in Russia, within their own culture and language. And furthermore, additional possibilities are appearing here to attract specialists from other nations, above all from countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States. And finally, the last point. I am certain that we must also use the experience of realising this project to develop common complex approaches to forming a modern innovation infrastructure – an infrastructure that can ensure the transformation of knowledge into real capital that works for the economy and the social sphere of the country. Everything that I have said only gives the most general picture of the scale and importance of the problem that we will examine today. And I will finish here. Let us move to a discussion of the topic. Thank you for your attention.