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8 Jun, 2009 08:56

Innovative economy needs major reforms

Rosnano CEO Anatoly Chubais says developing an innovative economy involves major reforms, and thinking strategically.

Speaking exclusively with RT Chubais stated that even with the collapse in oil prices since the middle of 2008, it was in Russia’s long term interests to focus on alternative energy. He added that oil prices reflect tactical thinking while longer term outcomes such as Europe’s 2020 Energy strategy mean that Russia had to act now to have a piece of a growing market.

AC: "They (Oil prices) are not high now but one year ago they were very high and less and later nobody knows what they will be. Oil prices are tactics while alternative energy is strategy. If you will take the European Energy strategy until 2020 – they call it 2020 – which means that, by 2020, 20% of energy balance in Europe should be alternative energy. And that’s why you may find that currently the solar cells market increases annually by 20-30-40%. Its already a $30 billion market but it’s still increasing. That’s why we in Russia don’t want to lose this opportunity"

RT: How do you make sure that these developments turn into viable businesses, because it seems like all of the Russian patents, many, have to go abroad to Europe or the United States to become viable businesses. How do you prevent that from happening.

AC: " Well that’s right, that’s right and the reason is very simple. We are only in the initial stage of the designing the innovative economy. We already have some steps which was positive to create technopark, business incubator, business centres, technology transfer centres – that’s what I have already seen in Russian regions, but not enough. But definitely we need to support the, we need to protect them legally, we definitely need to transform the legislation in Russia. I believe the tax code should be transformed, I believe the budgetary code should be transformed, I believe the customs code should be transformed, I believe the technical regulations should be transformed, I believe that immigrations legislation should be transformed – because of the necessity to promote the innovative business, the innovative economy. So that’s – to create the innovative economy – that’s a serious governmental, countrywide reform. That’s a serious reform we need to do."