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9 Feb, 2012 06:59

Expert: Russia needs startups to drive innovation

International experts say Russia has to do more to create a ‘start-up’ friendly business climate. They are gathered in Moscow for the Forum Week of Business, and suggest boosting investment in innovative companies will help.

“You need a challenge of creating a system where entrepreneurs could grow. It’s not only a Russian challenge. In Silicon Valley for 40-50 years we had the best companies HP, Sun, eBay, Google.  These companies are innovative, but they also train middle level managers and senior people who can drive innovations to a level high,” Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center told RT. “So now in Russia like in Berlin in Germany everyone is looking for this engine of job creation and innovation. And the will is there. I believe that everything we, people in Silicon Valley have done 40-50 years, you could do in 3-4 years”, he said.Russian state companies such as Rosnano and Skolkovo have significantly increased investment to innovative projects, but there are should be more companies like them, experts say.“Although Russian Government has an active stand to this issue, we are concerned with the lack of budget”, says Alexander Shokhin, the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Meanwhile Russian experts stress, there are a lot of internal problems to be fixed before investors will rush to the country. The improvement of the judicial system and structural reforms are among them.