Export of technologies
Clever decisions from Russia with love
As innovations and hi-tech production tend to bring more economic benefits and
influence, Russia is working on increasing exports of non-raw material sector,
including technological export and transfers. And the current economic situation
in Russia with sanctions, restricted financial support from European banks and
weak ruble only comes in flavor for Russian companies opening opportunities to
fulfill their potential abroad. So among exporting companies there are those who
aimed at foreign markets from the start; companies that manufacture unique
advanced technology products with no competitors in any part of the world; and
companies that take advantage of the current economic situation to expand their
ENERGOPROM Group has aimed at export from the start because there is no demand
for their technology in Russia. Now the company is a leading Russian
manufacturer of hi-tech electrode, cathode and other graphite and carbon-based
products. The Group’s products are widely used in aluminum, steel, silicon,
ferroalloys, chemical, nuclear, engineering, aerospace, electronics and power
industries. The company exports more than 50 per cent of its output covering
more than 60 countries around the world. The Group has its own R&D Center
developing projects for the industrial production of isostatic graphite. Most of
the Group’s products will be exported because in Russia there are still almost
no consumers of isostatic graphite, the market is still very small.
Research and Development Center "Transkor-K" is one of the exporting companies
with unique products to offer the world. The company specializes in the area of
pipeline systems non-destructive testing. One of the company’s biggest projects
was development of submerged and subterranean pipeline survey technology with
Malaysian oil company PETRONAS. In 10 year-old history the company has
successfully worked in Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia,
Mexico, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, UK and the USA.
Moreover, startups are also becoming more and more interested in technology
export and transfers.
Konstantin Semenko, expert on legal support and mediation of technology
transfer, says that Russian companies started to realize that innovations bring
economic growth and, thus, more and more often Russian companies turn to him for
consultation and support of technology transfers to foreign countries. “Not only
large corporations but also startup projects in Skolkovo seek international
expansion and expect to gain 20 % of income from abroad” – he says, “The
economical situation is in fact promising.”
Not only the Russian companies are ready to export but also foreign potential
consumers and suppliers of the technologies are looking at Russia as an
First of all, government has been increasing its support for innovative small
and medium-sized businesses according to the state strategy for innovative and
technological development. The infrastructure is growing, more and more
industrial parks, incubators and funds are opened across Russia, including
specialized and narrowly focused technology parks.
State Corporations such as "Rosnano" and major Foundations, including the
Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and
Technology and the Skolkovo Foundation presents grants and provide the
infrastructure for R&D projects. Due to government support of R&D and IPR
sectors are developing intensively.
Secondly, Russia has a vast intellectual property reserve. Large part of the
potential dates back to the Soviet Period, when science and technology industry
flourished. And now all the intellectual property from that time has formed in a
decent way. Other part of the intellectual property reserve comes from actively
developing R&D centers.
In the Skolkovo Foundation there is a project, "Intersoft Eurasia", which is
developing portable dosimeters that are compatible with modern mobile devices.
The company has received patents in China and Japan, which opens the company
markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Furthermore, one should not underestimate the benefits for foreign suppliers and
partners of cooperation with Russian exporters. Such as the price-performance
ratio, for example.
Production Company CJSC "Svetlana-Optoelectronics" produces lighting products
based on LEDs for over 10 years applying its own design and technology. Their
products meet international quality standards ISO. Though the price is not as
high as the European products and not as cheap as the mass Chinese products
which are twice less energy-effective than the European. Thus the quality of the
Russian company’s production is at the same level as Europe’s which is confirmed
by European certificate, but the price segment is between Europe and Asia.
However, having an idea is not enough, knowing how to commercialize it, how to
earn money on it – is the key. As R&D centers and institutes thrive with ideas,
most scientists lack common business knowledge. In foundations they can be
offered to make a practical use of their research and start a business, but
nobody will explain to them how it should be done.
“We collaborate closely with scientific society, industry and investors, and we
help assess the practical potential of scientific research or technology and its
commercial value”. – Konstantin says.
“And when you know the potential value of your innovation you realize the
importance of guarantee of intellectual property rights for success,” - he says.
“It is a major requirement for successful agreement in technology transfer. And
the cost of IPR is usually quite small in comparison with the capital
investments and risks that are involved.”
“There are well-developed internationally recognized mechanisms of sharing IPR.
But avoiding and not securing your rights on the intellectual property is an
internationally recognized absurdity.”
That’s where mediators like Konstantin are needed. Businessmen with legal
knowledge, and lawyers with business knowledge and experience.
Konstantin emphasizes the importance of mediators with legal and patent
specialty: “Filing for patents issued for practical processes of the
intellectual property and making sure that technology transfer or export
agreements satisfy both Russian researchers and developers and foreign suppliers
and partners should be by default part of the preparation for export.”
Another key point that needs thorough analysis is the process of the
technological transfer. It can involve licensing agreements or technology
leasing or setting up joint ventures and partnerships or engineering or
spin-outs or technical support services or personnel exchange or other. Each
process depends on the company’s goals and specific features of the entering
For example, Russia’s state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation not only
exports licenses on submarine technology to India, but also creates joint
ventures in military high-technology sector. And at the same time, United Engine
Building Corporation, another state company, delivered to India more than 100
technology kits for the production of fighter jet engines on its territory. This
means that the company should analyze and assess the most effective and
cost-effective process suitable for it.
“There are a growing number of Russian IT, biotechnology and hi-tech
manufacturers that have unique products to offer the world.” – he says.
“And we also work with foreign countries and know how consumer mindset differs
between the countries.” – Konstantin says.“
Starting partnerships and exporting to foreign markets is not possible to form
unilaterally, it is a two-way operation joint by mediators, including lawyers,
patent specialists and marketing specialists.
Assessing the risks and advantages of entering certain markets, choosing the
most effective method of transfer and providing knowledge about consumer and
supplier mindset of a specific country are few of the components of the chain of
“We seek to foster the growth of high-tech export and technological development.
We take advantage of our close collaborations with both business and scientific
societies to develop intellectual property, transfer technology and support
partnerships with foreign countries.”