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Rusnano: Fostering Nanotechnology Innovation in Russia

04/09/2010 12:00 PM E51"345
Anatoly Chubais, General Director; Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO); Noubar Afeyan, PhD '87, Managing Partner and CEO, Flagship 87Ventures

Description: In both lecture format and conversation with Sloan Senior Lecturer Noubar Afeyan, RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais presents an ambitious plan to create Russia's Nanotechnology Center-a $10 billion, entrepreneurial ecosystem that incorporates education, research and business incubation. Noting that a plan of this depth also requires the deep engagement with an academic institution Chubias discusses the launch of SKOLKOVO, the Moscow School of Management, where MIT Sloan has been involved in a major collaboration.

From MIT Sloan School of Management Newsroom

RUSNANO, part economic development entity, part venture capital firm, recently turned to MIT Sloan to devise a custom Executive Education program to help it cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Russia. The effort is part of the government's plan to diversify their natural"resource"based economy. "We're creating an innovation economy," said Anatoly Chubais, CEO of RUSNANO, and a leading architect of Russia's post"Soviet privatization. "We are to be entrepreneurial not just at a company level, but at a country level." With a budget of up to $10 billion (USD) in government funds, RUSNANO co"invests in nanotechnology projects in areas such as solar energy, composite materials, nano"biotechnology, and mechanical engineering that have high potential for commercial or social benefit. RUSNANO stipulates that all companies that win funding must operate in Russia. Its goal is to ensure the production of the value of Russia's nanotechnology industry reaches $30 billion by 2015. MIT Sloan's custom program featured sessions on leadership, organizational change, innovation, strategy, and entrepreneurship. But what most interested the nine RUSNANO executives who attended the course was how MIT has so successfully commercialized its innovation.

"MIT research and its entrepreneurial spinoffs have had a huge impact on the local economy, the U.S. economy, and global economies," says Steven Eppinger, Professor of Management Science and Engineering Systems at Sloan, who lead the program. "We're a living example of what they're trying to do."

Replicating MIT's start"up culture is a key challenge for RUSNANO because Russia does not have a tradition of commercializing ideas that come out of the academic structure, says Noubar Afeyan, a Senior Lecturer at MIT in both the Sloan School of Management and the Biological Engineering Department, and one of the instructors in the program.

About the Speaker(s): Anatoly Chubais was born in Borisov, Belarus, then a part of the Soviet Union in 1955. He graduated in 1977 from the Leningrad Institute of Economics and Engineering with a degree in economics. He continued on as an assistant lecturer at his alma mater immediately after his graduation until 1982. He then became an assistant professor until 1990. Starting in 1990, he served as deputy chairman of the Leningrad Executive Committee. He also advised St. Petersburg Mayor, Anatoly Sobchak, on economic matters. He played a central role in Russia's transformation from a Soviet to market"based economy. As an influential member of the Yeltsin Administration, Mr. Chubais was instrumental in the privatization of Russia's economy in the 1990s. During his time in office, he held the post of Finance Minister for several terms as well as the post of Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office. In 1997, he became First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Minister of Finance, and presided on the Security Council of the Russian Federation. During that year, Mr. Chubais also awarded Euromoney Magazine's 'Best Minister of Finance of the Year' award. Mr. Chubais was also chairman of Russia's state electric power monopoly RAO Unified Energy System of Russia for 10 years. More recently, he was appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev as CEO of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (Rusnano), a non"profit state owned corporation to facilitate interaction between government, business, and the scientist community in the implementation of state policy for the nano"industry. Mr. Chubais has also played an important role in the launch of the SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management in collaboration with MIT Sloan.

Host(s): Sloan School of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

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