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The digitalisation of critical infrastructure and strategic consortia


  • The risk of Russia ceasing to be a technology leader

“One of the most important technology development drivers <...> is digitalisation. <...> Global leaders use digital solutions 3–4 times as much as we do,” said Alexey Kudrin, Deputy Chairman, Economic Council under the President of the Russian Federation.

  • Regulatory framework not mature enough to unlock the commercial potential of Big Data

“Regulation is the area where we lag especially far behind. The problem is not that the market is in the grey zone and you cannot sell data. <...> Nobody would invest their money and time as long as the regulatory framework is not there,” said Kirill Varlamov, Head, Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF).


  • The market's drive to improve digital regulations

“I believe that, in the next two years, there will be attempts regulating certain digitalisation areas. <...> We need to <...> help key market players reach an agreement, ensure Government involvement and change the relevant laws,” said Alexey Kudrin.

“They need very strong coordination relationships. We need very strong R&D power. <...> We need very light and easy regulation. <...> We need investment from the finance system. <...> Continuous signalling system is also required. <...>,” said Jong-lok Yoon, President, National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA).

“The law on telemedicine is a good example here. <...> When the bill was submitted to the State Duma, we saw a rise in the number of transactions, businesses became more active, and private investors started looking for attractive opportunities,” said Kirill Varlamov.

  • Government-led digitalisation of critical infrastructure

“The Government should encourage and facilitate digitalisation of critical infrastructure, especially the one relating to the provision of essential services, transport, finance and, since recently, also public administration,” said Alexey Kudrin.

  • Government support in setting up strategic consortia

“The Government is willing to provide incentives, implementation guarantees, and sometimes even subsidies. <...> But the Government should not press too hard. We need to put in place R&D consortia, a format that is new to Russia, but widely and successfully used throughout the world <...>,” said Alexey Kudrin.

“<...> In case of end-to-end technologies and academic hubs, the newly created consortia will need to put in place special agreements setting out the distribution of roles and deliverables,” said Alexander Povalko, Chairman of the Management Board, RVC.

“We will need consortia, because the challenges are so big that we cannot address them on our own. <...> The existence of standards and cooperation with both national <...> and international players are of paramount significance,” said Kirill Korniliev, Vice President, Solutions Unit, Industry Solutions and Business Development, IBM Central and Eastern Europe.

  • Innovation centres

“Five years ago, our Government declared creative economy. <...> Our Government prepared 18 creative innovation centres throughout the country, <...> [which were] matched with big companies, such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG. <...> As a result, our job creation is quite dynamic,” said Jong-lok Yoon.

  • Investments in education and staff development

“If we break down the market capitalisation of such majors, as Google, Yandex, Facebook, and Uber, we will see that the main price driver here is software, <...> which is produced by people,” said Kirill Varlamov.

  • Digital infrastructure

“We will need networks capable of transmitting large amounts of data, i.e. brand new infrastructure that requires the construction of digital platforms of all sorts. <...> [For one thing,] this could be a cyber security platform, which would largely rely on the effective interaction with law enforcement bodies,” said Mikhail Oseevskiy, President, Rostelecom.