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The Open Innovations Forum: Smart Country

On the second day of the Open Innovations Forum the experts focused on the business environment transformation issues: advanced technologies, corporate innovations, venture capital investments in digital transformation and innovation ecosystems. The media partners of the Forum are Accreditation in Education Company and Higher Education Discovery.

The key event of the day was the plenary session 'Smart Country. National Strategy' attended by Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. The speakers included Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex, Peter Voser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABB, Ann Cairns, Vice President of Mastercard, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR.

Last year the Government of Russia developed and approved the Digital Economy program. In 2018 it was reformatted into the national project, which demonstrates its significance, according to Dmitry Medvedev. The speakers discussed the ways of implementation of the national strategy of the society digitization.

According to Prime Minister, it is impossible to create Smart Country without users' participation. Russian people are readier to integrate technological innovations into their everyday life than Europeans.

Last year Russia was included in the TOP 10 of countries leading in digital economy for the first time according to the Digital Society Index ranking– thanks to a high level of involvement.

The country's key digitalization initiatives include the development of electronic public services, the creation of a comfortable legislative habitat not burdened with excessive regulation, the improvement of cybersecurity, and cooperation with high-tech companies.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister: 'The access to knowledge and competences needs to be supported with the access to technologies. While Moscow and Saint Petersburg are on a par with global leaders, other regions are lagging behind. We intend to eliminate the 'digital inequality', including by expanding capabilities in the sphere of healthcare, distance learning and provision of public services.'

The Prime Minister's speech was followed by a Q and A session. At the official website of Open Innovations the guests had an opportunity to ask a question to any speaker of the plenary session. The discussion moderator, the global Chairman and CEO of Ernst&Young Mark Weinberger, asked the best questions. The Q and A session was divided into three topical units: 'smart economics,' 'smart environment' and 'smart society.'

Sergey Sobyanin told about the creation of 'smart environment' and introduction of high technologies in the city life.

'Not that long ago, Moscow had to face some problems with education accessibility, quality and control. To solve them we made a number of structural changes. At the same time we understood that it is impossible to reach high level without information technologies. That is why the Moscow Electronic School project was created. It helped us to put things right within the shortest possible time - to ensure enrollment and increase accessibility in schools and preschool facilities', - said Sergey Sobyanin.

Arkady Volozh answered a question about the future of mankind from a perspective of digital breakthroughs. He says that self-driving cars have a future: machines can «see» much better than people today.

The Digital Economy National Program was also presented. Maxim Akimov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government, marked the main focus areas of the national project.

'The two main things we will work on include the creation of the National Data Architecture meeting the needs of the parties and the state, and data regulation. The things that used to be expensive can cost nothing today, and vice versa. The digital economy is here, but what's important is what we do about it', — said Maxim Akimov.

Maxim Akimov opened the panel session 'Digital economy in the age of 'smart' technologies.'

The following speakers were engaged in the discussion: Andrei Chibis, Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing of the Russian Federation, Edwin Diender, Vice President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, Jianbo Hu, President China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, Vladimir Mesropyan, Head of the Project Management Office at the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, and Sergey Nakvasin, Director for the Development of Research Competencies of autonomous noncommercial organization 'Digital Economy'.

The Open Stage saw the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between Skolkovo Ventures LLC and the Russia-China Investment Fund for Regional Development (IFRD). It was announced during the event that the IFRD would invest RUB 1.5 billion in the existing funds of Skolkovo Ventures (IT, industrial and agricultural), and would act as an anchor investor in two new funds of Skolkovo Ventures with the total capital of $300 million.

Several panel sessions of the second day were all dedicated to healthcare and development of digital medicine. Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, presented the Life Science project.

'Life science is one of Skolkovo priorities. A healthcare centre for diagnosing the most severe diseases was opened here in September. This is a signal to everyone that Skolkovo regards it as its top priority in the near future. The decision will also impact the allocation of resources.'

The second day of Open Innovations also served as a platform for the launch of the Third Russia-China Forum titled "Investing in Innovation". Government officials and representatives of the business, start-ups and venture funds discussed the states' bilateral cooperation in the sphere of high technologies.

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