30 January 2013

BIO-2020: results of the seminar

Seminar on the BIO-2020 program in Rusnano:
2013 will be decisive in the selection of regional projects
for state programs to support biotechnologies

Rusnano Press CenterRepresentatives of academic and applied science, business, development institutions and government discussed the development of the Russian biotechnology industry at a seminar in Rusnano, held on January 29, 2013.

Oleg Fomichev, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, spoke about the prerequisites, goals and main directions of the state program for the development of biotechnologies in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020 (the BIO-2020 program).

Assessing the state of the biotechnology industry in Russia compared to the world level, Oleg Fomichev named the goals of the state program "BIO-2020", approved in April 2012: an increase in consumption of biotechnological products by 8.3 times, production by 33 times, a reduction in imports by 50% and an increase in the share of exports in the production of biotechnological products by more than 25 once. In general, the program should ensure that the level of production of biotechnological products reaches about 1% of GDP by 2020 and create prerequisites for achieving 3% of GDP by 2030. This will allow Russia to reach the world level: according to forecasts of the Ministry of Economic Development, in 2030 the share of biotechnologies in the OECD countries will amount to 2.7% of GDP, and in developing countries it will be even higher. Today, medicine and pharmaceuticals (60%) and agrobiotechnology (12%) occupy the largest share in the global biotechnology market. Industrial, marine, forestry and ecobiotechnology together account for 28% of the biotechnology market.

The main tool for the implementation of the BIO-2020 program, Fomichev noted, will be already existing state programs – "Development of Science and Technology", "Development of Healthcare", etc. Among the areas of support are measures to create markets (for example, public procurement of biodegradable plastics, discouraging outdated technologies), the introduction of "green" standards and technical regulation. Special attention will be paid to supporting regional programs. Development institutes – VEB, RVC, Rusnano, RFTR and Skolkovo – are recommended to include biotechnologies among the priorities.

Vladimir Avdeenko, Head of the Economic Analysis and Strategic Planning Department of the Strategic Development Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, spoke about the principles and mechanisms of the implementation of the BIO-2020 program. They are being developed by an interdepartmental working group led by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich.

The package principle of support provides for the simultaneous provision of subsidies from several ministries. For example, the Ministry of Economic Development provides subsidies to a regional project as part of the small and medium–sized business support program, the Ministry of Industry and Trade - as part of the state program for industrial development, and the Ministry of Agriculture provides subsidies to agricultural producers participating in the project.

According to the principle of priority directions, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has formed three groups of products and technologies. The first category includes products for the markets of biotechnological products that exist in Russia, but are insignificant in volume. An example could be agricultural products – enzymes, biofertilizers, vaccines, test systems, amino acids, etc. The main tasks in this group are regulatory and technical regulation and support for demand, as well as support for Russian companies in world markets. The second group of priorities includes markets for the formation of which it is necessary to create new products – for example, biodegradable materials (packaging, autoplastics) and chemical products obtained by biosynthesis. The tasks in this group are the formation of a research program, its connection with development institutions and the formation of initial demand for products. The third group of priorities includes products and technologies, the development of which in Russia requires political decisions – for example, biofuels.

The regional principle provides for reliance on local projects. In 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in cooperation with business associations, should select pilot regions and include them in state support programs in order to form a package of resources for 2014.

The export support principle of the Ministry of Industry and Trade includes the support of Russian companies at the stage of registration and industrial testing abroad, the harmonization of methods and procedures for registration of drugs, the formation of the country's position in relevant international organizations, as well as support for contract manufacturing in Russia.

The principle of supporting the pilot industrial and experimental base provides for the creation of pilot and industrial experimental centers from scratch, the development of the existing base - scientific organizations and manufacturing companies - as well as stimulating the training of specialists.

Having outlined the principles of long–term work, Vladimir Avdeenko spoke about the results that are planned to be achieved by the end of 2015 - to deploy bio-industrial clusters in 5-7 regions, to create 2-3 pilot and industrial experimental centers, at least 2 training centers, etc.

Nadezhda Orlova, partner of the Abercade research company, presented an overview of the biotechnology market at the seminar, outlining the positions of the Russian market in the field of biopharmaceuticals, agrobiotechnologies, bioenergy, as well as industrial biotechnologies, including biopolymers.

The seminar was attended by 5 representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 10 representatives of regional authorities, 19 representatives of scientific organizations, 17 representatives of development institutes and more than 30 heads of large and medium-sized businesses.

The discussion that unfolded after the speeches of the key speakers was summed up by the Chairman of the Board of Rusnano Anatoly Chubais: "The task of business, including Rusnano portfolio companies, is to form their own request in the field of biotechnology and go with it to the relevant ministries. Existing companies can occupy their niche in biotechnology by expanding their product line – for example, into the segment of biodegradable polymers. Diversification can become no less important than the development of biotech businesses from scratch."

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru30.01.2013

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