Telehealth and industrial robotics, artificial vision and pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment and food product constituents are the areas where Tomsk Oblast plans to develop its manufacture of export products.
For this purpose, four project alliances were established in collaboration with manufacturing companies. The Oblast deputies discussed the implementation of the government program for the development of innovative activity and science, including the establishment of the "Smart Technologies Tomsk" Innovation Cluster.
The government program under the name "Development of Innovative Activity and Science in Tomsk Oblast" is the sixth iteration since 2002. Today, stakes are being made on the development of an innovative territorial cluster called Smart Technologies Tomsk to help accomplish the new objective set by the Ministry of Economic Development for the regions: to increase the share of high-technology exports.
This cluster was not created from scratch; it included previously supported projects with export potential, one of the most significant of which is Pharmaceutics, Medical Equipment and IT. The cluster was focused on rapidly growing markets, in connection with which four project alliances were formed: the line of active pharmaceutical components and biopharmaceutical substances; artificial vision; the line of cross-market products for air, ground and offshore unmanned vehicles; and integrated information and communication systems for extreme environmental conditions and industrial and medical robotics. The alliances unite companies and higher educational institutions focused on the corresponding markets.
In 2017, 48 million rubles were budgeted for the development of the innovative Smart Technologies Tomsk territorial cluster, and the total financing of the government program amounts to almost 126 million rubles. Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya asked what the criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the project this year were. The reporter of the committee, Andrey Antonov, Deputy Governor on Economics, pointed out that this year's task was to form alliances and let the companies see that the cluster is an opportunity for business development, not for obtaining budget subsidies. Oksana Kozlovskaya drew attention to the problem of staff training for innovative business:
"According to the project, 5,000 new jobs should be created by 2020. It is of the utmost importance for us that these people be trained in our educational institutions. I believe today's problem is that innovative enterprises cannot define or put together a cohesive request for staff training. Higher education institutions and secondary vocational institutions are ready to train staff 'to order', but the realty is that there is no order. I think we should pay special attention to this matter."
Viktor Vlasov, the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy, suggested focusing attention on financing for the government program:
"To advise the administration of the Oblast to maintain the amount of financing for the government program in 2018 at least at the same level as in 2017. If we want to implement the new activities mentioned above, we cannot cut financing at all."
The speaker suggested supplementing the resolution with a clause regarding the formation of a request from innovative businesses for staff training. The deputies of the committee supported their associates.
"I think that it's a matter of honor for us to make these four cluster alliances a reality, because it will essentially be the cornerstone of a future success story. We should raise new heroes so others can see that it brings results," Oksana Kozlovskaya said in summation.