Guests saw the world’s first industrial facilities producing plastic electronics components
Moscow, November 9. Representatives of the Expert Board of the National Award for Effective Application of Advanced Technologies, known as Prioritet 2.0 (12+), visited the TechnoSpark Group of Companies of the investment network of the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (RUSNANO) and became familiar with its experience in the creation and development of tech companies based on startup studio model. A tour of the manufacturing campus was conducted by Denis Kovalevich, founder and shareholder of TechnoSpark. Vadim Kulikov, Chairman of the Expert Board of the Prioritet 2.0 Award, CEO of the International Foundation for Technological Development, and Vitaly Rasnitsyn, Chairman of the Award Organizing Committee, were invited to take a look at innovative startups and contract manufacturing facilities.
As part of this expert tour, the guests visited the Russian Center for Flexible Electronics and saw the world’s first industrial facilities engaged in producing plastic electronics components. The technology of flexible displays and sensors is already consolidating an entire cluster of startups engaged in the development of finished products, such as electronic price labels, badges, transport and bank smart cards, fingerprint scanners, etc. In the nearest future, the transfer of technology for color flexible LCD displays will be completed, which will allow companies to switch to the production of, for example, next-generation smart assistants. In 2021-2022, it is planned to release plastic single-use NFC tags for products and biosensors using the IGZO technology, said Alexey Gostomelsky, CEO of the Russian Center for Flexible Electronics. The experts also visited the industrial site of Artek Braiding, a company specializing in radial weaving of sleeves for products made of composite materials, the laboratory of Solartek, a company engaged in developing, manufacturing and engineering flexible solar modules for roofs, facades, windows and other building surfaces, as well as examined the assembly warehouse robot lines of Ronavi Robotics and the 3D printers of IMPRINTA. After that, the guests went to see the machining areas of TEN fab (contract manufacturing) and the facility producing artificial single-crystal diamonds for jewelry and tools (Diamond Lab).
As a brief presentation, Denis Kovalevich spoke about the business model, according to which TechnoSpark works, as well as about its development plans. “We act as a startup studio: instead of selection, we create startups on our own, analyze bottlenecks in new industries, choose technologies and, if necessary, transfer ready-made foreign technologies. We also recruit a team of workers where there is no place for highly paid managers,” explains Denis Kovalevich. One of the suppliers of managers for new companies is the “#startupdiplom” program, in which already 15 universities from all over the country take part: their students have the opportunity to undergo an annual internship, creating one of the TechnoSpark startups. The infrastructure intended to develop and manufacture tech startup products is concentrated in contract facilities that operate not only for the TechnoSpark Group of Companies, but also for other customers. A new direction includes the construction of pilot plants, the first of which is the Russian Center for Flexible Electronics. These plants also imply the creation of thematic startups for the end application of main plant products.
The unique startup studio model implemented by TechnoSpark deserves special attention. This is one of the best projects aimed at creating an infrastructure for the innovation environment of both the RUSNANO Group and other development institutions. TechnoSpark has assumed responsibility for professional startup development and investment raising, deployed digital technologies and created necessary contract manufacturing capable of implementing engineering plans and bringing new products into series production. In general, this gives a very good effect, making innovative products more accessible for the Russian market.
Vadim Kulikov, Chairman of the Expert Board of the Prioritet 2.0 Award
“Here we have a real production line. Such conditions for the development of material-based startups or, as they say, hardware startups can be found almost nowhere else,” said Vadim Kulikov. He drew attention to the fact that this year two startups of the investment network of the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs had been nominated for the Prioritet 2.0 Award, namely the Russian Center for Flexible Electronics from TechnoSpark and TestGen, a genetic test manufacturer from the Ulyanovsk NanoCenter ULNANOTECH. “I am sure that the number of applicants from nanocenters will only increase in the future,” added Vadim Kulikov.