31 October 2013, 22:00

Russia should keep its researchers in the country – expert

Russia should keep its researchers in the country – expert

In the framework of the "Open Innovations" Forum in Moscow, which presents new cutting edge technologies, Dominique Fache, Enel’s General Director for Russia and CIS, told Voice of Russia about his impressions.

When the Forum has started its work in the first plenary meeting, what are your impressions?

“The impression is quite good. I am coming from Sophia Antipolis, which is the biggest science park in Europe, is located in Cote d’Azur, and I think this road is quite new for Russia. So, it is a big challenge for Russia to switch from the oil and gas economy to the innovation economy.”

What was the agenda of the meeting?

“The agenda is very different for different people. You have a lot of people knowing Russia, so they have to meet a lot of different investors, there are new people coming from Europe or from the US, and there are people – and I would like to emphasize this point – also coming from regions in Russia, because Russia is not only Moscow. I think the region should be involved in this process of innovation.”

Could you tell us more about Russia’s experience in innovation and technology?

“I think I was involved in the very beginning, because I had the chance to be in Schlumberger, it is a famous oil and gas services company, and the success of Schlumberger is coming from the investment in science and technology. And we are the leaders, Schlumberger is the leader in this field. I know that the challenge for Russia is to keep the research people here in Russia, and, unfortunately, if I remember well, only from 2002, only 15 of these centers were open for foreign investment in Russia against 275 in China. So, Russia has a lot to do on this, and for a foreign company there is a lot to take from good people and good education in Russia.”

What is your company doing in Russia? How can it help Russia transition from oil and gas to a more scientific approach or more technology-based?

“Before coming to Russia in 1991-1992, I was involved in the creation of Sophia and we have a lot of people visiting Sophia as a reference. Anatoly Chubais came three years ago back to Sophia and I think Sophia Antipolice is a kind of model, a reference. You have a chance, but you have to do your own with the world which is changing every day. When we started Sophia Antipolis, there was no internet. It is difficult to imagine today to start a project like that without internet.”

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