St. Petersburg Technopark is a complex system, which implements projects along the whole chain of innovation development: from startups to industry, from the Business Incubator to the Cluster Development Centre.
At the moment, we have implemented the Ingria Business Incubator. This was the first step; the incubator was launched in 2008 as a pilot project and has gone on to become one of the most famous and successful business incubators in Russia, whose residents have currently attracted nearly RUB 1.5 bln in investments. Now, we have gone further and created a Cluster Development Centre. The Import Substitution Centre, the Centre for Innovation Implementation, the Engineering Centre, etc. are being discussed and prepared for implementation. The names of these centres may be different, but the essence is the same. Our task is to create services along the whole chain of development of an innovative company.
Thus, Technopark is becoming one of the key tools for the development of innovation policy in St. Petersburg. By the way, if we refer to international experience, technological parks are the key engines of regional innovation – this is their primary function stressed by almost all experts.
For example, as defined by the IASP (International Association of Science Parks), technology parks stimulate the flow of knowledge and technology between universities, developers, companies, market and the state; they facilitate the creation of innovative companies through the incubation process (startups, spinoffs, etc.); they shape an environment that stimulates innovation; they form a global network that helps thousands of companies to establish communication and achieve results.
In other words, the so-called “soft infrastructure” comes to the foreground, that is, the formation of networks and links between professionals, training, business-support policy, and so on.
For example, one of the tasks of the Cluster Development Centre is to identify and support cluster initiatives and to improve the efficiency of interaction between the productive sectors, state and science. Herewith, we are seeking to identify the real needs, the existing barriers, and to create the conditions to overcome them.
The fundamentals of this policy were laid in the Business Incubator, where we focused on creating an environment for effective technology transfer and the organization of interaction between startups and key players on the venture market. Now, we are forging ahead and implementing this policy on a fundamentally-new qualitative and quantitative level.