Enterprise of Nanotechnologies Opens in Russia

On Monday, the first nanotechnological batch manufacturing opened in Russia in the city of Rybinsk, Yaroslavl region. The enterprise was created with participation of ROSNANO, NPO “Saturn,” and OAO Gazprombank. The enterprise “New instrumental solutions” will produce solid carbide tooling with multilayered nanostructure coating, RIA Novosti reports.

The constituent documents for the enterprise were signed by the founders on October 15, 2008. It took almost 18 months to complete the entire cycle from ground zero to the completion of construction and the launch.

The entire volume of investment for the project is 1 billion rubles, 500 million of which was invested by the state corporation. NPO “Saturn” has 25% plus one share, Gazprombank has 25% plus one share, SC Rosnano has 50% minus two shares.

The enterprise will produce solid carbide tooling with multilayered nanostructure coating to be used for the engineering industry and for air engines in particular. Nanostructure coating increases wear of the tools which allows processing metals at higher speeds and increases their service life. The orders have been already submitted for these tools.

The opening ceremony was attended by Sergey Ivanov, vice prime minister, Anatoly Chubais, general director of Rosnano, Sergey Vakhrukov, Governor of Yaroslavl region, as well as the mayor of Rybinsk, managing director of NPO Saturn and general director of ZAO NIR. Representatives of potential consumers also attended the ceremony.

Chubais wrote in his blog earlier that nanotechnologies introduced at Rybinsk factory in March of 2010 will “radically improve the quality of work and service life of cutting tools while decreasing the number of re-sharpening.”

“I think that if this business develops properly, it has a huge potential for expansion. The technology has capacities that will allow its use beyond tools production. This is, without exaggeration, a new technical world level which introduces the task of competition with leading western brands in Russia and strategically, entering the world market.”

Lately, the Russian government has been paying close attention to the development of nanotechnologies in Russia. At the conference “Innovations and technological modernization” held in the middle of April of 2010 during the Russian Business Week, vice prime minister Sergei Ivanov mentioned that in the near future the President was expected to sign a decree establishing 8 priority directions of nanotechnology development and 27 critical technologies necessary for the Russian economy, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

Every technology will have a passport reflecting positions of the main functions of technologies, area of application, and innovative products and services created with them. Ivanov explained that it will allow concentrating government and business resources on certain projects.

Rosnano was also discussed at the conference. The vice prime minister said that there were first results produced by the state corporation, i.e., a factory in Rybinsk collaborating with ROSNANO. He said the factory was ready to start production of cutting tools and drills with nano coating. Ivanov emphasized that there were orders for these tools in place. A number of other enterprises cofounded by ROSNANO will start production of rather tangible market products. In all these cases an absolutely correct investment method was chosen where a state corporation cannot invest more than 50% of the cost of the project.

The vice prime minister also talked about the state corporation “Bank of development and external economy activity.” He thinks the corporation should act as a development institute, but because of the crisis it was vested with new functions beyond financing of high technology sector, Ivanov stated.

He reminded that the government is increasing investment in innovations under the conditions of state deficit, while private investors make very modest investments in the sector.

According to Ivanov, the reduction of the business sector participation in the financing of scientific developments may lead to a dangerous disconnection between these developments and actual needs of the economy. Therefore, the business sector must participate in the development of themes for scientific development and further financing of the research, including the research under federal special-purpose programs. Ivanov believes that commercialization remains to be a problematic issue since budget funds are mostly invested into science and manufacturing.

Marina Volkova

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey