Topics

• Why countries are chasing innovation

• Common traps they fall into
• Specific challenges to innovation in Russia • How to avoid innovation traps and succeed

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Why Countries are Chasing Innovation

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Why countries are chasing innovation
• • • • Prosperity through economic growth National security Fear of “falling behind” It’s trendy

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Prosperity is no accident

It is the result of planning, investment, risk-taking and innovation

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US R&D spending

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McKinsey innovation map

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So most countries chase innovation

Hsinchu Tainan

Leading global innovation centers
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If only it were this easy . . .

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Typical Innovation Traps They Fall Into

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“We must be like Silicon Valley”
• Tendency to blindly copy California model
• But SV is a culture, not a place. . . easy to copy culture? • Timing issues; is SV model even still relevant?

• You’ll never lead through imitation; find your own style

2% to make it

Who do you want to be?
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50% for innovative IP

“We must have a shiny new city”
• “Field of Dreams” approach • Try to avoid the “Edifice Complex” • Remember, these were all built in a student dorm or garage:
Masdar City Skolkovo Songdo

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“The parts will make a whole”
• The abiogenesis approach: abstract, sterile assembly of “innovation components” that magically come to life
Coacervates Alexander Oparin

• Create an “innovation ecosystem” …and hope the “magic” happens. • Magic doesn’t happen, you make it happen.
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Think of innovation as a Rubik’s Cube

Entrepre neurs

Research & academic

Infrastr ucture Govt. Policy

• 6 different elements, communities • Different needs • Any change affects all
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VCs

Large Corp.

Think of innovation as a Rubik’s Cube
A few changes to any side and pretty soon you have this: Or worse, this

Looks simple, eh?
Only a holistic approach succeeds. And experience helps.
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Specific Challenges to Innovation in Russia

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General ranking not great: 51st

Source: The Global Innovation Index 2012 (Insead, WIPO)

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But innovation “efficiency” not bad
Russia

• Just slightly below trend line • Reasonable chances to improve

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The C-Word
• Karamzin said it best: «Воруют» (“They steal”) • Innovation will struggle in Russia with current levels of corruption • “Brain drain” will accelerate • State innovation projects must be the vanguard of honesty

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Russia needs to “close the gap”

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Russia needs to “close the gap”

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Russia needs to “close the gap”

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Recommendations for Successful Innovation

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1. Don’t force the glass slipper

• Innovation can’t be forced (though it can be encouraged) • Accept that Silicon Valley was a rare convergence of factors • Leverage your culture and strengths, don’t blindly imitate
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2. Be careful what you wish for…

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3. Can you handle the truth?
Innovation often requires: • Great individual freedom • Tolerating unconventional ideas and lifestyles • Open exchange of information and ideas • High tolerance for failure • High risk-taking In short, innovation is freedom: can you handle that?
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4. Set “stretch” yet achievable goals
UAE example: can a tiny oil sheikhdom become a world leader in cleantech and sustainability? You bet!

• • • • • •

world's largest offshore windfarm world's largest single operating CSP plant world's first CSP plant using molten salt as a transfer fluid world's first graduate-level research university dedicated to renewable energy world's largest renewable energy conference & expo (25,000 annual visitors) permanent UN headquarters for International Renewable Energy Agency
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5. Don’t blindly follow “the experts”

They’re often wrong
(Nice shoes, Albert)

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Discussion

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