Contours of Digital Innovation: How Russia is Making the Digital Leap?


On the second day of the “Open Innovations” at the “Matryoshka” hall of the Skolkovo Innovation Center there was a plenary session on “Smart Country. National Strategy ”with the participation of Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation.

The plenary session participants were: Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, CEO of the Yandex Group of Companies Arkady Volozh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABB Peter Voser, Vice Chairman of Mastercard Ann Cairns, CEO of Unilever Paul Polman, Chairman of the Board of SIBUR Holding Dmitry Konov.

Last year, the Russian government developed and approved the Digital Economy program. In 2018, it was reformatted into a national project – according to Dmitry Medvedev, this demonstrates the significance of the program. The session speakers spoke about what needs to be done to implement the national strategy for the digitalization of society.

As the Prime Minister noted, the creation of Smart Country is impossible without the participation of users. In Russia, people are more willing than they are to make technological innovations a part of their daily lives.

“Last year for the first time our country entered the top ten countries – leaders of the digital economy according to the Digital Society Index rating – due to the high involvement of people. For many, such services as “digital” calling a taxi, car sharing, renting bicycles, buying food and other goods have already become completely familiar. These services are good for at least one: they eliminate the middlemen, and therefore make the service itself much cheaper. For a big country like Russia, it also creates access to remote places, which qualitatively changes the lives of many people, ”said Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the Russian Government.

After the speech by the Prime Minister, a question and answer session began. On the official website of Open Innovations, the guests of the Forum had the opportunity to ask a question to the speaker of the plenary session of interest. Moderator of the discussion, Chairman at the international level and CEO of Ernst & Young, Mark Weinberger asked the best of them to the participants of the discussion. The question and answer session was divided into three thematic blocks: “smart economy”, “smart environment” and “smart society”.

The Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, spoke about creating a “smart environment” and introducing high technologies into the life of the city.

“More recently, in Moscow, there were problems with the availability, quality and control of education. To solve them, we made a number of structural changes. At the same time, it became clear that without introducing information technologies, a high level cannot be achieved. That is why the Moscow Electronic School project was created. Thanks to him, we managed to put things in order in the shortest possible time – to ensure enrollment and increase accessibility in schools and preschool institutions ”, – Sergey Sobyanin cited the example.

The general director of the Yandex group of companies, Arkady Volozh, answered the question about what awaits humanity in the future in terms of digital breakthroughs. According to him, unmanned vehicles have a future: cars today “see” much better than people.

“We have just signed an agreement with Skolkovo, and next Monday the first brave souls will be able to press the button – and the car without a driver will arrive in a minute, they will sit in it,” said Arkady Volozh. – “An unmanned vehicle will see a traffic light even where we will not see it.” Visual technologies today are such that you can take a code, write a program that will recognize faces better than a person does. ”

Recall that the theme of the VII Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development “Open Innovations” is “Sources of Digital Breakthrough”. During the three thematic days, international experts, government and business representatives, researchers and young entrepreneurs from more than 90 countries will speak at the Skolkovo Innovation Center.

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