Creating a new bridge with Russia

Innovation is moving away from pushing products out of labs […]

June 13, 2012

Innovation is moving away from pushing products out of labs towards creating value for clients. While it scarcely played a role in companies a few years ago, innovation has now topped the CEO agenda as one of the main strategies for sustaining growth. As a matter of fact, it includes the constant need to improve and create companies’ products, processes and services. The third Horasis Global Russia Business Meeting, hosted in Luxembourg on 22 and 23 April, underlined Luxembourg’s immense potential as an innovation hub for Russian firms.

Luxembourg – Russia to boost innovation capabilities

Luxembourg has confirmed its commitment to making innovation a number one priority of its national policy agenda. On top of offering a full range of custom-made investment incentives, designed to give new ventures a head-start, the country has developed a series of clusters since 2002.
Similarly, Russia has moved innovation to the forefront of its policies to accelerate its modernisation. Besides, the third Horasis Global Russia Business Meeting was the opportunity to highlight the strong ties between the two countries and more precisely to examine common initiatives to foster innovation.
One of the Boardroom Dialogue sessions was dedicated to Skolkovo, a planned high technology business area located in the suburbs of Moscow which will incubate new technologies. This project aims to develop human capital, diversify the Russian economy and integrate the country into global high technology.

Developing Techno parks, like Skolkovo, can attract investment and accelerate the country’s path to diversification”
Laurent Probst, Partner at PwC Luxembourg who chaired this session.


SkolkovoThe Skolkovo Park

Skolkovo fills the gap between pure science and business. The project has already approved grants to 450 startups to help them develop their technology and business. It also provides tax incentives, easy access to new clients and mechanisms to finance innovative ideas. In addition, startups pay about 60% of Moscow’s actual Real Estate price. All in all, Skolkovo is dedicated to attracting and crystallising talents.

The other side of the coin is that the main attraction for startups is cash. Money is granted for free. So, startups can hardly move to the next level – i.e. be independent. However, Skolkovo creates a systemic change as it paves the way for both entrepreneurs and investors to develop successful and innovative actions.

Developing business in Russia is on the Government’s agenda as the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, and the Chamber of Commerce as well as His Royal Highness Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume are to leave on a trade mission to promote economic expansion and innovation in Russia at the end of 2012.

Making a commitment to innovation

At PwC Luxembourg, the leading professional services firm, innovation has always been a cornerstone in its strategy. The firm brings unique perspectives and fresh thinking to develop innovative solutions to complex business issues. The launch of PwC’s Accelerator in June 2011 is one of the firm’s most innovative initiatives. As the first European platform, PwC’s Accelerator is designed to boost European high-tech companies and provide them with the services they need to expand internationally. To achieve this, PwC’s Accelerator connects entrepreneurs and investors by combining skills and networks into a single hub.

“Europe’s innovation potential needs to be fostered and developed to allow our economy to diversify. We must combine our efforts and resources to support innovative talent in Europe, who sometimes lack the support they need to go global”
Didier Mouget, Managing Partner at PwC Luxembourg.

It’s clear that innovation is critical. In fact, it’s the way to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive market. In our mature markets, CEOs need to lead innovation on multiple fronts whereas emerging economies are becoming the hotbeds of innovation.

By PwC Luxembourg

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