North Caucasus to become a major contractor to innovative technologies

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Makhachkala, January 30, 2015. The North Caucasus Federal District is ready to become a leading customer to innovation technology and developments, implementing the import substitution programs in three key areas: agriculture, industry and medical-balneological cluster, said Minister of North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov speaking at the first Russian conference "Innovation policy and Russian regions’ development" in the Skolkovo innovation center.

"The crisis sets a new frame of reference, redirecting the major players of innovation and start-up markets from external landmarks to internal "point of force application" and in this sense the Caucasus has all the prerequisites to become a testing ground for new technology," Kuznetsov commented. The minister also added the region has a firm foundation for developing import substitution programs based on innovative technologies.

"At the same time, the North Caucasus like any other Russian region is highly dependent on imports in multiple technologies. Experts say, our country's dependence on imported seed corn, sunflower, and sugar beet exceeds 50%, with vegetables it is about 90%. North Caucasus’ agriculture lacks domestic equipment for greenhouses and horticulture. The industry needs more engineering professionals," Kuznetsov commented.

The minister sees a solution to the problem in integrating technological ideas developed by Skolkovo innovative projects in the region’s economic opportunities.
"The North Caucasus Ministry’s major job now is in conjunction with Skolkovo integrate what we can do into what we need to do. We need to find those who are good at implementing start-up projects, give them technology, and launch the projects. We are ready to serve as integrators to this process, to ensure its administration and establish an effective mechanism for supporting import substitution projects in the North Caucasus," - the minister noted.

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