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Innovative Zelenograd

Innovative Zelenograd

Innovative Zelenograd

Journal “Stolichny Stil”, ¹3/2008

Zelenograd celebrated its 50 th Anniversary on March 3 rd 2008, exactly on this day in 1958 the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a decision on establishing city-satellite of Moscow. At this time the state set an important political task of creating electronic industry in the country. From scratch in a record-breaking period at 17 km away from Moscow Ring Road there was built a city to function as a research-and-production complex. There have been established technological institutions aligned with pilot plants and opened an institute for training specialists of the new branch as well as all needed social infrastructure was created. And the result was not long in coming – the lag of the USSR from advanced Western developments in the field of microelectronics was reduced to 2-3 years. Today we again need to develop at a great pace native microelectronics and Zelenograd has a leading role in this process. Above that, Zelenograd Administrative District of Moscow solves many city-building and social problems. Prefect Anatoly Smirnov tells “Stolichny Stil” about present-time Zelenograd and its role in capital life.

- Anatoly Nikolaevich, I want to start from the most important question. After all the post soviet time difficulties did Zelenograd manage to maintain the status of Russian microelectronics center?

- Today about 80% of domestic integrated circuits is produced in Zelenograd. This figure speaks for itself. In 90s due to the system of support measures carried out by Moscow Government we managed to preserve research-and-technical base and human resources of city enterprises. Territorial and industrial zone Zelenograd acquired a special status that allowed in the framework of Moscow regional competency to provide microelectronic enterprises with certain benefits. These enterprises acquired a chance to estimate carefully the situation and find out the development ways. Since 2000 we have started to recover our production volumes and one year later achieved the indices of pre-crises year of 1990. Over the last years the electronic industry enterprises have been developing in a dynamic way at a rate not less than 25% per year and last year production growth reached 29%.

-The most important task of today is to transform raw materials Russia into technological Russia. Are the developments of Zelenograd institutes and enterprises, science in general supported by the state?

- Russia won't be able to develop as a great power if it is focused only on the raw materials production, and the point is not even in natural resources to be exhausted in some time.

Above all it would be a crime to lose intellectual and educational potential of Russia. But we, frankly speaking, don't wait for finance help from the state, this is not our case now. Of course, the state can support certain strategic elements or free economic zones but it is not able to finance creation of new capacities and development of science in scale we need today. Everybody sees this point, there is no illusion that the state cannot leave enterprises related to the cutting-edge technologies, defense industry and so on. Although many have suffered waiting for come-back and not taking any measures on restructuring and new markets search.

-But today there are more and more talks on state and business interaction…

- Yes, state can support developing spheres on the basis of public private partnership. Last year we launched the basic line on production of 0.18 micron ICs, without them we would never have been able to produce a Russian computer. The state share in this project is about 10% and this gives it a totally different status. State participation has become a guarantee of project implementation for more than 40 suppliers The second very important factor is creation of new markets not for competition with foreign producers and developers but for perspectives at the internal market. Production volumes of our enterprises exceed inner consumption many times owing to the lack of markets development. Production of microelectronics is in demand first of all in the sphere of information technologies and the development of this branch is a state task. Over the last year and a half there have been held the meetings with participation of the first deputy Prime-minister Sergei Ivanov and Minister of education and science Andrei Fursenko. In the framework of these negotiations the role of the state as a contributor to the planning of IT-market was discussed. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin delivering his speech at the Council on Science, Technology and Education in Zelenograd also talked about giving IT-companies tax and other benefits.

- Is it possible to attract investors by future profits taking into account the importance of microelectronics for the development of the country?

- It is already happening as in Zelenograd there is a special economic zone of techno-promotional type with exclusively favourable investment climate. Recently at the state level there have been decided on building a fab with entirely new equipment for producing 64-65-nm microcircuits. This fab will be built from scratch near plant “Mikron” and 2 bn rubles investment will be divided between state and private sectors approximately 50 to 50. All examining evaluations have been carried out and soon we will be producing microcircuits for mobile phones, operative systems for computers and so on. In 2 or 3 years there will appear a technology making possible not to buy anything abroad and produce independently most complicated electronic systems. It is not that we do not want to be dependent on the import, we can buy cheap Chinese microcircuits for household appliances that do not demand high reliability and speed. But if we want to move forward, for example, to have our own digital television we need to develop this sphere that will serve as a driving force advancing the whole economy.

- In this case are you speaking about nanotechnologies?

- This is a topic for a special talk but if we touched it upon, I can say that we have serious research developments in terms of creating measurement equipment and so-called nanofabs. Among 8 areas that are defined at the federal level in strategy aimed at creating nanoindustry infrastructure there are 2 fields that are headed by our organizations: Research Institute of Physical Problems named after F.V.Lukin is responsible for “nanoelecronics” area and Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology is working in the area of “nanoengineering”. For re-equipping these organizations 1.36 bn rubles was assigned from federal budget.

-All around the globe science is developing not only due to large research institutions but also thanks to small companies. Could you please comment on situation in Zelenograd in this respect?

-When we say “innovative Zelenograd” but mean not only major enterprises that employ one-third of working population, we also talk about our small companies. In comparison with other regions 30% of these enterprises are involved in research and technology. In Moscow we have the level of 7-8% and in terms of Russia this figure is even less as generally small enterprises are engaged in trade. In Zelenograd everybody who wants to open up his business can count on state support, benefits and help. The advanced support system for small enterprises is provided by “Technopark-Zelenograd” and for support of newly-established enterprises Zelenograd Innovative Technological Center is using special program “Start”. Promotion of small business at the innovative market is one of our major tasks.

-What innovations are implemented in Zelenograd as a city not as a science center?

-Undoubtedly, innovation field is not only microelectronics, nanotechnology but also city environment. We have developed information technologies inside the city ranging from single information computing centers to centers of population service. We speak about it not as a future project, these technologies are working now. Centre of population service provides more than 100 services for population and businesses in the framework of “single window” system, meanwhile in other places about 50-60 documents are given out. It means that some time ago we have chosen the right way of uniting informational resources, not representatives of different services.

- And in terms of city life informatization you appeared in the forefront…

-We have the program “Electronic Zelenograd”, it is totally integrated with “Electronic Moscow” as it is financed from Moscow budget but we attract private investments as well. 2001 witnessed the implementation of new land transport passenger control system. I can't say that we were sure of our success but we took the risk and managed to count everybody who uses city public transport. If a person has transport benefits, anyway someone has to pay for him; it is the agency that provided this benefit for him. We needed this system to get into account who is carrying whom and who is paying for what and also we needed it to estimate the quality of services provided by carrier. By means of turnstiles Zelenograd autopark can track passenger traffic and optimize transport movement taking into consideration citizens' actual needs. We moved forward and equipped all route transport vehicles with navigation systems. On the ground of gathered data on transport situation we decided on buying 122 new buses and building new bus park for 300 vehicles.

- Are there similar examples in other spheres of district life?

-We have another unique development that substantially widens microcircuit and other electronic components market. I talk about shops of “Utkonos” chain where minimization of selling price is based not on seller's wish but exclusively on high technologies. In Moscow there are about 200 such shops and this year we want to open up two totally robotized shops without human personnel at all. The person enters the shop, chooses the goods on the touch screen and in 5 minutes gets them. Why is it important? First of all because the goods price reduces as robots do not need salary, vacation leave, lunch break. Secondly, the shop itself will be friendlier to the customer, the lines will reduce and the client will never communicate with a moody or discontent seller. But the problem of robots is not yet solved, mechanically speaking, these robots are very complicated for creation, in such shops range of goods will be limited by 4-6 thousand items.

- To buy in such shops you need to be able to use electronic devices from childhood…

- In Zelenograd first computer classrooms appeared in 1985 and today we pay much attention to education informatisation. And we arrived at a decision that there are too many experiments in these sphere and the idea must be simple. We should define single standards and place everything on industrial basis. For each type of schools we need certain equipment sets, informatisation is not only computers and the Internet. Education informatisation is also all kinds of technologies for school life organization: student cards, canteen meals payment, security system and medical equipment… This is how we see an innovative city. It is not easy to be the first one, sometimes we move forward violating some rules. We have to develop our own regulations and afterwards they turn into rules for everybody as it was in the case of turnstiles.

- And how is the situation with more everyday things in the district, like housing and social facilities?

- Perhaps, a bit better, than generally in Moscow, at least because in Zelenograd there are no municipal houses older than 50 years and general condition of housing fund is more than satisfactory. We adopted a program for complex reconstruction of microdistricts with 5-storey buildings that will be demolished. There is no practice of infill housing, we always construct groups of buildings.

We try to give preference to individual projects as among them it is possible to choose those ones that best suit city needs in terms of floor area, number of storeys and design. People on the waiting list and those who moved from dilapidated housing get modern comfortable flats exactly in such houses.

By the 50 th Anniversary of Zelenograd there have been built the largest maternity hospital in Europe, military commissariat, district court, entrepreneurship centre, school of home education for disabled children, boarding-house “Nikolsky Park” for lonely and aged citizens. At the expense of private investors two shopping and entertainment malls, 5 garage cooperatives and youth housing complex “Zelenograd” have been built.

- By the way, how is the program “Affordable Housing for a Young Family” implemented in Zelenograd? And how do you solve the demographic problem?

- Up till present 242 young families from those who need improvement of housing conditions have taken part in the program. I think this year this figure will grow. If we talk about support of families with children, I can say that serious work is carried out in this field. First of all I would like to mention our know-how, that have no equivalents in other districts. In all districts of Zelenograd young families planted alleys in honor of their newly-bones. In my opinion, such events contribute to the perception of family values in the society. Secondly, we have a special program “Young Mother at Home”. All women on maternity leave are able to attend free of charge computer and English courses organized exclusively for them. The idea to arrange such courses was brought about by the winner of the competition “If I were a Prefect” devoted to reviewing different innovative projects for citizens of Zelenograd. This program is not only a chance to acquire knowledge but also a splendid opportunity to get away from household routine and to socialize.

-Are there enough hospital beds, polyclinics, well-woman clinics in the city?

- I would not say that we have a bad health care situation in our district. As to the quality of services, I think that their level is high partly thanks to innovations of Zelenograd. We have put into practice a range of high-technology operations in the field of endoscopy, urology and traumatology. It substantially raises the medical help quality, citizens do not need to search specialists outside the district, people can be provided with necessary services in Zelenograd. As I have already mentioned we have built a new maternity home and home for elderly people, currently we are working on the project documentation for building a new children's hospital with 500 beds, the project cost will amount to 1 mln rubles. According to my estimates district health care does not give rise to unfavorable criticism on citizens' part. I am judging by citizens' requests to the prefecture, we have very few complaints about medical services and the number of these complaints is getting lower every year.

- How do you manage to track personally citizens' requests?

- It is not difficult at all. Zelenograd citizens (44 % of them have higher education, there are many advanced young people as well) constantly use Internet. We have taken it into account and created a new Internet portal of the Prefecture where there is a Guest Book with section “Your Question to Authorities”. Everybody could ask a question here and read other questions as well. Besides, all the questions to authorities are entered into single automatized document flow system. We gather statistics on requests and citizens can use the system to know about the processing stage of their complaints or suggestions

-High technologies are literally everywhere in Zelenograd, perhaps, the distance from Moscow plays a certain role – it is easier and simpler to adjust everything new here?

Zelenograd is a part of Moscow, it is the smallest part and the district does not give much trouble to Moscow administration. We occupy our niche and contribution of Zelenograd, its citizens and businesses is in carrying out the state task – to be the center of electronic production development and manufacturing.

- You have been living in Zelenograd since 1971, what does this city mean to you?

- Everything. Here I graduated from the university, here my children and grandchildren are living, here is all my life.