Around 650 participants have gathered for the EU-Russia Innovation Forum, held in Lappeenranta on 25-26 May 2011. This, the second annual high-level Innovation Forum, is being organised by the City of Lappeenranta in cooperation with the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The 2nd EU-Russia Innovation Forum focuses on promoting tangible business partnerships between the participating companies while focusing primarily on Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Information & Communication Technologies and Health & Pharma. The event includes eight pre-conferences and the same number of seminars.
Pre-conferences and a large-scale two-day Business Matchmaking Event, jointly organised with the European Enterprise Network (EEN), kick-started the Forum with multiple simultaneous meetings of 125 companies from Austria, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Russia and the USA.
Pre-Conferences from IPR to Regional Cooperation
The pre-conferences also provided companies with practical advice on cooperation. One of the eight pre-conferences focused on companies’ intellectual property rights (IPR). For internationalising companies, protecting their patents, trademarks and other rights is vital. Business abroad is safer if your own know-how is properly protected. Protection is crucial not only for Finnish businesses entering the Russian market, but also for Russian entrepreneurs starting up EU-wide business operations. The number of international patent applications is expected to increase further. Other pre-conferences provided a practical view of the ICT sector’s standardisation, the environmental sector’s business opportunities in the Murmansk region, energy efficiency, Finnish-Russian Innovation University, cleantech start-ups and modernisation and innovations in Northwest Russia.
The goal of the EU-Russia Regional Cooperation Northwest Russia Programme PreConference was to demonstrate the ways in which international economic interregional collaboration assists modernization and the innovation cooperation process. The basic tool for collaboration in the EU-Russia border regions is the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which is strongly supported by the EU and Russia.
“We see the ‘Partnership for Modernization’ EU-Russia Program as an effective instrument for innovation collaboration development, thus attracting investments and technologies to the Russian economic sector,” says Slava Khodko, Vice President, Association of Economic Interaction for the Russian Federation North-West Region, speaking at the EU-Russia Regional Cooperation Northwest Russia Programme PreConference.
Ville Itälä calls for more open discussion
“The European Union and Russia need more open discussion. The EU should not try master or moralise Russia, and common solutions should be found through cooperation,” emphasises Ville Itälä, Member of the European Parliament. Itälä calls for the barriers of trade between the EU and Russia to be lowered and encourages both the EU and Russia to co-operate more closely especially in the fields of science and research.
Lappeenranta takes its place
Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, Director General, Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, said in the Innovativeness in Management session how the level of cooperation between Finnish and Russian businesses is moving ahead as concrete projects though a recently signed contract between TEKES and FASIE (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises). TEKES and FASIE have already received 22 Finnish-Russian proposals to be turned into development projects. Saarnivaara sees the EU-Russia Innovation Forum as a useful event that gathers together the right kind of people. “Lappeenranta has taken its place in cooperation with Russia. Russia wants to move from an industrial economy into an innovation economy and Finland has a role in this change,” he says.
Additional information at: www.eurussiainnoforum.com
EU-Russia Innovation Forum
Tel. +358 50 402 4944
Fax. +358 5 616 6290
Lappeenranta Innovation Ltd
Tel. +358 50 5527433
About the Organisers:
Lappeenranta is a vibrant international University City of approximately 72,000 inhabitants in Southern Karelia. Lappeenranta has closely cooperated with the City of St Petersburg on innovation issues since 2005 and this cooperation has earned the title of EU-Russia Innovation Corridor. The objective of the partnership programme is to promote cooperation in innovation at the political level, in the education and research sectors and among private companies. The long-term objective is to have the innovation collaboration play a significant role in the new EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has combined two complementary disciplines – technology and business – since 1969. LUT’s strategic areas of expertise include energy efficiency, energy market, strategic management of business and technology, scientific computing and modelling of industrial processes as well as extensive know-how on Russia that traverses these areas. LUT Energy is the largest research and education organisation in the energy sector in Finland.
Mirka Kristiina Rahman, MBA USA
Marketing & Communications
EU-Russia Innovation Forum
Tel. +358 40 849 9161
Lappeenranta Innovation Ltd is a non-profit company co-owned by the Lappeenranta City Holding Company, Technopolis Plc and the Society for Viipuri School of Economics. It combines business, research and public administration in an innovative way. Lappeenranta Innovation Ltd is part of the Business & Innovations Service Unit of the Lappeenranta City Holding Company, aimed to support the growth and internationalisation of local companies. The Lappeenranta City Holding Company is a group company fully owned by the City of Lappeenranta. It is responsible for the management of the city group’s economic policies by promoting and developing the activities of its operative subsidiaries. The Group employs about 50 people, and the combined employment impact of the group of companies is about 960 jobs.
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