During the meeting of the Government of Russia I presented the position of Open Government experts in relation to the roadmap for development of information technologies.
The roadmap for development of information technologies was created with the help of several important tools. Firstly, there was the expert council of the Ministry of Communication of Russia. It represents practically the entire range of Russia’s IT community – large Russian companies, representative offices of foreign companies and small enterprises. Secondly, the Ministry of Communication had conducted working group meetings directly with startups who are developing innovative projects and services. Thirdly, there was an Open Government expert working group, which had conducted a series of highly professional discussions. And this, not taking into account the coordination processes to connect the roadmap with the work of other departments of the Government. Here we managed to cover practically an entire range of people who are interested in innovative activities. We also worked with representatives of the scientific community – people from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies (MIPT) and Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics actively participated in our work.
During the meeting of the Government I voiced two suggestions which in the opinion of all experts were most frequently discussed. First: it is necessary to define a short but clear list of technological priorities in management for IT development. The list looks as follows: mobile applications and infrastructure for broadband mobile access, big data, robotics, new interfaces, human computer, supercomputers (this was suggested by the new president of the Russian Academy of Science, professor Fortov), etc. The second suggestion: it is necessary to introduce in Russia rarely used tools such as providing startups and innovative enterprises with interest-free loans and bank guarantees for project completion, so that not only grant financing is used. The tendency towards one method of support of innovators is noticeable, but we must also create other possibilities.
During the meeting the Chairman of the Government had particularly noted the first suggestion, which he considers extremely important. As to the further discussion, it showed that the issue of social benefits for representatives of such sectors is very important, but it still hasn’t been fully solved.
The roadmap was adopted with additions from the expert community that would provide startups with maximum freedom of choice in taxation. They will be able to choose either a beneficial or a non-beneficial taxation. Correspondingly, beneficial taxation will imply possible decrease of social guarantees, as they will pay less to the Pension Fund. In other words, they can do it this or that way. We are waiting for the final protocol of the Government meeting with final wording. Dmitri Medvedev has underlined that all voiced suggestions of the expert community must be entered in the protocol.
My speech was supplemented by the President of the RAS, academician Fortov, who said that while working on the roadmap it was necessary to consider that innovations came from a science which must also be supported. In his opinion the list of technologies must be enhanced to include supercomputer technologies and prognostication modeling which we talked about too but that’s a more complex decomposition of the directions. I think that in the decision of the Ministry of Communication this list of priority directions will be included. It must be coordinated with the expert community which will undoubtedly include representatives of RAS, among them professor Fortov, who is a member of the scientific expert council at Skolkovo.
The Prime Minister also supported the suggestion to regularly invite members of the Expert Council at the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as the expert council of the Ministry of Communication for discussions about the completion process of the plan and evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures taken; corrections in the roadmap were supported.