EBRD and RUSNANO willing to co-finance Russian nanotechnology projects

By Richard Wallis

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a Russian state corporation founded to kick-start the development of nanotechnologies are to seek opportunities for co-financing innovative projects in various sectors of Russian industry.

EBRD President Thomas Mirow and Anatoly Chubais, Chief Executive of the Russian Corporation for Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect in Moscow today.
The EBRD may consider investing between €500 million and €1 billion over the medium term in the Russian high-tech sector should suitable opportunities be identified.
This cooperation is in line with the EBRD’s recently approved strategy for the Russian Federation, covering the period 2010-2012 which mentions that the Bank and RUSNANO will work together in identifying high-tech innovative projects for possible financing.

Both parties are keen to attract investments to this promising segment of the Russian economy, including through equity funds, export credit agencies, Russian and international financial institutions, as well as private investors.

The aim of our cooperation must be to find ways of unlocking Russia’s huge scientific potential in order to benefit society particularly in such areas as clean technologies, energy efficiency, the environment and health, Mr. Mirow said at the signing.

These new technologies must be economically viable, as well as environmentally and socially acceptable, Mr. Mirow added.

The EBRD’s new three-year strategy for Russia states that diversifying the Russian economy and increasing its competitiveness requires the modernisation of various industries and providing support for innovation and a knowledge-based economy, as well as developing small and middle-sized businesses.

RUSNANO was set up in 2007 with the major strategic goal of fostering the development of innovative processes in the field of nanotechnologies through their commercialisation. It aims to do this by acting as a co-investor in nanotechnology projects likely to make a significant economic or social impact.