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Kaluga Engineering Center: Pharmaceutical Industry Developers Point of Attraction

The sitting of the Coordination Council  for Pharmaceutical Cluster Development under Kaluga Region Governor took place on April 22, 2016 in Obninsk.  The attendees discussed the new conditions for government support provision, Kaluga Region’s innovative infrastructure and other acute issues.  

Alexey Laptev,  First Deputy Governor of Kaluga Region, in his welcoming speech noted that the pharmaceutical industry was among the most dynamically growing industries in the region.  

He said: “In 2015 the industry’s turnover reached RUR 19 billion. The pharmaceutical industry companies manufacture over 100 medicines”.  Irina Novikova, Kaluga Pharmaceutical Cluster Executive Director, in her speech pointed out that the Russian Government adopted a resolution on the rules to provide financial support to industrial clusters’ participants to compensate a share of labor costs associated with joint projects.      

The government is to support joint import substitution industrial projects implemented within clusters and/or technology-related projects providing for development and promotion of cooperation between industrial clusters’ participants.   The new regulation in addition to definition of joint project initiator gives a definition of a joint project participant, i.e. a participant of an industrial cluster, undertaking or intending to acquire products manufactured by initiators within the framework of a joint project.    

Irina Novikova noted: “The procedure associated with subsidies’ provision will have a new specific feature. The funds will be transferred not from the federal budget to the budgets of the Russian regions, where the relevant innovative clusters are located, but from the federal budget to joint projects’ initiators”.

The pharmaceutical cluster’s innovative infrastructure was another key subject discussed at the meeting. Violetta Komissarova, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Kaluga Region,  noted that a number of research works provided for by the legislation were to be carried out so that new medicines could be sold, and special equipment and special conditions were required to carry out such works. The newly established engineering center located in Kaluga Region has everything necessary for such works.   

It was also noted that the pharmaceutics, medicine and bio technology center became the point of attraction for developers planning to set up their startups in Kaluga Region. The availability of well-developed infrastructure and highly qualified team of the engineering center is one of the key competitive advantages of the cluster. Potential investors believe that the availability of such a center leads to lower project risks, which results in lower costs of attraction for off-budget funds.  In 2015 the engineering center carried out 14 R&D projects under orders of third parties.  

In 2015 PAM and Skolkovo Foundation concluded a cooperation agreement. One of the key articles of the agreement provides for the use of the engineering center as a site where Skolkovo residents will carry out their projects.    

A number of education centers are being established at the leading Kaluga Region universities having hi-tech equipment. For instance, a center for practical training has been established at MIFI National University for Nuclear Sciences. At least 50 new specialists will be trained there annually.