Implementation of innovations in medicine discussed at Innomed forum

Implementation of innovations in medicine discussed at Innomed forumA two-day forum Innomed-2013 took place on Thursday in Penza for the third year in a row, becoming more than an inter-regional forum. It brought together representatives of 28 regions of Russia and five foreign countries, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports. Experts from business, government, and NGOs discussed possible ways of effective implementation of innovations in medicine.

According to approved federal strategy PHARMA-2020, the Russian medical industry market should grow from $5.3B to $14B.

- It is planned to create 85 enterprises in the medical industry, and seven R&D centers to develop world-class medical devices. There are 140 supported projects to produce medical devices and components. There will be 20K jobs created in the industry until 2020, - the Department Head of the Chemical and Engineering and Bioengineering Technologies Complex of the RF Industry and Trade Ministry Dmitry Kalashnikov says.

Penza Region is in the top three leaders implementing projects in high medical technologies. This small region was able to achieve such results through specially formed innovative lift, which linked education, science and business.

Technology transfer centers responsible for seeding-funding were established at the level of universities. The region received over 100M RUR for these purposes last year. The most promising startups became residents of business incubators. Penza Region has 36 incubators providing nearly 1,2K jobs. The annual turnover of resident companies increased by 1.5 times to 475M RUR last year.

- In monetary terms, these figures are not impressive, but the growth rate is stable - the chairman of the Penza Region government Yury Krivov says.

The industrial park named after the creator of the first Soviet computers Bashir Raneev, which is under construction, will become the core of the biomedical cluster in Penza Region. After construction completion, it will include about 70 small enterprises engaged in innovative development.

- Russia spends a lot of money on the creation of innovative infrastructure. We have some 800 parks. However, the effectiveness of public investment in innovation in Russia is several times lower than in the U.S. - the director of the Northwest Venture Capital Center Leonid Maligin notes.

According to experts, it is not enough to create the infrastructure. It is also necessary to create a special working environment that would facilitate the emergence of viable startups.

- We will be satisfied if one out of ten startups becomes a viable company. Technopark in Zurich shows the best performance: seven out of its ten startups survive - the representative of the Biological and Medical Technologies Cluster of Skolkovo Andrey Komolov says.

There are 211 startups created over the three years of Skolkovo work. Grants were given to 35 of them. The financial support amounted to about 2B RUR from the budget and another billion from non-budgetary sources.

- We are ready to create many products. The question is whether our healthcare needs them. The paradox is that there are no strict criteria for clinical trials. The product is never compared to existing models. We have to work blindly. Moreover, it often happened that the model becomes outdated during the launch of its mass production - Sergey Evdokimov, the head of Penza small business which produces cardiac valves, identified one of the urgent problems.

The business community suggests transferring some powers of the state control in production and distribution of medical devices to self-regulatory organizations. According to the vice president of Opora Russia Natalia Ushakova, it could be a special Agency for Health Technology Assessment.

While legislators have not come to a consensus, so-called business angels took the function of the innovation filter. They are private investors who look for promising projects in province and help them pass the commercialization stage, and then offer finished projects to a larger investor.