''Even though you moved to Moscow, your half a heart is here in Tatarstan''

The everlasting games of the US in sanctions, the buzzword ‘’digital economy’’ and 80% of Tatarstan citizens on the Internet

The ministry of communications of the Republic of Tatarstan summed up the results of IT industry in 2017 on 30 January. What figures can the IT sector of Tatarstan boast? How is the federal centre going to ''hurt'' our e-services portal? Is the contribution of digital economy in the GDP of the country significant? What does Nikolay Nikiforov think about his mentioning in the Kremlin Report? Read the answers to these and other questions in the article of Realnoe Vremya.

IT exhibition: filling the medical records using voice, counters control, and virtual banking assistant

A board session of Tatarstan ministry of communications, held on 30 January in the Kazan technical school of information technology and communications, was preceded by an exhibition of the latest developments of Tatarstan IT industry. Arriving at the school from the opening ceremony of the logistics centre, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov went to inspect the stands escorted by federal and regional ministers of communications and the head of the Russian Post, Nikolay Podguzov, and the president of Rostelecom PJSC, Mikhail Oseyevsky.

Rustam Minnikhanov was particularly interested in the system for remote monitoring and control of residential and industrial buildings based on wireless LoRaWAN networks from Innopolis. The point of the development is that created radio modems (installed on meters of water, electricity, etc.) can receive and transmit data at distance of up to 15 km and can also operate in standalone mode up to 5 years using the battery type AA. The system allows to monitor the consumption of resources, to make consumption forecasts, and it also alerts to emergency situations.

Also, at the exhibition they could see the development of Ak Bars Bank — the platform of augmented intelligence Aimee, which allows customers to get answers to questions online.

In addition, the guests were presented the program of filling medical documents using voice Voice2Med, the module from the specialists of Innopolis and KAMAZ PJSC, making the truck standalone. They also presented the first regional Centre of monitoring of cybersecurity in the Republic of Tatarstan ICL.

Rustam Minnikhanov was particularly interested in the system for remote monitoring and control of residential and industrial buildings based on wireless LoRaWAN networks from Innopolis. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

IT sector economy

After the exhibition, the board participants went to the conference hall of the school to start the meeting and listen to the report of minister of communications of Tatarstan Roman Shaykhutdinov. First, the speaker announced the key figures of IT industry for last year: the gross income of the industry amounted to 54,9 billion rubles (for comparison, the level of 2016 — 53,86 billion rubles), the overall share of the sector of information and communication in Tatarstan's GRP reached 3,1%, and the IT companies transferred tax deductions to the budgets of Russia and Tatarstan in the amount of 7,5 billion rubles. The average monthly salary of high-tech professionals showed a good growth of 7% — last year it was 33,715 rubles.

Roman Shaykhutdinov also reported on data concerning Innopolis, where 153 companies-taxpayers are registered, last year they transferred over 360 million rubles to the budget of Tatarstan. As for the residents of the SEZ Innopolis, this status was acquired by 27 companies in 2017 with a total reported investment volume of 3 billion rubles and the revenue of 8,6 billion rubles. Thhree companies — Tinkoff Development Centre PLC, the Pension Fund of Russia and IBM – acquired the status of a partner. Also, according to the latest data, in the ''city of the future'' every day there are about 5,000 people, and all the houses in the residential complex are fully inhabited.

''For some reason this information always remains behind the scenes, but those 3,500 people, who are residents of Innopolis, moved here from 53 regions of the Russian Federation and from 31 countries. It's not inhabitants of Kazan,'' minister of communications of Russia Nikolay Nikiforov commented on the figures. ''We have already received over 50 applications for obtaining Russian citizenship. This is a complex procedure and, to be honest, I would offer to optimize this procedure for this kind of specialists. I would issue Russian passports them all. It is a labour migration, for which we are fighting.''

They also announced the data on the work of Kazan IT Park. Today in two venues of the technopark there operate 151 companies, more than 3 million jobs have been created, and the consolidated revenue exceeded 12 billion rubles in 2017.

First, the speaker announced the key figures of IT industry for last year: the gross income of the industry amounted to 54,9 billion rubles. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

New logocentre and Russian Post as a conduit for digital economy

Perhaps, one of the most discussed topics was the postal service. Early in the morning, participants of the board meeting welcomed the first flight from China with parcels from online stores of China at the Kazan airport, then opened a new logistics centre. Head of the Russian Post Nikolay Podguzov gave a speech at the board meeting, he spoke about the role of state-owned companies in the process of e-commerce development in the country.

''I think that the Russian Post can become a conduit in carrying the benefits of digital economy to every citizen in our country,'' said Podguzov. ''The market size of e-сommerce in Russia in 2017 is estimated at more than 1 trillion rubles. And last year we processed 365 million parcels, three-quarters of which is external traffic, one-fourth — inner traffic, and now we have reached the processing volume of 1 million parcels a day.''

Early in the morning, participants of the board meeting welcomed the first flight from China with parcels from online stores of China at the Kazan airport. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Besides, the Russian Post in the coming year is faced with the challenge of transformation of the network of post offices into modern format.

The ''fight'' for e-services

At the meeting, Roman Shaykhutdinov stood up for the portal of electronic services of the Republic of Tatarstan asking Nikolay Nikiforov to support the lifting of restrictions and the joint development of the federal and regional portals. ''We are concerned about a number of initiatives at the federal level related to the possible upcoming restriction on provision of some socially important services on the regional portals. The mandatory use of the ESIA (the unified system of identification and authentication), the prohibition of duplication of services in regional and federal portals contradict the 601th decree and the federal law No. 210-FZ, and they should apply only to those regions where these services are not yet implemented or are not popular.''

On the background of active use of e-services in the Republic of Tatarstan, our region has been the leader in the Volga Federal District by the number of subscribers to fixed high-speed Internet access — more than 1 million — for three years. Also, the Internet penetration rate in Tatarstan was 76% by the end of 2017.

''Five years ago, the Internet was used by 45% of the population, while today it is 75%. In Tatarstan, we are talking about 80% of people who receive public services online,'' Nikiforov commented on the figures. Photo: mic.tatarstan.ru

''Five years ago the Internet was used by 45% of the population, while today it is 75%. In Tatarstan, we are talking about 80% of people who receive public services online,'' Nikiforov commented on the figures.

Digital economy and its contribution to GDP

It is obvious that the board of the communications ministry could not do without discussion of the federal programme of digital economy development. According to Roman Shaykhutdinov, now the republic is developing a plan for digital transformation of the Republic of Tatarstan.

''The phrase ''digital economy'' was a last-year hit, but for everyone, who are now being in this hall, it is the comprehensive document that defines the strategy of development of not only our industry, but also of the whole country in the long term,'' head of Rostelecom PJSC Mikhail Oseyevsky said. ''Digital technology, due to enormous technological changes, have changed our lives.''

According to the speaker, fundamental changes have already occurred in media, a noticeable effect is observed in retail, insurance and banking services. Photo: 36on.ru

''The value of digital economy contribution to GDP growth depends on to what extent everyone will be able to focus on the use of the technology of transmission, storage, processing the information in the basic sectors of the Russian economy (oil and gas, engineering, energy, agriculture). The contribution of digital economy in the country's GDP is currently at the level of a few percent, but this level will be increased to 8-9 percent, on which we will have to work hard,'' Oseyevsky said.

Let us note that the figures of the digital economy contribution to GDP is still quite rough — there is a problem with accurate statistics, which, as Nikolay Nikiforov promised, will be resolved this spring.

The Kremlin Report and the game in sanctions

Besides, at the meeting the federal minister commented on the Kremlin Report, prepared by the US Treasury Department, in which, among others, he was also mentioned, as well as a possible impact of the document on digital economy development in Russia.

''The building of digital economy in Russia cannot depend on any other country in the world, so today's lists or some future candidate lists do not influence it. We believe that these American games in sanctions will, most likely, last forever, and we do not base our strategy on that they're going to end some day or change. At the same time, we express our interest in working with our European associates. We have common culture and we should work together, and not to be led by overseas partners. In this, we see a great potential,'' the minister stated.

The final chord in the event was made by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, who thanked Nikiforov for assistance to the republic, kindly noting, that ''despite the fact that you have moved to Moscow, your half a heart is here in Tatarstan, you always support us.''

The final chord in the event was made by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, who thanked Nikiforov for assistance to the republic. Photo: mic.tatarstan.ru

''The federal minister assessed the work of the ministry positively, and I join in it. In fact, there are big changes taking place, even if we take today: we have seen the flight from China, the centre of world level. Look at this school — it was Soviet, but today, except comments concerning the scene (before the meeting, the Tatarstan president mentioned that the scene was too high) there are no other comments. But most importantly — it's completely new internal filling,'' the president concluded.

By Lina Sarimova

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