''It’s not necessary to be a public giant to launch Burans''

Clusters are discussed in Kazan

''It’s not necessary to be a public giant to launch Burans'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Cluster is a word that firmly entered the vocabulary of Tatarstan entrepreneurs. More than ten clusters have already been created in the republic. By late 2017, the number of only the Mechanical Engineering Cluster of Tatarstan increased to 89 enterprises, the IT Cluster has 99 companies. And still, not all people know what a cluster is and why it is attractive. Founder and CEO of Sherpa S Pro Yevgenia Shamis set up a workshop for residents of Tatarstan clusters in which she told about development of such platforms in the USA, Europe, Asia, Latin America and different regions of Russia, gave successful examples and urged to popularise clusters among potential specialists, attract the latter and keep them. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

Cluster as tropical forest

The Centre of Cluster Development and Cooperation of SME of Tatarstan invited Yevgenia Shamis to Kazan. Yevgenia's company Sherpa S Pro deals with consulting and research in the sphere of sustainable and globally competitive clusters. The company organised business missions in Brazil, the USA, Sweden and Great Britain. Yevgenia Shamis is an adviser of Vice-Governor and Minister of Economic Development, Investments and Trade of Samara Oblast Aleksandr Kobenko. This year her company is 17 years.

More than 40 people came to listen to Yevgenia Shamis to the Entrepreneur's House of Tatarstan – heads of enterprises included in regional clusters and representatives of universities. The speaker told about innovations, development of cluster management and eco-system by comparing clusters with the bio-system of a tropical forest. Different formats can rub along in such a system, and one shouldn't get rid of the ''weeds'' – start-ups – in it.

Clusters have been developing in Russia for a long time already. Now they need to reach another level – to become competitive on the world economy scale. According to Yevgenia Shamis, a classic cluster consists of more than a hundred of companies. Companies and universities are its core, while the travel time between resident companies must be not more than 2-3 hours by car.

''Cluster is narrower than a sector. Its name must clarify what questions one can turn to resident companies with. For instance, a mechanical engineering cluster is too general area for a platform, a narrower specialisation is needed. Many IT clusters have been created. But we don't understand what IT questions we can turn to them with,'' noticed Yevgenia Shamis.

New products, services, ideas, start-ups, professions and working places should constantly appear on an industrial site. Apart from economic development, clusters help to increase the quality of life not only for skilled specialists but also for the locals. Clusters' task is to keep and attract these specialists. But nobody can give a clear answer about how to do it. Here it's important to use different methods.

Clusters have been developing in Russia for a long time already. Now they need to reach another level – to become competitive on the world economy scale, says Yevgenia Shamis

Bridge that united two clusters

The speaker shared successful examples of European clusters. For instance, the construction of a bridge between Denmark and Sweden helped to speed up the development of Medicon Valley bio-technological cluster. Each country separately worked in pharmacology and medical device engineering first, and it was uneasy for them to unite. However, the construction of the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö provided a growth of the number of companies, working places and investments in the region.

Yevgenia Shamis called the creation of a platform in Portland (USA) a unique story of a cluster development. The city managed to improve the quality of life. Qualified personnel appeared in it gradually, while the population grew from 900,000 to 1,5 million. A cluster whose companies produce clothes for sport and sportswear arose here. Headquarters of Nike, Columbia and the biggest Adidas shop are in Portland.

As an example of the successful development of aerospace technologies, the speaker put examples of clusters in France and added that Russia had the potential to develop aerospace companies, for instance, in Samara Oblast.

''It's not necessary to be a public giant to launch Buran spacecraft. And one can perform smaller tasks. For example, in Samara Oblast, commercial companies organised an aerospace cluster, while the majority of satellites launched into space were created in a regional university. But school graduates don't know that they can enter an aerospace faculty and create satellites. We need to tell about this,'' thinks Yevgenia Shamis.

History of cluster creation

The creation of clusters became a consequence of a natural development of the world economy. Countries created science cities first. But as time went by, this format lost its topicality and couldn't reorient to the needs of the global world. It turned out part of scientists was ready to combine science and commerce.

''The story with the territorial industrial complex worked in the majority of countries. For instance, satellite companies were created around KAMAZ and met its needs. But as time went by, the world started to move much faster. It became important not only to perform tasks of the enterprise but also create bigger projects,'' the speaker notices.

According to Albert Gaifullin, the main approach in the development of clusters in the Republic of Tatarstan is in the creation of a communicative platform

Two institutions created the history of clusters in Russia – the Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Industry and Trade. While creating clusters, there were difficulties in uniting participants of the professional community. Yevgenia Shamis supposes clusters exist in Russia separately from people now. Consequently, as big as a possible circle of people must know what opportunities for career development this platform has.

Federal and regional programmes support clusters. Thanks to the Russian government's regulations No. 779, the programme of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, which allows to compensate up to 50% of technological costs on new cluster projects: R&D, patenting, personnel training, was approved. The Ministry of Economic Development supported clusters in the same scheme.

According to director of the Centre of Cluster Development and Cooperation of SME of Tatarstan Albert Gaifullin, the main approach in the development of clusters in the Republic of Tatarstan is to create a communicative platform. SMEs have skills and projects, there is a lack of resources for their performance.

''The participation in the cluster allows to create links between enterprises''

Realnoe Vremya's correspondent asked the participants of the meeting with Yevgenia Shamis what perspectives the entrance to industrial clusters opened to them.

  • Albert Kabirov director of the representative office of the Mechanical Engineering Cluster of Tatarstan

    We unite enterprises manufacturing high-tech products. Companies linked with mechanical engineering, petrochemistry, energy saving and IT are included in our cluster. Our cluster is not territorial but sectoral. It has 300 companies. The participation in the cluster allows to create direct cooperation links between enterprises. One-two companies on average enter the cluster every month. 10 projects have been launched in it.

  • Igor Abdrakhmanov director general of Biosfera-fish fish farm

    In March 2018, we signed an agreement on creation of the biocultural cluster. The initiative belonged to the Cluster Development Centre, the Ministry of Economy of Tatarstan also supported us. We understand the fishing sector required a union of all players. Our company Biosfera-fish became one of the anchor enterprises of the cluster. It will open in late May – early June, and a full-fledged biocultural cluster will be created in it. The enterprise itself is located in Laishevo District.

    Now the cluster has 10-12 companies, it included enterprises from Moscow, Astrakhan, Belgorod Oblasts and Bashkiria. Somebody manufactures Russian equipment to breed fish, somebody produces food, others – caviar of baby trouts, sturgeons. We hope the number of residents will only grow.

  • Albert Gaifullin director of Centre of Cluster Development and Cooperation of SME of Tatarstan

    I can call a technological audit among fulfilled projects. We performed 18 technical audits in 2017. The technical audit of Robotised KUKA flexibleCELL for Water Jet Cutting Supply of Avtoteknik company was successful. Projects of Bars Technology, Avtoagregatcentre Brake Shoe Production, Akulchev Vienna waffles are still fulfilled. A technical audit of Lenta in the Republic of Udmurtia will be performed in 2018. Tatkran and IQ 300 signed a contract for a systemic solution for Tatkran at the meeting with the moderator. Now IQ 300 provides services and implements an industrial control system in the enterprise.

  • Andrey Gasyak executive director at Composites Without Borders ANO Specialised Industrial Cluster Organisation

    I represent Composites Without Borders inter-regional industrial cluster. It has three regions: Tatarstan, Saratov and Moscow Oblasts. The cluster has been created this February. Now we are finding out what enterprises we have and what their needs are. The cluster has a total of 20 companies, five universities as well as Alabuga SEZ and Khimgrad science city.

By Ekaterina Gumarova. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
Reference

According to the Kazan Cluster Development of SME ANO, federal and regional investments in the development of clusters in Tatarstan totalled 51,8 million rubles in 2014-2017. And revenue of cluster enterprises reached 733,5 million rubles. By late 2017, the number of participants of only the Mechanical Engineering Cluster of Tatarstan reached 89 enterprises, the IT Cluster got 99 companies.

Last year, 10 participants of the Mechanical Engineering Cluster supplied the market such new products as sensor levers of four types of rotors, three types of paronite gasket, rubber tourniquets, ABS cable, engine control tourniquet, air filter, oil pump and others. According to preliminary estimates, sales of the products in addition to the cluster will create 60 working places and give an additional revenue of a total of 553 million rubles.

Participants of the IT Cluster (Zig-Zag PLC, Soft-Univers Labs PLC, Project Office PLC, Atraks PLC) registered two computing programmes, one patent and two trademarks, which enables to protect rights of designers and deal with the commercialisation of projects in the Russian Federation. As a result, it's expected to create 33 working places and get a profit of 180,5 million rubles.

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