Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov and St Petersburg Governor Alexander Belgov have used a recent meeting to summarise initial outcomes in developing the St Petersburg Energy TechnoHub project — residents of which now include several dozen companies, including a foreign partner from Austria.
This summer saw the St Petersburg Energy TechnoHub project office start registering its first “E-residents” (electronic participants) on its techhubspb.ru online platform — with companies including Uralmash NGO Holding LLC, the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology JSC, the Centre for Additive Technologies JSC, Bitrobotics LLC, GERSE Engineering LLC, and more than 20 other enterprises having, already, acquired this status.
The unique format of the Energy TechnoHub project means specialist programmes for “residents” can not only be disseminated throughout the whole of St Petersburg, but can also involve partners from other regions, and countrywide. The number of E-Residents is expected to increase five-fold by the end of this year — negotiations on being involved in the project being currently in hand with more than 100 companies.
Straight-forward registration on the project’s online platform opens up access to business cases and projects from leading energy companies, and means E-Residents can communicate directly with potential clients and partners. More than 50 cases have already been posted on the platform, in both traditional and alternative energy — in developing high-tech services, automation and industrial safety systems, geological prospecting tools, subsea equipment, and robotised drilling technologies. The number of business cases is expected to grow consistently as new oil and gas and energy companies join the project.
A R&D test-site is planned for St Petersburg in order to speed up developments for new equipment. So far, the concept for this has been developed, with plans in place for the preparation of design documentation and subsequent construction. Energy TechnoHub residents currently have the opportunity to test their technologies through a network of test centres at higher educational centres and industrial enterprises throughout St Petersburg.
Energy Clubs at the Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University, ITMO University, the St Petersburg State Institute of Technology and the State University of Aerospace Automation all joined the TechnoHub ecosystem at the start of this academic year. This community brings together students, PhD candidates and university graduates whose ideas will, one day, grow into start-ups and R&D projects in traditional and renewable energy. Energy TechnoHub residents will support students’ business projects, helping in monetising and marketing successful ideas and inventions.
Several industrial energy clusters, based within city universities, are expected to open by the end of the year — the first of these having started work within the Polytechnic University, and comprising representatives from 30 companies specialising in high-tech services and steerable drilling systems and telemetry systems.
“International practice has consistently demonstrated that technological development is more active as part of an ecosystem: once universities, R&D centres, start-ups, SMEs and major companies in the same field start working alongside each other, in close cooperation, looking for answers to the same sort of issues. It’s no less important that the vector for finding new technological solutions is set by genuine clients and customers, interested in testing and applying such solutions in their own operations. That sort of environment for innovation in the energy sector has, largely, been put in place In St Petersburg. Together with the city government we are working both on creating new opportunities so that even more technology companies come to light in St Petersburg, and on strengthening ties between all participants in this ecosystem.”Alexander Dyukov CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
“Establishing the St Petersburg Energy TechnoHub should help address the issue of delivering a six-fold increase in the number of high-tech companies in the city by 2030. Which should make it at least 600. We have to catch ‘residents’’ interest — engage them in taking part in this project. To do that we have to put in place a packet of measures to support them. These could be federal or regional concessions and incentives on research and development. And such developments, moreover, should impact not just developments in the energy sector, but also in ecology, digital technologies, the development of new materials, and other areas.”Alexander Belgov Governor, St Petersburg
The agreement on launching the St Petersburg Energy TechnoHub project was signed at the end of 2019 by St Petersburg Governor Alexander Belgov, Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov, and CEO of the Agency for Technological Development (an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO)) Vladimir Pastukhov. This document envisages joint activities in attracting industrial and energy corporations’ engineering departments to the city, as well as supporting the establishment of local technological start-ups and project teams. The number of high-tech companies in St Petersburg is expected to increase six-fold by 2030 as a result of the TechnoHub being established there. This will allow major orders arising from R&D and engineering projects in the energy sector — in which about RUB100 billion a year is invested in Russia — to be concentrated at enterprises and research centres in the city.