Energytechnohub Petersburg start-ups secure new investments

The number of residents at Energytechnohub Petersburg has doubled since the start of the year, reaching 300 businesses and scientific organisations. The most important investors in Energytechnohub developments are the New Industry Ventures venture fund, Gazprom Neft, and various service and logistics companies. Promising projects at this “Technology Valley” were recently put forward at a meeting with St Petersburg Governor Alexander Belgov.

The 300th member of the Energytechnohub Petersburg ecosystem is MOECO, a start-up founded by Russian Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Together with its partners MOECO is testing technology for tracking specialist cargo consignments globally, with the system monitoring routes and storage conditions including temperature and humidity, exposure to light, and smoothness of movement in transportation and unloading.

Energytechnohub Petersburg has also confirmed the registration of four new technology companies in the “Northern Capital”, all established by students from the St Petersburg Institute of Technology and the capital’s Lomonosov Moscow State University and Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. These projects — on carbon capture, synthesis of anti-corrosion coatings, biofuel production technologies and hydrogen storage — have all received initial funding from private investors.

An agreement on supporting student entrepreneurship has also been entered into following a meeting between the Government of St Petersburg, the city’s universities’ Council of Rectors, the Fund for Infrastructure and Education Programmes and Gazprom Neft. A “Low-Carbon Future” accelerator for investments in green energy has also been launched, involving Gazprom Neft, Gazprombank, Atomenergoprom and the United Engine Corporation.

A new flagship partner — Tatneft, one of Russia’s top-five oil production companies — joining the project marks the start of an important new phase in Energytechnohub Petersburg’s development, with an agreement on developing cooperation having been signed by Alexander Belgov, Governor of St Petersburg, Alexander Dyukov, CEO, Gazprom Neft and Nail Maganov, CEO, Tatneft. Key areas for development will include renewable energy, and technologies to improve the energy efficiency of equipment while reducing its carbon footprint.

The Centre for Arctic Initiatives is developing a network of pilot sites to test this new equipment within the Energytechnohub Petersburg ecosystem. Further opportunities for Energytechnohub partners will be created through a new industry engineering centre to be put in place by the Agency of Technological Development together with Energytechnohub resident organisations.

Early developments that have successfully passed industrial testing at Energytechnohub Petersburg include equipment for offshore oil and gas platforms (rigs), video analytics systems, and automation sensors for industrial facilities. A further flagship project is a robotic drilling rig for oil and gas wells, being worked on by Gazprom Neft, Gazprom Bureniye, Uralmash NGO Holding and Bitrobotics. Energytechnohub residents have also launched a promising initiative in green energy — the construction of a wind farm on the coast of the Pechora Sea. More than a dozen technological projects are also at an advanced stage.

“Energytechnohub Petersburg has, already, brought together more than 300 residents over its two years in operation. Design bureaux, universities, industrial enterprises and start-ups — including foreign ones — are interacting effectively on our site. Tatneft has now become an Energytechnohub partner. Thanks to proactive collaboration between residents and partners, new domestic solutions — from a robotic drilling rig to an oil-spill dispersant for use in icebound conditions — are already being developed for Russia’s energy sector.
“Energytechnohub” Petersburg will continue developing infrastructure to support innovation, including establishing a network of test sites at universities and industrial enterprises. We are also making a major bet on student entrepreneurship and supporting start-ups — this being the reason we took the decision to further expand cooperation with St Petersburg’s universities, and to launch an accelerator for alternative-energy projects.”
Alexander Dyukov
Alexander Dyukov Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
“The industry is, today, facing challenges that can only be solved through solutions cutting across multiple scientific fields. Addressing these successfully demands communication between science and production facilities at sites such as Energytechnohub Petersburg. We need technological solutions with high export potential: innovations in energy storage, automation, and carbon-footprint reduction. This will be the stimulus for growing the domestic economy and strengthening Russia’s position on the international stage.”
“I am confident that, through the joint efforts of leading energy and engineering companies, the scientific community and talented young people, we will develop a vision for the energy industry of the future, and bring this to life. Tatneft, for its part, is ready to act as an industry expert and a task-setter, and is ready to offer its test sites for the pilot deployment of innovations.”
Naiil Maganov
Naiil Maganov CEO, Tatneft
“Two years ago we took the collective decision to develop an innovation platform in St Petersburg, uniting industry with academic scientific research. More than 300 resident companies are now working here, including two European companies. A third of the companies involved are local to St Petersburg, are scientific organisations and universities, or are industrial enterprises, leading project development from initial idea to final product. Our country’s President declared 2021 the ‘Year of Science and Technology’. We have developed a conceptual idea for St Petersburg’s technological development to 2030. Implementing this will be facilitated by Energytechnohub Petersburg participants’ developments, among other things.”
Alexander Belgov
Alexander Belgov Governor, St Petersburg
Notes for editors

The Energytechnohub Petersburg project was launched at the end of 2019 at the initiative of the St Petersburg City Administration and Gazprom Neft. Its mission is to attract the engineering, scientific and R&D departments of major industrial and energy corporations to the city, while also supporting local technology companies. The Energytechnohub project office plans to bring up to 600 high-tech companies into the Energytechnohub ecosystem by 2030. This will allow major orders arising from R&D and engineering projects in the energy sector —estimated at about ₽100 billion a year in Russia — to be concentrated at enterprises and research centres in the city.