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Posted: June 19, 2009

RUSNANO Begins Funding Nanotechnology Venture and Seed Funds

(Nanowerk News) The Supervisory Council has approved the concept of RUSNANO participation in venture and seed funds. The document defines guidelines for RUSNANO participation in investment funds. Their creation plays an important role in developing the financial infrastructure in the field of nanotechnology.
According to the concept, RUSNANO will take part in 5 major types of specialized funds: nanotechnology seed funds, low budget projects funds, industry funds, international nanotechnology funds involving foreign investors and leading international management companies, as well as funds based on intergovernmental agreements.
Each type of fund serves a different purpose. By setting up the funds, RUSNANO intends to attract extra money from private Russian and foreign investors to nanotechnology projects, ensure the transfer of international hi-tech developments to Russia, and form additional market mechanisms to enable different phases of the projects.
In the initial stage seed and international funds will be RUSNANO’s priority. Currently, RUSNANO is considering options for cooperation in setting up nanotechnology seed funds with the Russian Venture Company (RVC) and several regional authorities.
On average, each fund is expected to have 20 to 30 fund-invested projects with RUSNANO's share reaching up to 50%. At present, negotiations are in progress between Russian and foreign partners regarding their participation in the funds. Using money inwarded by the funds, RUSNANO intends to at least double current investment in Russian nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology seed funds provide project investment support at early stages (initial implementation of advanced R&Ds and, sometimes, financing R&Ds needed to commercialize nanoproducts). Main features of projects for seed funding are a significant/attractive innovation market segment, a well thought-out idea and a business model, as well as intellectual property patentability.
Low-budget projects funds grow portfolio companies during a small-scale production period with the intention of direct investment later by RUSNANO or other investors as soon as the project reaches its intended economic performance level.
Industry-specific and cluster funds ensure comprehensive investment support to promising directions of nanotechnology development within specific technological clusters or industries, including those based on industry roadmaps. Because such funds are industry-specific, they help attract strategic partners and co-investors from among the industry leaders.
International funds allow for faster transfer of international hi-tech developments and inward of foreign investor capital. Operating companies carrying out an innovative business using international nanotechnology funds will be registered under Russian law and are taxpayers in the Russian Federation.
Funds set up as part of inter-government agreements are established to ensure inter-state cooperation in the field of innovative nanotechnology. Support from the Governments of participating countries will facilitate the exchange of technology, investment and know-how, as well as provide access to international markets.
Source: Rusnano (press release)
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