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Posted: Jun 26, 2013
RUSNANOPRIZE 2013 - international award for nanotechnology scientists and businesses
(Nanowerk News) The RUSNANOPRIZE Award was established by RUSNANO Corporation in 2009 to promote integration of business requirements and interests of the scientific community, and to assist wide social recognition of the importance of practical application of nanotechnologies. It was thought to contribute to the development of experimental and applied scientific research and studies in the area of nanotechnologies and their introduction in manufacture. International cooperation in the nanotechnology industries, social recognition of the role of individual scientists, developers and teams having implemented scientific research results was considered as an important aim.
Every year, the focus of the Award is a different area of nanotechnology. According to the RUSNANO Board decision, in 2013 the Award will be given for achievements in the field of “Nanomaterials and Surface Modification”. This is the second time this field of science was chosen. This comes as no surprise as the development of nanomaterials has been traditionally strong in Russia and industries utilizing nanomaterials are of key importance for the Russian economy. Now, the organizers try to balance existing and expected Russian achievements with best experiences of scientific commercialization worldwide.
Financial rewards (3 million rubles or over US$90.000), prize trophies and honorary diplomas of the RUSNANOPRIZE will be awarded to inventors, scientists and developers, the authors of R&D projects or technologies implemented into production. Candidates for participation in the competition can be nominated by Russian and foreign organizations, and also individuals except for the members of the Award Committee. Self-nomination is also allowed.
In 2013, the winners will receive this trophy.
The term “implemented into production” has been quantified. As the rules stipulate “Prize is awarded to researchers, scientists and developers (up to three persons) being the authors of scientific-technological discovery or discoveries in the field of nanotechnologies, and to the company being the first to apply the discovery to mass production with the annual turnover of at least $10 million and reached business success through the application of the discovery”. Practically it means that the applicant should have the record of implemented developments and the partner-company (implementing the developments) should be no less than $10m in annual turnover.
On the one hand, the Russian market is huge one. According to the rating of the most effective nanotechnology companies made by the Nanotechnological Society of Russia (NSR) the TOP-20 companies have a combined annual turnover of about 1 billion dollars. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
On the other hand, the Russian market is known to be extremely difficult to enter to and to operate in. Structurally, it has a relatively small SME (small and medium sized enterprise) segment. Large companies in turn are traditionally oriented towards domestic cooperation. In general, one could say they don’t need innovations, they don’t have enough qualified English-speaking staff, and they trend to be centrally-controlled in their administration style.
In these conditions, RUSNANO Corp. becomes a very interesting partner for foreign nanotechnology companies. The RUSNANO 'Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs' has put a lot of effort into changing the Russian legislation base and to induce large-scale economy players to implement nanotechnologies into their businesses. So beyond direct investments into nanotechnology companies (which also represent a very interesting pool of potential partners) RUSNANO collaborates with almost all institutions in developing scientific, innovative, and technological businesses.
This doesn’t mean that RUSNANO officers automatically become the agents for a company who wins the RUSNANOPRIZE Award. But they can be good advisers and the nomination to the Award can be a good pretext to establish a collaboration. Moreover, the Open Innovations Forum where the RUSNANOPRIZE ceremony will be held in November 2013 is expected to be the most prominent event for all Russian hi-tech industries, so the Award Laureates will definitely have a lot of possibilities for in-depth networking.
Towards the best-known international Awards
The judging procedure of the Award is evolving towards best international practices. More than 40% of the expert group must be foreign residents. From 14 members of the Award Committee only two will be from Russia – deputy head of the Moscow State University Prof. Alexey Khokhlov and RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubays.
Anatoly Chubays, the CEO of RUSNANO, bestows the RUSNANOPRIZE Award to Prof. Sergey Lukyanov at the 2012 ceremony.
Last year, the RUSNANOPRIZE was awarded for achievements in medicine, pharmacology, and biotechnologies. The Laureate 2012 was Sergey Lukyanov with his work titled “Fluorescent proteins: finding, investigation and use in biotechnology”. Professor Lukyanov has a successful business in the field of molecular genetics and a score of 40 in the Hirsch Index at the same time. With no doubt he was one of the best, may be the best in that area within Russia. Was he the best in the world? This is the question without answer. But amount of foreign applicants in 2012 was rather low. It is the goal of the RUSNANOPRIZE Award Directorate to drastically increase the competition by attracting more international applicants this year. The task seems not to be impossible – there are plenty of good scientists with commercial success stories worldwide in the field of nanomaterials. Readers of this article are kindly invited to disseminate this information to assist strong and fair competition in the RUSNANOPRIZE Award 2013.
How to apply?
The application form can be downloaded from the RUSNANOPRIZE official web site. Completed application forms should be sent to the Award Directorate via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 15, 2013. Comments, questions and possible candidates that can be invited for nomination should be directed to the organizers – all this would be greatly appreciated.