Posted: September 3, 2009

Rusnano CEO predicts big growth in Russian nanotechnology jobs

(Nanowerk News) The country’s virtually nonexistent nanotechnology industry will need 150,000 specialists by 2015, Rusnano chief Anatoly Chubais told reporters at the Bauman State Technical University, where he unveiled the corporation’s educational program Wednesday.
The university, known to many as Baumanka, also signed an agreement with Rusnano that would see the state corporation hiring graduates of the school at companies in which the state corporation has invested.
“As the industry expands to annual sales volumes of 900 billion rubles [$28 billion] by 2015, which is our target, we will need 150,000 positions to be filled,” Chubais told reporters after a video conference with eight other technological institutes around the country.
One hundred people graduated with degrees in nanotechnology last year, Chubais told the deans of the institutes, adding that the nanotechnology market is currently valued at 6 billion rubles to 20 billion rubles.
“We understand that the period of cherry-picking only those nano-projects that are fully prepared for the industrial production is over, and now we have to move on to start-ups and take care about fundamental education for nano-scientists,” Chubais said.
Rusnano has loaned about 70 billion rubles to finance 44 projects since it was created in 2007, including the production of LED lamps in the Sverdlovsk region and solar batteries in Chuvashia.
Rusnano envisions that at least 200 educational programs will be established in universities by 2015 that will allow students to focus on nanotechnology.
Before the video conference, students and professors at Bauman university showed Chubais inventions, which they wanted to be financed by Rusnano, including a high-powered microscope that can broadcast images over the Internet.
“You could access that data on Mars,” Maxim Ampilogov, the disappointed creator of the device and a student in the machinery-building department, said proudly after Chubais left the podium. “Chubais told us this is cool, but not exactly nano.”
“They must be reluctant to give out money, that’s all,” said Alexander Komshin, a metrology teacher at the institute and co-author of the project.
Other students were not as optimistic about Chubais’ visit to the institute.
“There is a lot of talk about financing nanotechnology, which Chubais promotes, and a lot state money earmarked, but what should scientists in other professions do?” said Danila, 20, a student in the machinery-building department who didn’t want to give his surname. “We have a terrible lack of financing, too.”
Rusnano expects the government to outline the corporation’s financing to 2015 in October, Chubais said. The company must return 85 billion rubles from its budget of 130 billion rubles in December to help plug a gaping federal budget deficit. The money is supposed to be returned by 2012.
Source: The Moscow Times (Nadia Popova)
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