The President, Chairman of the Board of Sberbank German Gref, in an interview with the Stimulus publication, spoke about the need for innovation for the Russian economy and shared his opinion on how to effectively develop the country’s innovation policy.
According to Gref, innovations grow where there is demand for them, which means that the main task of the Russian economy is to create demand for innovations. Its main engine, according to the expert, should be a high level of competition, which is ensured by the inclusion of the maximum number of enterprises, clusters and industries in the sphere of global economic competition. In addition, according to Gref, it is necessary to pay special attention to the creation of a continuous support system for innovative enterprises and start-ups – from their inception to gaining a stable position in the market. There is a need for an ongoing ecosystem that allows innovative entrepreneurs to develop freely without being distracted by bureaucratic obstacles.
“Everything needs to start from schools and universities, because an entrepreneurial culture, an innovative culture is the foundation. This should be nurtured in the early stages,” says Gref. In his opinion, modern educational programs should include subjects that teach young people the basics of management and entrepreneurship, decision-making, financial literacy, and critical thinking.
Innovative entrepreneurs need to be supported by the creation of appropriate infrastructure – incubators and accelerators, where they can get everything they need – from legal support to investments in the early stages. The growth of opportunities for venture investments, Gref is convinced, will also support the development of innovative business.
“The whole path from the birth of a small innovative entrepreneur to its entry into the market and further development should be prescribed and supported by the state. I don’t know of any country in the world that would build an innovative economy without very serious state support,” summed up the head of Sberbank.