The creation of an Innovation Centre – or Crimean 'Silicon Valley' – needs to be an integral part of the new digital economy. This view was expressed by participants during a themed session at YIEF at which issues of the new digital world were discussed alongside the development of an innovation cluster in Crimea.
Professor Barasbi Karamurzov, Head of the Digital Economy Development Centre at Moscow State University, Doctor of Technical Science, opened the discussions and advised contemplation of the results for humankind of the incoming era – the epoch of the digital economy. “Is society actually ready to embrace the digital economy? What will be the societal implications accompanying its inception? The digital economy is an entirely new paradigm for society. It thrusts humankind into a whole new era of development. Society will have to make changes to adapt”, Professor Karamurzov claimed.
The Chair of the Russian Technology Foundation, Mr Dominic Fache warned of the perils for the Crimean project organisers of galloping off down a road towards white elephants – 'innovation centres' with few actual returns on investment. Mr Fache advised firm control over such innovation centres, and that a major issue should be the growth of scientific research centres, with a premium on bringing on young scientists into the profession. “We have to train new young professionals, so that creating a Silicon Valley in Crimea isn't based on bogus competence”, Mr Fache declared.
Mrs Victoria Lelu Saboi, Director of the Global Centre for Business Straregy at Surya (Indonesia), said that a vital issue facing any country developing a digital economy is the disproportion between the development of digital technology and the channels between the islands in the archipelago. Indonesia has a program to develop science and technology and technological parks, which already encompass a number of such scientific and technological organisations, and their number is constantly growing.
Mr Konstantin Semyonov, Commercial Director of Crimean communication corporation Miranda-Media, said investment in developing training and education programs at major educational and university centres was essential – so that a future generation of IT specialists would be prepared for the real work conditions of the market, and able to take up work in technology firms. Currently Miranda-Media is involved in building a communications channel for Crimean Federal University (CFU), which will be the basis for the Crimean Digital Valley, Mr Semyonov confirmed. The company's upcoming plans include the provision of a second fibre-optic cable across the Kerch Straits Crimea Bridge, to double Crimea's connectivity options. The company is also making plans for the engineering infrastructure for data storage, and is recruiting partners from mainland Russia to this end – including Rostelecom.
“We must set things up for our young 'brains', so that they want to remain here in Crimea to work at the new Digital Valley. But burying this idea in state budgetary funding will put the final nail in its coffin”, Mr Semyonov believes.
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The Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF) is an annual international business event centred on economics, and held in Crimea. YMEF is rated among the Top Four economic forums in Russia – alongside the St Petersburg Economic Forum, the Eastern Economic Forum, and the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.
The Forum's organisers are the Government of the Crimean Republic, and The Yalta International Economic Forum Foundation, with the support of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.
This year's YIEF event, which takes place over 20th, 21st and 22n April, has gathered more than 1500 attendees, including over 150 international participants from over 40 different countries. The most numerous of the foreign delegations attending YIEF this year has been from Italy – with over 50 delegates attending.
The primary venue for the Forum, as in previous years, is the MRIYA RESORT & SPA hotel – while a series of events is also being held at the Livadia Palace, and at other venue locations located along the southern shores of Crimea.
The program for YIEF-2017 features more than 29 business events, 25 themed sessions, a central feature session devoted to developments in Crimea's construction sector, and the keynote discussion at YIEF, the main plenary session – which is divided into three thematic sections – 'World', 'Country', and 'People'. The 'World' section throws the focus onto the economic situation in Russia through the prism of international business. It's envisaged to look at issues of Russia's place in the world economy, Russian experience as a business partner, and a discussion of the opportunities which Russia presents for international investors. During the 'Country' section Forum participants will be focusing on the potential for Russia to develop an innovation-based economy that will meet tomorrow's needs. During the 'People' section social issues and care for the environment will take centre-stage.
On the sidelines of YIEF-2017 it is expected that a slew of Agreements, Contracts, and Memorandums will be signed. According to information from the Ministry of Ecnoomic Development of the Crimean Republic, the sums involved in the expected agreements and memorandums for projects will top 53 billion Russian roubles in committed investment funds.
Crimea's investment potential is highlighted in a special exhibition of investment projects due to run for the entire three days of the Forum. Forum participants will be presenting over 35 projects and sites which are already at the green-light stage for investment, as well as examples of major investment and infrastructure projects which are already up-and-running.
The business program for the closing day of YIEF-2017 offers individual meetings with the Head of the Crimean Republic, Mr Sergey Aksionov, for official delegations, investors, and members of the business community.
The Cultural Program of the Forum will include a performance by the Severny Gorod (Northern City) orchestra, under its director Mr Fabio Pirola; a rally of old-timer vehicles; and excursions to different historic heritage locations along the southern shores of Crimea.
An important element of YIEF-2017 will be sports events for business program participants, which will continue throughout the whole period of the Forum. Under the aegis of YIEF-2017, the IInd Crimean Corporate Games will be held. These include mini-football, basketball, football, chess, checkers, 100m and 800m sprint runs, tug-'o-war, arm-wrestling, kettle-bell, weightlifting, press-ups, and darts. Nearly 400 people are expected to participate.
Last year's YIEF-2016 took place over 14th to 16th April, and attracted over 1100 people – including governmental figures, members of the business community, and economic experts. Among the visitors were more than 70 international participants from 26 different countries. These included business leaders, politicians, and other significant opinion-formers. This was the largest number to date of foreign business visitors to Crimea since the peninsula reunited with Russia.
YIEF-2016 saw the inking of 12 different investment agreements, to a total value of over 70 billion roubles – as well as the development of mechanisms to protect the economic interests of foreign investors interested in investing in Crimea, so that they remain unaffected by the malign effects of western sanctions imposed on Russia. The Forum played host to the signing of contract for building a new terminal for Simferopol International Airport, whose total contract value amounted to 32 billion roubles. This made it the most valuable investment project in the history of the Crimean Republic.
Straregic YIEF-2017 Partner – VAD Corporation. General YIEF-2017 Partners RNKB Bank PAO, Sibavtoban Corporation, and Mirya Resort & Spa hotel complex. Official YIEF-2017 partner – AB ROSSIYA Corporation. Key YIEF-2017 partners include KubanEnergo Public Corporation; Titanovie Investitsiy Corp; Crimean Soda Works Corp; Morskaya Direktsiya Corp; Parangon State Corp; Crimean Fruits Company.
A huge raft of different companies have stepped forward as partners of Forum Sessions.
The work YIEF-2017 is reported and broadcast by over 250 different Russian and international media organisations.
The YIEF-2017 Strategic Information Partner is TASS. YIEF-2017 General Information Partners are the Russia Today, Rossiya Segodnya, Perviy Krymsky and Krym-24 TV channels; Radio Krym; MIA Rossiya Segodnya. and Komsomolskaya Pravda. General Internet Information Partners are: RNS, Lenta.ru, and Gazeta.ru.
Special Information Partners of the Forum's proceedings are Vedomosti, RBK television channel, and RIA Novosti Krym.
The official radio station for the Forum is Radio Sputnik Krym, Official Information Partners are PRIME and Rossiya Segodnya.
Additional information partners of the Forum include Rossiyskaya Gazeta; Delovoy Krym magazine; Interfax-Yug information agency; Strana television channel; Izvestia; NIA-Federatsiya; Krymskaya Gazeta; Krymskoe Informatsionnoye Agenstsvo (KIA); Kryminform corporation' Krymsky Journal; and Ekonomika i Zhizn'.