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7 March, 2006 - 17:44 By Staff Reporter

Tech transfer links building up between Russia and UK

Technology transfer bridges are being built between Russia and the UK, thanks to UK Trade & Investment and East of England International.Technology transfer bridges are being built between Russia and the UK, thanks to UK Trade & Investment and East of England International.

During a UKTI-funded exploratory mission to Russia, Roger Baker, head of international trade team for East of England International, Suffolk, discovered a burgeoning technology transfer network in the country that was not yet being exploited by UK companies.

Following Roger Baker’s report, five Russian businessmen visited Innovation Relay Centres (IRCs) across the UK to learn about their success in technology partnering and technology transfer.

David Reynolds, European technology adviser for Innovation East, which is based at St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge said: “Thanks to Roger Baker’s timely visit and report on Russia, we are exploring closer cooperation with the Innovation Centre Koltsovo.

“They have a huge range of excellent technology – especially biotechnology – that could be of benefit to and exploited by regional businesses.

“Exploiting Russian technology is difficult – there is the language, the distance and a cultural barrier.

“This meeting will go a long way to help simplify the process. We are highlighting the benefits of cooperation.”

Alexander Kvashnin, deputy director for project management at the Innovation Centre Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Region, Russia, visited Innovation East, award-winning technology transfer service for the East of England, in January.

He said: “The link with the UK opens another world of possibility.

“Despite the fact that our networks are not yet integrated, we hope to work together in the future.

“It is very difficult to achieve a success story in the field of innovation transfer.

“We have a pipeline of technology transfer programs but for every 100 technology matches you can only expect about five agreements.”

Roger Baker added: “It is about bringing two worlds together, which can be politically difficult. At least we are now bringing them closer.”

East of England International delivers UK Trade & Investment services to regional businesses wanting to trade internationally.

It also provides free and confidential advice to overseas-owned companies wanting to establish a presence or expand in the UK.

Paul Williams, international trade director of UKTI in the East of England said: “This is an example of the good that comes from UKTI and EEI working together as a coordinated business team on a complex issue.

“The UKTI and EEI team will be working in partnership to extract the maximum possible benefit of the region and to bring its expertise to the forefront of international business.”

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