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Innovative technologies

The 6th Award Ceremony of the Suvorov Prize for the best Swiss-Russian innovative project!

by Svetlana Chiriaeva, from Swiss-Russian Forum / Swiss Russian Chamber or Commerce, on Dec 19
The 6th Suvorov Award Ceremony, dedicated to support Swiss-Russian innovative projects and stimulate the technological collaboration and knowledge exchange between Russia and Switzerland, took place in Moscow on December 5.
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This year the winner of the Award, which was launched by Swiss-Russian Forum in 2010, was the company JSC SOEMZ from Solnechnogorsk for its technology for manufacturing paper, hydrophobic, antiseptic pots from recyclable paper of various grades for growing crops.

Among other finalists were the companies ActLight from EPFL Innovation Park (Lausanne) with its technology in the field of healthcare, and Scanomilk from Ufa with its device for milk quality control.

First place (the WINNER)

The existing forms for plant production work mostly with polymeric forms, peat pots or egg packaging. The Award winning company "SOEMZ" is developing a fundamentally new solution that has no analogies in the Russian market - paper hydrophobic antiseptic forms of various grades made of waste paper, which can be used for the production of plants and crops. The project team: Zenkin Alexander (Chief Financial Officer), Liauchuk Egor (Sales Manager), Radchenko Andrew (agronomist), Smolyakov Alexander (chief technology officer) and Michael Yaskevich (project coordinator).

Second place

The company "ActLight" by Sergei Okhonin and Fredrik Uddegarda presented Ultra Low Power Heart Monitoring which is a replacement for modern pulse meters, which are known for high power consumption. The ActLight invention presents the new generation of such devices with extremely low power consumption.

Third place

The company “Skanomilk” by Nikolai Patrushev presented a new compact mobile photo analyzer of milk quality, which determines the amount of fat and total protein in the liquid. The Skanomilk product will be useful for farmers, agricultural enterprises and households to ensure the quality of the milk when it is used in the production of dairy products or for private use.

The winner will receive the prize in equivalent of 9 mln rubbles in the framework of the programme “Start” lead by the Foundation on innovation support (FASIE). And this year, all three finalists will receive special prizes: the consulting support from Swiss Business Hub and free mentoring support in startup promotion and fundraising from startups and investors business direction InnMind.

During the selection period the jury received a great number of applications from Swiss and Russian innovative entrepreneurs. The most significant project applications were included in the so-called “long-list”, which finally included 17 high-level projects. Among those companies which were included to the long-list there were innovative startups committed to contribute significantly to the economies of Russia and Switzerland. Among the basic criteria there were: connection between Switzerland and Russia, ready-to-market stage, innovativeness, social impact, competitiveness and business prospective. As a result, three finalists were chosen in the fields of MedTech and Agricultural technologies.

Jury members:

  • Dr Thomas Frick, partner, Niederer, Kraft & Frey, Zurich
  • Henning Grossman, entrepreneur, Zurich
  • Andri Manachal, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zurich
  • Michael Lifshith, Director of the High-Tech Assets Development of the Renova Group and Board Member of the Swiss Russian Forum Foundation.
  • Dr Andreas Gut, national projects coordinator, EUREKA Switzerland, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Bern
  • Beatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president, Swiss-Russian Forum, Zurich
  • Ivan Bortnik, Member of the Supervisory Board of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE), Moscow
  • Nelli Orlova, founder of Global startups and investors direction, Lausanne

Among the participants of the ceremony  were prominent members of the scientific and business communities, opinion leaders, political and social figures, who have made a significant impact on innovation, economic and international collaboration: Patric Franzen, Ambassador of Switzerland to Russia a.i.; Academician Sergey Glaziev, Advisor to the Russian President; Hugo Tschirky, Professor, Dr. Dr. sc. techn. ETH, Zurich; Beatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president of the Swiss-Russian Forum.

The finalists were honored and the prizes were awarded by: Ivan Bortnik, Member of the Supervisory  Board of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE); Galina Sato, President of Granite Group and general sponsor of the event; Michael Lifshith, Director of the High-Tech Assets Development of the Renova Group and Board Member of the Swiss Russian Forum Foundation.

Switzerland has for many years been at the top of global innovative ratings and is ready to share its experience with partnering countries, including Russia. As Patric Franzen mentioned, three main factors are the basis of Swiss success in the development of new technologies and scientific progress: strong R&D institutions, high governmental expenses for education and science and close collaboration between science and business. Also, Patric Franzen presented Suvorov Awards as an important event, which plays a significant role in the development of innovation – initiative, inspired by the private sector.

During the event participants enjoyed the discussion “The Power of Ideas” by Hugo Tschirky and journalist Wolfgang Koydl from Swiss Weltwoche Magazine. The main topic of their discussion was innovation and factors, which stimulate or create barriers for innovative development. Hugo Tschirky mentioned that nowadays all you need to develop innovation is your brain, ideas and courage. But speaking about innovation development on a country scale you also need a friendly bureaucratic and legal environment, access to good education and the ability and willingness of entrepreneurs and investors to take risks.

Béatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president of the Swiss-Russian Forum: «The quality of the projects participating in the Suvorov Award is growing from year to year. It makes the choice more and more difficult, but at the same time it supports the real innovation layout to the whole event».

This year, prominent Swiss and Russian companies and organisations were among the sponsors, such as Granit Group from Zurich, the general sponsor, Gazprombank, Swiss International Airlines and Switzerland Global Enterprise.

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