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January 17, 2019

The Sverdlovsk Oblast Government and VEB Innovations will create a fund to support high-tech projects in the Urals

Aleksey Orlov, First Vice-Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, and Oleg Teplov, Director General of VEB Innovations, signed an agreement of intent to establish the Urals Foundation for Support of High Technology Projects. Each party will attract 300 million rubles to the fund, and its volume is planned to increase up to 2 billion rubles in the future.

"An investment partnership is being created. Our partner is the Sverdlovsk Venture Fund, which is one of the elements of our infrastructure support for entrepreneurship. In partnership with such a federal development institution as VEB Innovations, the fund will support technology transfer and high-tech projects not only in the Sverdlovsk region and Ekaterinburg, but also in a broader perspective - we are considering the entire Urals Federal District today. The Fund will provide support in building technological chains of our high-tech enterprises at the regional, interregional, federal and global levels. VEB Innovations has all the resources for this purpose, and we will work to involve serious industrial partners in this investment partnership," said Alexey Orlov.

The Fund will focus on working with projects that have export potential, contribute to the development of innovative activities in the regions and increase their investment attractiveness. First of all, the fund will support projects at the stage of scaling, i.e. if there is a prototype of a product or a revenue from a project company. In addition, startups can also be supported at earlier stages if they have significant export potential or strategic importance for the participating region.

According to Oleg Teplov, the agreement signed with the government of the Sverdlovsk region became one of the stages of formation of the ecosystem of support for high-tech domestic companies and developments in Russia.

"The regional infrastructure in this ecosystem is of fundamental importance. Most often, the project cannot take off to the federal and, even more so, international level if it does not receive the necessary support in the region. It is not uncommon for promising companies that have not received support from Russian investors to seek financing abroad, and many of them leave Russia as a result. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to create conditions for the development of projects within the country, so we are consistently building work with the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and together with them create structures that can fill the existing vacuum," said Oleg Teplov.

He added that earlier VEB Innovations had already signed similar agreements on the establishment of the Far Eastern Fund with Yakutia and the Fund to support projects in the Volga Federal District - with the Perm Territory.

VEB Innovations, established in 2017, is the center of competence of VEB.RF in terms of venture and direct investment in capital. VEB Innovations' priorities include financing projects of the National Technological Initiative, the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation programme, and assistance to Russian innovative companies in entering international markets.

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