Moscow was in for a hot September as a key event on the global innovative calendar was unfolding on its premises. IASP 2016, the renowned world conference of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation of 33 years’ standing, was held in the Russian capital for the first time. The innovative Moscow hosted over 1 700 professionals from 70 countries, the 6-day programme comprised around 70 speakers at 3 venues. The conference was co-organized by the Innovative Centre Skolkovo and the Moscow City Government. The Moscow Convention and Exhibition Bureau was in charge of the event’s cultural programme.
The Moscow edition of IASP was opened by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin and the IASP Director General Luis Sanz. In his address Dmitry Medvedev pointed out: “There is a good reason why the capital of Russia is hosting the 33rd World Conference of Science Parks. As you will see for yourselves, Moscow is a modern and dynamic megacity, and, moreover, it is a place where cutting edge technologies are implemented on a city-wide scale, influencing the lives of the Muscovites at every level.”
According to the Mayor of Moscow, “The Russian capital is a huge innovative territory with a research community of over 300 000 specialists integrated in a network spanning dozens of universities, research facilities and hi-tech companies that produce anything from automobiles to space rockets.” Sergey Sobyanin mentioned the exact number of science and technology parks in Moscow: 26, mostly blossoming out as a result of the massive redevelopment of derelict industrial zones, which are then turned into innovation breeding grounds.
For Luis Sanz, Director General of IASP, holding the conference in Moscow is about building bridges between Russia and other world centres of high technology: “At the moment, in Russia science parks and innovative development zones are in the focus of attention, driving Russia’s economy along the high technology and innovation track. Many Russian science parks are joining our international association, and we appreciate this conference in Moscow as a chance to join forces with our Russian colleagues.”
Further networking opportunities were provided by an advanced match-making zone that saw over 1 000 business meetings over the 6 conference days. “IASP is a unique association comprising world’s major science parks, innovation zones and over 130 000 production companies. Getting the major players of this market over to Moscow is a big effort in itself, and we felt we should push this opportunity to the maximum to generate as many connections for the industrial Moscow as possible. Hence the number of meetings we’ve succeeded in organizing, and we hope a big part of these will turn into strong international alliances”, – shares Andrey Zhukovsky, Head of Executive Committee, Moscow Convention and Exhibition Bureau.
Giving the delegates first-hand experience of Moscow was big on the IASP 2016 agenda. Tatyana Anisimova, General Director, Moscow Convention and Exhibition Bureau, summed up her impressions of the week’s programme: “We took the guests on a big tour around Moscow’s iconic landmarks and organized business visits to the capital’s leading science parks. I’m sure our social programme helped the delegates see the meaning of the words “Russian hospitality”: an open air informal dinner and the “Winter Symphony” gala dinner were both brilliant, vibrant shows with an unmistakably Russian vibe. For a close of the show we had another pleasant surprise for the guests: an unforgettable night in the Bolshoi Theatre.”
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