Russian oblast seeks to bolster technological cooperation with Iran

August 28, 2021 - 17:4

TEHRAN - The governor of Russia’s Novosibirsk Oblast, Andrey Travnikov, in a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali, called for boosting bilateral cooperation in the field of technology.

The Iranian envoy started a three-day visit to the Russian oblast on Saturday to attend the 8th International Forum of Technological Development (Technoprom-2021), IRNA reported.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the two sides formed a joint working group to prepare plans for scientific, technological, and commercial cooperation in the future.

They also agreed to facilitate relations between the private and government sectors of the two countries.

According to Novosibirsk’s chamber of industry, trade between the Russian oblast and Iran saw a 45 percent rise in 2020, reaching around $50 million.

In July, Iran inaugurated a house of innovation and technology in Russia to find new markets for domestic knowledge-based products in the region.

Exporting technological products of Iranian knowledge-based companies is one of the important and key programs of the country, and in this regard, three houses of innovation and technology have already been inaugurated in Kenya, China and Syria.

The centers are mainly formed with the investment and support of the private sector to provide the necessary infrastructure for their exports through the innovation houses.

Mehdi Ghalehnoei, an official with the vice presidency for science and technology, has said last [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), knowledge-based companies gained about $800 million in revenue from export, and in the current year, the figure is projected to reach up to $2 billion.

Africa, neighboring countries, Southeast Asia and Eurasia are our export target priorities, and we hope to create Iranian innovation and technology in all these areas, he added.

Innovation in Iran developed rapidly in 5 years

Knowledge-based companies and creative startups have grown over the past five years, and Iran has risen 45 places in the Global Innovation Index, according to the UNESCO 2021 Report.

The Global Innovation Index in Iran from 2015 to 2019 has risen from 106 to 61 with continuous improvement, showing 45 steps growth.

The development of accelerators and innovation centers over the last five years has led to a rapid increase in startups and knowledge-based companies.

Between 2014 and 2017, exports of knowledge-based goods grew by a factor of five, before slumping in 2018 after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (2015), commonly referred to as the nuclear deal, and re-imposed sanctions.

The report states that innovation in Iran has developed rapidly over the past five years, and by the end of last year, 49 accelerators and 113 innovation centers had provided services to start-ups with the participation of the private sector.

Knowledge-based companies

Despite sanctions putting pressure on the country, a unique opportunity was provided for business development and the activity of knowledge-based companies in the country.

Currently, over 7,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the country, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency.

The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.