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Russian-American Innovation Technology Week


Mid-Atlantic - Russia Business Council and Innovation Philadelphia Host
Inaugural Russian-American Innovation Technology Week

November 3rd to December 3rd 2003 became the hottest month
for Russian-American technology development in the Mid-Atlantic States.

Philadelphia, PA - The Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council and Innovation Philadelphia launched the Inaugural Russian-American Innovation Technology Week in the Mid-Atlantic States from November 3-7, 2003. This event was the first ever Russian-American technology week and included seminars, panel discussions, round-table meetings, a trade show, conferences and networking events. The Annual Russian-American Innovation Technology Week is designed to bring together entrepreneurs, scientists, venture capitalists, and established corporations within the United States and Russian technology communities. Russian delegations composed of nearly two hundred Russian technology companies took part in the various events during the week.

The event was the result of several years of work dedicated to the launch of major Russian-American technology events. Efforts were initiated in April of 1999 when the Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council hosted the delegation of the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy in Philadelphia and it was during this meeting that efforts were begun to begin to create the Russian-American Technology trade show. Since March 2001, the Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council and the U.S. Department of State has organized thirteen successful Russian-American Technology Seminars to lay the foundation for American companies interested in being involved in Russian-American technology development.

Opening ceremonies for the Inaugural Russian-American Technology Week took place on November 3, 2003 in the recently opened National Constitution Center. Presentations by leading regional business and government leaders included representatives from the City of Philadelphia, the States of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, as well as executives from Mid-Atlantic regional organizations focused on international business and technology development. Dr. Nancy Morgan, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, on behalf of John Street, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, proclaimed November 3-7, 2003, Russian-American Innovation Technology Week in Philadelphia.

The City of Philadelphia has a long tradition of innovation including the University City Science Center, owned by a consortium of 30 academic and scientific institutions and the incubator of many flourishing, technology-based businesses; and the University of Pennsylvania - birthplace of the ENIAC - the world's first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer.

"We were very pleased to host this event in the City of Philadelphia," said Richard Bendis, president and CEO of Innovation Philadelphia, a public/private partnership founded in 2001 as an initiative of the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private enterprises dedicated to increasing the Region's entrepreneurial capacity and to positioning the Greater Philadelphia Region as a leader in the Global Innovation Economy. " With a strong foundation of both established and entrepreneurial businesses plus an academic base of over 80 colleges and universities, we are uniquely able to supply the innovation needed to keep technology businesses at the forefront of the industry. This is a Region of growth and development and we look forward to collaborating with Russian technology companies in order to advance the Innovation Economy."

This year, the Russian-American Innovation Technology Week included the Partnerships for Prosperity and Security Exhibition and Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and produced by the U.S. Industry Coalition. This event, held on November 5-6 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, was the first major technology trade show in the United States, with over 150 exhibitors from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon, chairman of the U.S. Congress-Russian Duma Working Group, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, and Russian Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev led the conference program as keynote speakers.

The final event of the Inaugural Russian-American Innovation Technology Week included a Russian delegation visit to the Science Center--the oldest and largest urban research park in the United States--and a nanotechnology roundtable discussion with the leading Mid-Atlantic region nanotechnology experts organized by the Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council and Innovation Philadelphia jointly, with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Science Center, and the Nanotechnology Institute. As a result of this visit and roundtable discussion, two Russian nanotechnology companies are now considering establishing their presence in the United States at the Science Center in Philadelphia.

The Inaugural Russian-American Innovation Technology Week was coordinated by the Mid-Atlantic-Russia and Innovation Philadelphia in cooperation with Team Pennsylvania Foundation Ambassadors, CeBIT America, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Science Center, Entrepreneurs' Forum, Eastern Technology Council, Philadelphia US Export Assistance Center, and other Mid-Atlantic international and technology organizations.

Additional support from the Russian federal and regional government included the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Entrepreneurs Association, and other Russian state organizations.

"Innovation Philadelphia was truly pleased to sponsor this event," added Richard Bendis. "A strong business relationship between our two nations is important to Innovation Philadelphia's mission to grow, attract and retain technology-based businesses. Key to that mission is the concept of 'connectivity,' that is the relationships that result from people meeting people. The Inaugural Russian-American Innovation Technology Week - and those that will follow - will go long way towards helping us realize the economic potential that exists between Russia, the Greater Philadelphia Region and the United States."

"The focus of the Inaugural Russian-American Technology Week was to help introduce Russian companies with the Mid-Atlantic Region's local technology business and venture capital communities," said Val Kogan, president of the Mid-Atlantic Russia Business Council. "As a direct result of the Inaugural Russian-American Technology Week, so far, three Russian companies that had been considering a presence in the United States are now considering the Greater Philadelphia Region. The Annual Russian-American Technology Week will help many companies in the Mid-Atlantic region find Russian counterparts and develop successful business ventures. We hope it will ultimately lead to the Mid-Atlantic region becoming a major partner for Russian technology companies and a premier center of Russian-American technology cooperation. "

The Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council also brought a Russian delegation to participate in the United Nations Forum "Science and Technology Parks: New and Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development" organized by the United Nations and Innovation Philadelphia on December 1-3, 2003. Russian participation in the forum will help develop Russian technology incubators using the experience of some of the best technology incubators in the United States, including the Philadelphia Science Center and the successful experience of the conversion of the Philadelphia Naval Business Center, and to develop ties between Russian and American technology incubators.

The organizers of the Russian-American Innovation Technology Week are looking ahead to new ways to connect the new Russian-American Technology forum with several existing high-tech conferences and trade shows in the Mid-Atlantic region. For instance, for the first time, the Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council ensured Russian participation for the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference, the major venture capital event in the U.S. east coast on November 17-19, 2003. Next year, the Mid-Atlantic-Russia Business Council, with the Russian Venture Capital Association and the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation, will bring winners of the Russian Venture Capital Fairs to present at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference. A few more Mid-Atlantic regional technology events will be part of the Annual Russian-American Technology Week in 2004.

"The week was a success by any measure," added Kogan. "There was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm generated and we truly look forward to building on new relationships in the years to come."

For information about the Annual Russian-American Innovation Technology Week in 2004, please contact Val Kogan, Mid-Atlantic - Russia Business Council at phone: (215) 708-2628, email: val@ma-rbc.org, visit the MARBC website at: http://www.ma-rbc.org


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