Over 11 years of Dzerzhinsk Scientific and Production Company "Elan Practitioner" has gone from creating a unique technology for the Russian to the exit with her on the world market. However, as it turned out, not very much out there waiting for her.
However, the Russian market is now capacious and Dzerzhinsky vacuum coating technology is in demand. Most importantly, the general director of "Elan Practitioner" Yuri AGABEKOV not stand still, grind already invented and offer new.
Yuri Vartanovich a decade with a small hook for the innovating firm — a moment. And you have not only the finished product, but also a strong partnership with its customers throughout the country and abroad. How is that possible?
Yuri AGABEKOV: I have to admit that while "Elan Practitioner" formally founded in 2000, we began to engage in what we do now, in the early '90s, when we were working in NIImashe. It was then in the context of conversion, we have proposed an entirely new direction — vacuum coating technology. And the unique magnetron sputtering, which replaced the environmentally harmful galvanic production. This Ultra long and durable coatings can be used on a variety of products — from watches bracelets, spectacle frames and dental prostheses to all types of metal-working tools, automotive components, turbine and compressor blades.
The first implementation was held in a watch factory "Vostok", where the chrome plating has been replaced by our vacuum technology, thin-film ceramics. Nanostructured coatings based on titanium nitrite at a thickness of 1.5 microns hours gives the same protection against corrosion and wear, which galvanic 6 microns thick. At the "Seagull" we replaced very harmful cyanide plating technology gilding gold flash, which allowed to the same order of magnitude lower cost of gold coatings.
In 2003, we have offered the technology of applying thin-film ceramics one of the most famous Polish enterprises for the production of eyeglass frames Liv Lewant. And put and equipment: we develop and manufacture industrial vacuum systems. This was followed by contracts with companies aviation applications, such as "Saturn" in Rybinsk, which is now one of our major customers. There were orders from the mint, OKBM. Africantov, actively cooperate with the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (since March of this year — "RUSNANO") … But all do not list! For ten years, sold to different customers for more than 40 different modifications of vacuum systems.
And yet: is there a formula for success for an innovative company?
VJ: I can point to three factors. First, you have to choose which area of activity. In this case, the load factor of one hundred per cent: among the variety of vacuum coating methods were chosen unbalanced magnetrons, brand new in the art world, and as time has shown, they were the most effective.
Secondly, it is important in the direction you actually perform popular tasks that allow up to receive substantial financial returns. We are in the "Elan Practitioner" proceeded from the fact that in any production is the key problem of the technical plan, the resolution of which depends on the competitiveness of the enterprise. We chose a different spheres of production of these key challenges and offer them a solution using our vacuum coatings.
And the third factor — it is a continuous process of innovation, which includes empowerment, improving the quality of products and services. Our company not only continues to develop new vacuum coating, but also offers complete solutions to technical problems of the customer, including staff training and technological support of organized vacuum production. In the field of high technology is changing rapidly, it is impossible to stand still. Stopped — then fell behind.
But commerce and research — a very different thing. People of science, able to create some kind of new technology is often not able to sell it …
VJ: We were people from science 20 years ago, while working at the Institute. And when there are gone and we are faced with the task to make money by continuing to do what he likes, and develop — we began to change. Now we are traders and marketers … Now a lot of talk about the prospects of higher education, a lot of money invested in equipment of high school science, but there is no return. We work with five or six universities supply their own equipment and we see that there are ideas that have brains, but they are not trained to work "on the way out" can not communicate their ideas to the final product, which could be relevant in the market. Their only way out — it's dissertations and scientific articles. Therefore is the share of small business in the market as it was five percent a decade ago, and has remained, and according to some sources even decreases.
Do you have enough for the future?
VJ: And who of small and medium-sized innovative enterprises lacking? There are purely technical, scientific questions that we decide for yourself — this is the essence of our work. But for the development of the plant, construction of new facilities requires considerable investment, and would like to have some help from various foundations and organizations that we, of course, do not get. We can devote to it their own funds, provided a sufficient number of contracts. And this in turn is associated with the development of industry in Russia: if they appear means that you can invest in innovation, we'll have new orders not only from state-owned enterprises, but also from private companies that currently do not have money for new technology.
We had a period when we were negotiating with venture capitalists. But any investor wants to invest a minimum and get the best, having a controlling stake, which will determine its impact on the company. As a result, we resist the temptation to take the money and counted on their income. This choice was correct, because in 2009-2010 the money went, and today in venture capital investments in such circumstances, we do not need. The only investment that will help us to develop — it is our own money.
Can you count on the support of the state, saying the bet on innovation?
JA: This is to simply invest in innovative companies, no, everything is done on a competitive basis. For example, there Bortnik Fund, which works closely with the Ministry of Science. Each year, a competition is announced by federal programs, and two of the competition we won, receiving government funding. It is, of course, is not as large as in "RUSNANO", but it is still good money.
And the proceeds from sales to foreign customers?
VJ: Here the situation is not easy. Once in 2003, we have successfully implemented the technology in Polish Liv Lewant, it seemed to us that the European market for our services. But it turned out that there is no waiting for equipment and technology from Russia and push the very high demands. Of course, the question of withdrawal there is not removed from the agenda, but has been postponed. In part because the Russian market is sufficiently capacious and our technologies are in demand.
So it was even during the crisis years of 2009-2010?<
VJ: Yes. During these years, our production, by contrast, has gone up dramatically. This is due to the innovative programs that are beginning to develop our government, putting a lot of money in aviation, nuclear industry, "Roskosmos". Most of these agencies just give and give us orders.
Where to take pictures? After all, they are tough you need …
SA: Yes, the problem is in any enterprise, engaged in high technology. Now we have 40 people, many of them work from the opening, so it is necessary to prepare a shift. We look forward to UNN, which became one of the twelve federal research centers and received a large funding. At the Physics Department established two nanotechnology center with which we are active. Even want to organize a special laboratory techniques magnetron coating, which will train specialists.
How about the project "Skolkovo"?
VJ: It is a very controversial project. The very idea is good, but you need to see how it will all be implemented. In any case, we in this project will become involved. Now the project is expanding, and you can be a resident of Skolkovo, working in the same Dzerzhinsk. If it gives some preferences, including tax, that's interesting.
Well, if we talk in general about the prospects of the company — how you see it, Yuri Vartanovich?
VJ: Spheres of application of our technology — and present, and future — enough so that the work in the next decade we will have. We hope for the state if it continues at least in the forms that exist now, to support innovation, we will be able to develop. If this is not the domestic market and for us to burst, it means that we need at all costs to enter the international market. Than we are, in general, are doing.
Yuri Vartanovich AGABEKOV
Biography: Born September 25, 1953 in Leninabad-30
Education: UNN them. NI Lobachevsky, Department of Physics
Case: NIImash, now — "Elan Practitioner."
Hobbies: Music, books.
Favorite Book: Hermann Hesse, "The Glass Bead Game".
Favorite Quote: «Per aspera ad astra!» («Through the thorns to the stars!")
Children: Two daughters.
Contact: (8313) 28-20-07, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward GIFTS Source: A'BM. Agency Business Monitoring