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Sergey Zhukov: "My main task is construction and development of private aerospace industry in Russia"

During the ForesightFleet-2016, organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), the strategy for implementation and management of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) was designed. Co-director of the working group Aeronet NTI, General Director of CJSC "Technology Transfer Center" Sergey Zhukov shared with the portal "Ekspir" in which direction it would be necessary to develop promising market of aerospace systems.


Sergey Zhukov is cosmonaut (2005), a member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics. A graduate of Bauman Moscow State Technical University (1979), PhD in Technical Sciences (1986), founder and president of the Moscow Space Club (1990), executive director of Cluster of space technologies and telecommunications "Skolkovo" Foundation (2011-2014). In the late 1980s - early 1990s was one of the leaders of works on creation of the Russian Space Agency ("Roscosmos"), participated in the drafting and adoption of the Law on Space.

Why did you take the lead of the Aeronet group?

- Last year, I was also involved in the ForesightF of ASI and was already a member of this group. A little later, I was offered to lead it. Adoption of my candidacy took place in the presidium of the Council at the President of Russia on modernization of economy and innovative development.

What are the achievements of your group in the past year?

- In April 2016, we developed and approved the "road map"of Aeronet at an interagency working group of the presidium of the Council at the President of Russia on modernization of economy and innovative development. It defined strategic goals and objectives for the development for the twenty-year period, some funding was planned for the next three years, specific companies-participants of NTI were identified and listed etc. Now our activity continues, not only in aviation, but also in space. As a separate line, within Aeronet, a subgroup Spacenet was created. It included many of the residents of "Skolkovo", specializing in the development of private aerospace. So our group turned its vector upward smoothly.

What is NTI for you?

Several things can be noted Here. Firstly, it is attempt of Russia (of the state, society and business in general) to join technologically advanced countries in the world again. And the attempt to move forward in those areas where it is still possible to join without any excessive forces.

If you take my personal attitude, then, of course, NTI is a philosophy, a certain way of thinking, a kind of mission, if you will.

My ways coincide with NTI: I was one of the founders of the Russian Space Agency (it is the predecessor of the State Corporation "Roscosmos") and tried to promote domestic space programs for some time. But then  I got sure that it could not be developed "inside the perimeter". That is why my main task nowadays is to build and develop private aerospace industry in Russia. We are allies with NTI. I would say: the National Technology Initiative is a huge bear, which I try to keep for paw and move forward with him.

Currently Aeronet looks like one of the most successful working groups of NTI. Is it really?

- Yes, it is, as people say. Seriously though, we (along with the Marinet and Neuronet) were really among the pioneers, the fate of which was more or less defined. And we help to train: for example, our "road map" was approved only at the fifth attempt and now we are going through a similar path with the first projects ...

How would you describe the current state of the domestic small and medium-sized aerospace business?

- When my colleagues and I began the creation of a space cluster in "Skolkovo" in 2011, the Russian market was famous for only five to seven non-government (private or private-enterprise) companies engaged in the space. The year before last one, when I was leaving my post in the cluster, there were already 114. Now the cluster has about 180 residents, of which approximately two thirds are engaged in space, the other are interested in telecommunications and aviation. When I came to the working group Aeronet, I found here the association of operators and developers of unmanned aircraft systems, with 44 companies (there are of the order of 200 in the country at the moment). There are other professional associations. Currently a private initiative in the field of unmanned aircraft air is more developed.

Now my "farm" includes about 50-60 companies, which are engaged in air flights, and some 30-40 companies which are engaged in spacecrafts and components (up-stream) or the provision of services based on satellite data (down-stream ).

What problems, standing in the way of NTI, are in concern of your group?

- Active participation of the state in the project is necessary, but it imposes its own characteristics. Schemes, which are invented today for the implementation of NTI, in my opinion, are unnecessarily cumbersome and time-consuming. Moreover, in addition to allies, NTI has opponents at different levels. That is why the initiative is progressing with difficulty.

In short, public funding and all aspects associated with it, raise questions. Too complicated procedures await the participants. I think that those who are the first to have to work very hard. On the other hand, the community is working on a strategy of NTI (the ForesightFleet-2016 and further activity of creative teams are dedicated to it).

I hope that in this process a balance in the partnership of the state, business, public and international environment will be found. Figuratively speaking, it is about the balance of all the parts of the "butterfly" which is a symbol of NTI.

Material is prepared by the editorial staff of the portal "Ekspir".`


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