September 2023: The BRICS International Innovation Forum was held from 27 to 29 August as part of the Moscow Urban Forum at the Zaryadye Concert Hall. Experts, heads of cities and departments from Russia, the BRICS countries, Asia, and the Middle East discussed how modern technologies change the lives of people in megacities, evaluated the best IT solutions for the government sector and the business community, and shared their experience in supporting innovators in their countries.
“The first BRICS International Innovation Forum brought together like-minded people from dozens of countries. About 300 Russian and foreign experts participated in 50 thematic sessions. They signed a number of agreements, including the Moscow Declaration of Innovative Development. Summing up, I can say that these three days helped us outline further steps for cooperation in the technological area,” said Natalya Sergunina, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow at the Moscow Government – Head of the Mayor Executive Office and the Moscow Government.
Each day of the forum was devoted to one of the topics: “People”, “Economy”, and “City”. Among the speakers were the Nobel Peace Prize winners Muhammad Yunus, Professor of Economics; and Rae Kwong Chung, Head of the International Committee of the Global Energy Prize. In addition, the business program was attended by Aisha Bin Bishr, Chairman of the Dubai Future Council for Digital Operations; Khaled El-Attar, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt; and Emir Kusturica, Film Director; and other experts.
The Moscow Innovation Cluster and members of government bodies and industry-specific organizations from 10 states signed the Moscow Declaration of Innovative Development. It involves cooperation in various areas – from improving digital ecosystems and introducing advanced developments to sharing experiences and establishing business partnerships.
At the Forum, Russian companies succeeded in entering into several international agreements for a total of $347 million. For example, Moscow-based Avtonomika made arrangements to attract investments of over $320 million: $270 million as part of an agreement to localize the production of its Pixel robot for the utilities sector in the United Arab Emirates, and another $50 million for the development of its Pixel robot-cleaner autonomous technology as an investment from Starshot Ventures, the Indian venture capital fund focusing on autonomous machines, drone, and anti-drone technologies.
The Moscow Government received the World Innovation Award for the development of technologies and the city’s digital ecosystem. In addition, Natalya Sergunina got first rank in one of the main categories – “Innovations, Industries, Infrastructure”. The prize is designed to recognize significant contributions to the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and is awarded in seven categories.
The guests of the forum were invited to tour the exhibition full of cutting-edge and interesting solutions provided by the leading Russian technology companies.