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Market niches that can make a hit

Russia purchases almost 30% of all advanced technologies it uses abroad. In 2011, the share of imports exceeded 21%, according to a study by the Center for Statistics and Monitoring of S&T and Innovation at HSE University.

Credit: depositphotos.com
Credit: depositphotos.com

The development of domestic innovative solutions in the country is slow. Every year, Russia covers less than one percent of its total demand for advanced technologies (1,565 products developed in 2018). Mostly financial and economic centers and regions with diversified economy (Tatarstan and the Tomsk and Novosibirsk regions) are engaged in research and development. According to experts, over 50% of Russian-made industrial solutions are developed by these three regions.

Clearly, it can’t continue this way. The crisis has boosted demand for technologies that allow for cutting expenses and improving the performance of companies and the wellbeing of people.

Directives are not enough

The country’s research and innovative facilities have not yet managed to make a technological breakthrough. For instance, it took decades for the microclimate of the Silicon Valley to yield its first results. It means that technology cannot be developed or created at a request or directive. This work always takes a long time. In IT and innovations, it is important to see the perspective for at least the next 5–10 years. For instance, cloud services appeared in 2006 when Amazon presented its web service infrastructure, while investments in cloud solutions have become profitable only recently.

Growth points

However, there is some progress due to the efforts of high-tech startups. Digital twins, the Internet of Things, drones, 5G expansion and other technologies are currently contributing to a new efficient environment for living and doing business.

Air purifiers

The pandemic has created a steep rise in demand for air purifiers and humidifiers, as well as disinfection devices for homes, offices and production facilities.

If you are constantly catching a cold, have allergies, asthma, seasonal rhinitis, or live in a big city you know how important these solutions are. After using an air purifier for a couple of days, you will not want to return to the dusty environment. Our products are not cheap and are unique for the Russian market. It could be cheaper to purchase air purifications systems in Europe. But there is still demand in Russia and we are expanding our product range for the country. Our new equipment has integrated smart home tech

The high demand for air cleaning systems will encourage an inflow of investment in the market and development of Russian competitive solutions, with smart products for cleaning air and surfaces, providing safety and protection against viruses and bacteria; all of them will be in a long-term demand following the pandemic.

Health gadgets

The pandemic has led to a wide array of new developments for remote monitoring of patients as well as for assessment and control over sports achievements. Those include various wearable devices and applications, most of them based on IoT solutions. According to IDC, the smart wearables segment will reach $222 mio by 2021, with the market’s average annual growth of 18.4%.

We observe high-tech companies in other countries restructuring to meet healthcare challenges, with new startups developing products at the crossroads of technology and medical industry. The SmartHealth segment for such companies could well become a driver for development for years to come.

Digital cities and utility sector

In 2019, the Russian Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities approved the standards for smart cities. The project should be implemented in all towns and cities with the population of over 100,000 within the next five years.

The crisis has put a halt to most projects related to introducing IoT in residential and business buildings, schools, and hospitals. Yet, the symbiosis of a ‘smart’ home and a city that unite into a seamless ecosystem will provide for significant improvement of urban living standards. As the economic situation stabilizes, we will see a renewed interest for all technologies that allow for achieving this goal, such as video surveillance systems and smart street lighting systems, emergency alarms, and others.

A breakthrough in this regard is related to predictive analytics, when the sensor data sends an alert to indicate a possible problem so it can be eliminated before it occurs. It is no coincidence that the ‘smart’ housing and utilities sector has become the core of a digital smart city.

Investors are actively seeking alternative investment projects, with the technology segment becoming increasingly appealing as innovations can be efficiently used for solving such pressing tasks as cost optimization and even taking care of your home and loved ones from a remote environment.

By Mikhail Petrov, Sales Director at MiaAir

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