Disruptive Innovations: How to Turn Crisis into Opportunity PANEL DISCUSSION

Disruptive Innovations:
How to Turn Crisis into Opportunity
Jay Samit,
President, ooVoo:
“Cr isis is w hat made us s o
successful globally – and allows you
to get employees cheaper, allows to get
to another markets as there is nobody
competing with you there.”
Andrey Sviridenko,
Founder, Chairman
“As an innovative company that has
been operating on the global markets
since the very beginning, we have
always endeavored to make products
that outpace the global market demands
by 5−10 years… And when the market
catches up – major players get hit by the
wave of urgent demand, we already have
a ready product of higher quality than
what they’d be able to produce in a short
amount of time.”
“In 2009 which was a peak year of
crisis – the European Investment Bank
invested almost 18 billion dollars in
projects in research and development.”
“I think that cuts to R&D and
innovation expenditures should take
place last – especially in the time of
crisis because companies may lose their
competitive edge they have when they
stop investing into new ideas.”
Evgeny Kuznetsov,
Director, Strategic
Department, RVC:
“In a certain sense, the crisis will
prove to be our good fortune – one that
helps us to awake from our bad dream
[of black oil addiction]. If we want to
find the areas of growth, we must enter
the technological fields where the answer
remains unclear – where the question
itself might seem strange.”
“If someone had been able to predict
10 or 15 years ago that a semantic search,
Skype, Twitter or other Internet projects
would turn out to be disruptive, no one
would have known what they were talking
about. At that time, these technologies
were thought about nothing but toys.”
“Each and every moment of a
financial crisis forces us to turn our
backs on costly, superfluous methods of
deriving profit and focus on riskier yet
initially cheaper methods of achieving
the same results.”
How crisis makes you
more disruptive?
Make way for the young! Crisis opens
up unprecedented opportunities for
the start-ups successful entry to new
markets due to weakened competition
from other players.
No country for coward men. Without
risk no disruptive innovations are
possible. And during the crisis the
number of projects cheap-to-enter on
the very first stage and with serious
disruptive potential – and yes, very
risky – high-rockets. Moreover, a
crisis makes new points of disruptive
growth naked, showing new potentials
for investment. It’s important not to
cut innovation financing during a
crisis – even to increase them.
Defying stereotypes. Crisis helps to
make a breakthrough in thinking,
dismantle stereotypes, look at the old
in a new way, shift into do-ocracy and
make bolder decisions, relying on a
new market opportunities view.
Money for the Future. You can’t expect
long-term R&D investments aimed
at stimulating disruptive innovations
payback immediately.
“Smart” government. The public
sector must become more efficient
and innovative. Today, the key to
an effective innovation ecosystem
is in how government is acting.
The experience of Finland clearly
demonstrates that only the
government is able to implement a
long-term strategy for technological
development, as the results of such a
policy may be far over the horizon and
not immediately visible to all citizens.
Who knows… Crisis accelerates the
transition to knowledge economy in
which information is product №1 and
the winner is the most “competent,”
resulting in new players entering the
market and much higher requirements
to competitors’ competence.
“Crisis is a wonderful time. Crisis is a
hospital orderly for the economy, a time
of transition when prosperity passes from
the wealthy to the clever.”
Virgil Nae,
Head of the
Representation of the
European Investment
Bank (EIB) in the
Russian Federation:
Alexander Aniskevich,
Chairman, Institute
of Modernization
Problems, Strategy
and Society
Yuri Ammosov,
Head of the
Innovation Programs
Analytical Center for
the Government of the
Russian Federation:
“Four disruptive technologies may
turn out to become either as opportunity
or challenge for Russia – four aspects of
mobility: mobility of people, mobility
of capital, mobility of knowledge and
mobility of things.”
“It was precisely the reform resulted
in the liberalization of investment
mechanisms, implemented in the U.S.
by the R. Reagan Administration that
indirectly led to a dramatic increase
in the amount of money available for
investments in innovation. Companies
that had dared not to dream of such
investments suddenly got access to tens
and hundreds of millions.”
Esko Aho,
Executive Chairman of
the Board, East Office
of Finnish Industries:
“Deep crisis can sometimes be
incredibly beneficial to innovation.
Just look at how many startups were
established during the crisis.”
“In the 1980s, Finland decided to
actively invest in scientific research and
development. If you had asked Finns at
the time if these investments were the
right way to go, the answer would have
been “no, we don’t see any results.” But
if you asked the same question 5 years
later, after the crisis, the answer would
have been “oh yes, absolutely – it’s one
of the best investments that Finland has
ever made.”
“Long-term factors are of crucial
importance to the general health of
any innovative ecosystem: education,
investments in research and development,
regulator y environment (and
deregulation plays no less a significant
role than regulation) and readiness to