Igor Ishchenko, CEO of SEZ Technopolis Moscow: "Abandoned industrial zones will become the growth zones”

A lot has been said about Moscow's new industrial policy for several years: industrial clusters are being created, packages of benefits for business are being developed, but ultimately all these innovations should affect the lives of ordinary citizens. Igor Ishchenko, the General Director of the Special Economic Zone Technopolis Moscow, told Interfax about what the new industrial policy of the city "threatens" Muscovites.

– Mr. Ishchenko, how is the updated industrial policy of Moscow expressed in practice?

– The new industrial policy of Moscow is, in fact, a comprehensive program to attract high-tech and environmentally friendly industries to the capital. To date, the participation of residents of technoparks and SEZs in the GRP of the city is less than 1%, while for any growing economy even 10% is the minimum acceptable indicator. In Moscow, about 15 thousand hectares of undeveloped or abandoned industrial zones can become industrial parks. The new industrial policy should focus on the integration of a huge number of private owners of industrial territories into the zone of consistent and systematic work on redevelopment. Then in the future in 20 years we will reach the same 10%.

The restructuring of industrial zones will create areas that will be built around jobs. But this means a ghetto with high levels of emissions into the air, and comfortable areas with well-developed infrastructure. For example, Zelenograd was originally built as a scientific city. And now the development of the city is closely connected with the development of a special economic zone.

– And how the residents of such an area around the industrial Park should understand that the production facilities included in it will not literally poison their lives: they will 

– Mass media as well. The Moscow government adheres to the position of maximum information openness. We have closed production facilities working for the defence industry at the printing house, but the vast majority of residents is ready for publicity and work closely with the press.

Moreover, we regularly hold Open Days, when any guest can come on a tour and see with their own eyes what is happening in modern high-tech industries. Every time hundreds of people get acquainted with different companies, residents of technoparks and SEZs.

It is also an opportunity for schoolchildren and students to look closely at the profession of the future and make a choice. Previously, enterprises did not open their doors to visitors and residents had no idea what professions exist in the industry. Now the policy of openness allows determining the professional future earlier.

– So can we say that the development of industry will push the educational processes?

- Certainly. We are already seeing this. Each year, specialized educational institutions in Moscow produce about 100 thousand young professionals who are not personnel for themselves. Therefore, educational programs are created in the SEZ, which are often conducted by representatives of real business. In total, we will train about 500 personnel per year for the industry.

With talented students and schoolchildren, deferred employment contracts are concluded. Education should be tailored to the needs of existing employers in the market. The "crust" of a University or College in itself does not solve anything – you need applicable knowledge and skills, and they can be obtained only in cooperation with business.

– Mr. Ishchenko, let's be honest: workers are  more in need than lawyers and managers, but parents often set up children for higher education.

– Yes, we are waiting for a change of thinking. Today higher education is a kind of social fetish. It is believed that only a University diploma can provide a decent future. But if you look at the trends of the labor market, you can see that a strong professional who knows how to work not only with his head but also with his hands, earns more than the average Manager. The development of industry once again raises the prestige of working professions.

– If you look at two or three decades ahead, what other unexpected changes will the current industrial policy of the capital bring to Muscovites?

– The transition to the European attitude to real estate is not yet obvious. Previously, the urban policy was as follows: built a sleeping area with minimal infrastructure for life - kindergarten, school, hospital, maybe a culture house and a couple of shops. Now this concept is dying. The city is growing, the number of residents is increasing, and the daily migration from home to work creates the famous Moscow traffic jams.

The urban concept is slowly changing. In the area you need to immediately build production, that is, to create jobs. On the other hand, we see that the personnel market is also changing. To take place professionally, you need to constantly learn, learn new skills and change areas of activity.

This also changes the attitude to property. That is, it makes no sense to buy a house in the energy sector, if you understand that in a couple of years you will change the vector of professional interests. If now rented housing is considered to be the lot of young people who have not yet reached financial stability, in the near future rented housing will no longer be considered a temporary solution, because mobility and time saved on the way to work will be an indicator of success. Perhaps the property will be relevant more for freelancers who are not tied to the office.