Traditions and innovations: Development of Elma technopark

February 7
Economy and entrepreneurship

The Elma technopark is located in a picturesque corner of Zelenograd. It is surrounded by parks and the Skhodnya River, and two large ponds are also close to it. The complex is within easy reach of a railway station just a stone's throw away.

Elma technopark was developed in 2009 but its history goes back further. During the years under the government of the USSR, Zelenograd was the Soviet equivalent of Silicon Valley and enterprises there produced electronic and microelectronic devices. The Elma factory was one of them. The technopark was named after it.

Elma’s activities

“Moscow has 42 technoparks, 37 of which are up and running and there are five others  under construction. Despite the far from easy conditions of 2020 their number continues to increase. This is conducive to the growth of innovative infrastructure in the city. Elma technopark houses 150 companies with aggregate proceeds in 2020 of over 11 billion roubles,” noted Alexei Fursin, Head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovations.

Currently, Elma technopark residents operate in micro and radio electronics, produce high-technology instruments, including medical ones, and security systems. Companies working in nanotechnologies, neural network technologies and robotics, information, communications and additive technologies can all be found there.

About 30 percent of Elma companies are in the IT business, 25 percent in microelectronics, 14 percent in medical technologies, five percent produce a variety of items, including for medical purposes, using 3D-printers, and four percent work in the field of vacuum technology.

The technopark has preserved the manufacturing facilities of the former place together with its utility lines. There are offices, new parking spaces, cafes and canteens, too. An investment programme has been implemented there since 2016 and more than a half of the funds have already been used. Thanks to this the park renovated its facades, landscaped the grounds, upgraded the utility infrastructure and put its common areas and premises in order. The job is ongoing and the investment programme will last until 2022.

The spaces available at Elma are almost all taken up with less than five percent vacant. Areas to be leased are easily adaptable for firms whose needs are modest: an assembly line or a major manufacturing facility with “clean rooms” can be built. “Clean room” means a place where the countable concentration of mechanical particles of a certain size and, if need be, the amount of viable microorganisms in the air are controlled within set limits.

Technology against the coronavirus

The status of a resident was granted to 88 companies out of 150 and 14 percent of them are working in the field of medical technologies.

One of such enterprise is the manufacturer of Melita medical equipment. The company turns out pulsed UV units for air and surface disinfection. Its product range includes several models: portable, mobile and stationary. The units clean the air and surfaces of all kinds of pathogenic microflora.

During the pandemic the company’s products have been used to curb the spread of COVID-19. The units passed the tests at Defence Ministry research institutes last April. The coronavirus was totally destroyed within several minutes on the surfaces exposed to the units’ rays.

Now they are to be found not only in Russia but also abroad. In Russia the units have been put into service at more than 500 medical facilities, including the Kommunarka hospital, infectious diseases clinical hospitals, Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Medicine as well as at the national medical research centres, emergency care hospitals, perinatal centres and operating theatres.

Another Elma resident, Aivok LLC, is also helping to combat the coronavirus. Jointly with the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology they created their Detector-Bio instrument. It detects viruses, bacteria and toxins in the air. Actually, it is a robot, an automated lab checking the air round-the-clock without the need of any human involvement.

The invention has passed government tests and seems to be highly efficient. The device can be used at the sites of mass gatherings, such as shopping centres, railway stations and airports.

Latest developments

Elma residents regularly present unique designs, a significant part of which have to do with medical equipment. Some of such products were brought to light in 2020.

The firm MKS has developed and put into practice its equipment for the electroencephalograms and electrocardiograms analysis. Contemporary analysis methods are hypersensitive to the discovery of any heart and brain malfunctions. At present, thousands of Russian clinics use MKS goods and their export to China has also been launched. In addition to this, the company has developed one-off electrode systems for electroencephalography, which are unique on the Russian market.

The firm Neurobotics presented a neuro-headset for cognitive training last year. Using the headset, adults and children can develop their memory and control the speed and the amount of information taken in. The product helps control stressful work as well as keep emotions in check. This company together with the Sirius educational centre also ran а course in neuro technologies for gifted children. It was attended by 60 teams from all over Russia.

The Big Cock Design company started producing lighting equipment for greenhouses. Their lamps completely replace sunlight making it possible to grow certain cereals, vegetables and fruit indoors all year round.

Help for technopark residents

Residents of Moscow technoparks enjoy certain privileges. For example, the city may reimburse their expenses for purchasing equipment or help in repaying interest on loans for business development.

“One of the core advantages of operating  in Elma technopark is the possibility of getting subsidies from the Moscow Government and to be allowed to use such places as the conference facility and the exhibition hall. Also worthy of note is the competent approach of its management to the choice of residents by their activities. We found many of our partners working at the technopark,” explained Sergei Tsymbal, Director General of the Alternativa testing and certification centre.

There are also some other advantages. Companies enjoying the status of an anchor resident are entitled to a preferential profit tax rate, 16.5 percent instead of 20. Elma has two such enterprises: the producer of security systems Elvis Research and Production Centre and MKS, a developer of high-tech biomedical products

“A convenient location, developed infrastructure and expansion possibilities create the required conditions for efficient work and business development,” said MKS Director General Dmitry Prilutsky.

Elma is giving companies a helping hand during challenging times and the pandemic. Major residents have been able to get rent privileges and discounts. Moreover, thanks to Elma’s support more than 10 new companies, which created 200 jobs, settled there.

Elma technopark continues to grow. By 2022, while the investment programme is in place, the complex is expected to increase the number of clean rooms and other premises and open an exhibition hall.


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