What type of cluster we are building
It is vital for clusters to have minimum three conditions (elements).
The first one. There is a kind of “environment” needed. Previously the functions of such environment were carried out by academic cities or headquarter enterprises. In case of our cluster the environment is a Polymer business park on the basis of JSC plastic procession plant named after “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. Here we gathered the core of the Polymer cluster.
The second condition is a common technological platform (CTP). On the common Russian level “the polymer companies” are to unite around VIAM( an institute of aviation materials), where the CTP only begins its formation. We started to create our CTP already 5 years ago. Today due to support of Saint-Petersburg government such a platform has been obtained: we bought a data management system from NIU ITMO (PDM system ENOVIA Smarteam), we filled it with R&D, technologies, equipment, methods. Further, our platform will be contacted with Russian and European CTP.
Thus, we have an Environment where the core of the cluster functions and CTP. On the basis of the two defining conditions the third element of the cluster is being created- a distribution design office with IT-modelling. Ideally all the design solutions will be tested with the help of the programme product. It should be marked that such a bureau has been started with cooperation with NIU ITMO.
Three conditions are being fulfilled, the cluster is under construction. But we should not forget, in order to operate and develop it effectively we need advanced clients and a competent network of centers (to deal with the clients).
What products we create
As an example we can take three projects implemented within the cluster. The most advanced client is JSC RZD. Among many works ordered by it a project R&D “Light-signal for high-speed tracks” can be marked. The problem is: at the moment the metal core is rusty, and the glass lens is broken. It is required to create anti-corrosion frame and strong anti-vandal lens. We have created a technological cooperation network (with the Russian-Korean center NIU ITMO), we have chosen the required polymers, finished the stage of design with IT-modelling of all processes, bought a unique equipment for Prototype center and Center for optical technologies: cars for casings, for procession of lenses etc. The investment of the project was 1 mln dollars, including the credit line of VTB. As a result less than in one year we received all the necessary for production of an experimental lot of innovative light-signal of new generation. Outside a cluster an implementation of such a project would last several years and would be more expensive.
Next project is for GUP Vodokanal of Saint-Petersburg within the project of the Russian business council for cooperation with Belorussia. The project participants alongside with our cluster is a Car-building institute Academy of Science of Belorussia and Sibirian department of RAN. The work includes in R&D of major ugrading of an experimental Belorussian sample of “a gun” for dusting of high-molecular polyethylene (SVMPE). Within the coming year Vodokanal plans to use widely this technology for dusting of hydro- insulation in rooms, and later for complex treatment of potable water tanks. It should be said that SVMPE is a very good material in terms of quality but its usage is not widely spread. It is great that our city is dealing with this problem within the programme “Science. Innovation. Industry” and that our effort is supported by the Governor of Saint-Petersburg G.S.Poltavchenko.
The third example is a development of anti-frosting systems in the interest of projects of SRI named after academician Krylov. This work is effected within FCP for Arctic Fleet. We have already implemented R&D for elements of an impeller for air-intake for motor of an air-cushion vehicle. Today we have an order for creation of special materials and protective coating for a whole block of ship equipment. As you can understand there is a great demand for items with preset properties at our fleet.
It should be noted that as a result of such projects our cluster has received not only a priceless experience but also results that are constantly put into our CTP for effective implementation of further orders”.