11 июня 2014thinkRUSSIA interviewed Fedor Barmin, CEO of NIS-GLONASS navigation services provider, at SPIEF 2014 regarding his impressions of the Forum and the future of the Russian navigation industry.
What are your impressions of SPIEF 2014? What are the key messages that came out of the event?
SPIEF has become a showcase event for demonstrating Russia’s investment attractiveness to the world. This year the Forum was attended by both the Russian and European economic and political establishment, drawing the participants’ attention to the questions of global economy, international competitiveness and the investment attractiveness of Russia. The fact that a large number of international contracts totaling $4.3 billon were signed during the Forum shows the importance of SPIEF. In my opinion, it’s a colossal amount of money that indicates that the potential of Russian companies and infrastructure is highly relevant for both Russian and foreign investors.
NIS-GLONASS is a system integrator for major Russian GLONASS satellite technology adoption projects. Our business is based on the installation of GLONASS satellite technological equipment in vehicles and supporting the commercialization of modern satellite systems in Russian and international markets.
Participation at SPIEF was of great importance to our company since the Forum provided us with an opportunity to meet with our Austrian partner, Kapsch, system integrator for state-of-the-art telecom, network enterprise and IT solutions. We had a constructive conversation with the company’s leadership, which resulted in confirmed intentions to share experience and export international technologies to Russia.
You work in an industry where many innovations take place. What is the main characteristic of the Russian navigation market?
The Russian navigation market develops rapidly as the state is interested in implementing innovative technologies. Russia is the only country in Europe that has its own fully developed satellite constellation. Given that Russian space achievements is something we can be proud of, I believe we’re capable of using this potential fully.
What has been your favorite project to date and why?
The company’s first project of federal importance is “ERA-GLONASS,” a government accident emergency response system which contributes to saving people’s lives and aims to establish timely communication between a suffering person and an emergency care center assistant. Our company became the project’s initiator, ideologist and executive during the first stage of implementation. In 2009 we developed a trial version of “ERA-GLONASS” and for the next two years have been conducting tests to synchronize it with the “112” Russian emergency services (an analogue to 911 in America). It is worth noting that the project was further supported by the Commission for Modernization and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy.
Another significant project is the Logistics and Transportation Center (L&TC), which provided navigation information support for the transportation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. As part of this project, we created a system that manages multimodal transport, including railroad, motor, sea and air vehicles. We are proud to underline that the L&TC system is unique and has no analogues in Europe.
What do you think are the Russian navigation industry’s prospects for the coming years?
Monitoring services seem to be at the center of the navigation market today, and the trend is to combine them with other platforms based on satellite technologies. Following the Western countries experience, we are thinking of developing individual monitoring services that allow finding a person’s location and tracking their route by using a device with a built-in GLONASS sensor. Such projects could be of help for elderly people, people with disabilities or families with young children. The device will be equipped with an alarm button so that, in case of an emergency, the signal will go to a dispatch center operator who will call an ambulance to the address identified with the help of GLONASS.
In your opinion, are there any particular sectors that investors should pay close attention to in the near future?
I think investors should pay attention to start-ups in the field of application software that have a quick return on investment. As per the future of our company, we mostly concentrate on Russian technology and believe we should create unique solutions tailored for Russian lifestyle and the Russian market.
What prospects of satellite navigation systems do you see?
Former Minister of Economy of the Penza Region in Russia, Fedor Barmin joined NIS-GLONASS in February 2014. Since then, the company has enjoyed rapid growth in development, including signing contracts with major Russian transportation companies. The company implements major GLONASS technology adoption projects in Russia.