Late in June 2005, Craig Barrett, Intel's Chairman of the Board of Directors, visited Russia on business.
That's been the fifth visit of Intel's patriarch to our country, and this time his program of stay was different from that of the previous - now he represents not only Intel corporation (he had abandoned his position as the CEO more than a month before and handed it over to Paul Otellini) but the industry of information and communication technologies in general, and this time acted as am ambassador of the industry.
|Dr. Barrett has every reason to act in his current position: recently, he was elected chairman of the U.S. National Engineering Academy; besides that he is a member of the Board at the U.S. Council for International Business and a co-chairman of the U.S. Coalition of Business Circles founded in support for education, and also he is a member of the Board of Directors at the U.S. Association of Semiconductor Industry and leaders of the Silicon Valley.|
Remarkably, Barrett devotes his first overseas voyage as an ambassador of the IT industry just to Russia - over here, one of the largest overseas Intel's division is based which comprises mostly developers, and Russia is seen as one of the recognized world's leader at the pace of IT market development. Most important, as Barrett noted in his statement before journalists right after his arrival on 23 June, - is that on the credit side our country possesses another important natural resource - information and communication technologies.
C.Barrett's current program of stay includes not only meetings with local employees of Intel, leaders of Russia's largest IT companies, and participation in the first anniversary of establishing Intel's largest scientific research center in St.Petersburg: as a members of the group of eminent representatives of American business he meets Russia's president Vladimir Putin. The more valuable it is that Barrett started his visit with the report "Information and communication technologies as another natural reserve of Russia" as well as meetings with journalists from all the countries of the former Soviet Union.
First, Barrett brought in a few figures: according to the World Economy Forum, in terms of readiness and capability to use information technologies, Russia takes 62nd place of the list of 104 countries explored but lags well behind the Baltic states (at that Estonia takes the 25th place in the list, Lithuania – 43rd, Latvia – 56th) and is even inferior to Mexico (60th place) and Costa-Rica (61st place).
No better is the situation in Russia with readiness to develop e-business. In the list of 65 states compiled by the analytical service of "Economist" magazine, Russian Federation stands at the 52nd place behind Peru (50th) and the Philippines (51st), whereas the Baltic states are well ahead (at that criterion, Estonia takes the 26th place, Latvia - 37th, Lithuania - 40th). According to the rating list of competitive edge compiled by the Lozanne Institute of Entrepreneurship Development in terms of such criteria like the level of development of science, technologies, entrepreneurship, last year Russia dropped from the 50th place to the 54th, whereas Estonia on the contrary rose from the 28th place to the 26th. This tells of the fact that Russia is still too slow at introducing information and communication technologies, which is detrimental to its competitive edge.
At the same time, for the 14 year of energetic activities in our country Intel has favored to the liquidation of Russia's lag from other countries of the former Soviet Union at the pace of introducing latest computer technologies, and played a unique role of catalyst of the local market, making it one of the key markets in Europe. Over 6400 companies in the countries of the former Soviet Union have been covered by various corporate programs in support of the IT industry, which with time made the advanced computer equipment widely available and even everyday. 132 companies in Russia have already acquired the status Intel Premier Provider (there are merely 1500 companied like these throughout the world), and by the end of the year Intel's worldwide program aimed at support for the computer industry will function in 118 cities of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Two years ago, Intel extended another program for support of local software development companies over the territory of the former Soviet Union, with 64 companies from Russia and Ukraine participating it. Intel employees help them optimize software produce for the latest Intel technologies and then promote it on the local and world market.
Moreover, due to efforts by Craig Barrett, Intel has been consistent at realizing the policies of support for local science and education in Russia within the "Innovations in education" program. Last year, over 160 thousand (by the end of the year, this number will increase to 200 thousand) Russian teachers and students at pedagogical higher education institutions were taught to the innovative methods of using computer technologies in the education process, more and more junior inventors and scientists from Russia and nearby countries are taking part in the world's contests of scientific & technical creativity Intel ISEF. By Intel's initiative, a number of secondary schools have got mobile computer classes based at Intel Centrino at their disposal. For the past 4 years, Intel has been the general sponsor and an official curator of the "Russia's teacher of the year" contest. The corporation is also helping the higher education institutions of our country to establish new labs, acquire new equipment and improve the training process, presents grants for the research in IT sphere, conducts joint scientific research with our universities. In 2005, the corporation will spend over 2 mln dollars for support of the Russian education and science (for the past 8 years, Intel has spend for these purposes in Russia over 10 mln dollars). This year, the corporation will hold the fourth consecutive Intel Forum in Moscow for developers of hardware and software. Moreover, since the last year similar events have been held in other cities of the former Soviet Union - Novosibirsk and Kiev, and at that no other region of the world can compete with our! This year, IDF will gather at least 3500 specialists in Kiev, Moscow, and Novosibirsk.
In May 2000, Russia's first Intel's center for research and development was established in Nizhniy Novgorod, which became part of the global network of the corporations scientific research laboratories. Later, similar centers and laboratories of Intel were opened in Moscow, Novosibirsk, St.Petersburg, and Sarov, and the number of employees working there exceeded 1300, which has made the Russian center for research and development of the corporation as the largest one outside the USA (by the way, the first who became an Intel Fellow outside the USA was our fellow countryman Boris Babayan). Russian developers of Intel have already managed to achieve world's level in research and creation of hardware architecture and application software for computations and communications, and further on the role of Russian developers will be only increasing. This process can be reasonable called the "brain drain inside out". And, since the activities of the whole network of Intel's scientific research labs are of purely application-specific and their results are made use of by almost the whole world's computer community, we can state that in the interests of not only Intel but the whole world industry of computer and communication technologies the employees of Intel's Russian center for research and development are currently working at a number of fields whose list is a convincing evidence of top-level qualification and professionalism of Russian IT specialists.
|Among the directions of research: - Development of software and performance optimization tools using Intel's cross-architecture software- Development of compilers, multithreading implementation tools, analyzers and debuggers (Intel VTune)- Creation of mathematical programming libraries for improving the performance of processors on the base of Intel architectures- Development of multimedia technologies and digital signal processing technologies for the "digital home" devices- Improvement and development of programming algorithms and wireless data transmission protocols - Development of physical and mathematical models of designing and manufacture of semiconductor components- Software development for Managed Run Time Environments- Development of Intel's new-generation multicore processors- Testing logical schemes and performance- Physical-level designing- Compression mechanism development for the model editor (GeneSys).|
All the above listed is only part of the efforts made by Intel at popularization and development of IT infrastructure in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, justly assuming there is a fertile soil and bright prospects for that over here. The above mentioned Lozanne Institute for Entrepreneurship Development also regards the level of education as one of the major criteria that determines competitive edge of states. This level has always been high in our country and gained world recognition. That is why when asked by by a journalist if Intel is planning to built its factory at the territory of Russia, Craig Barrett justly noted that our country is valuable for not the cheap and industrious workforce, that is hands which are needed to develop competitive (as compared to the countries of South-East Asia and Latin America) manufacture of computer components but on the contrary for the bright heads and brains as another of our national resource. That is why it is more promising to invest into research and development in Russia. Also, as Barrett lamented, a production like that requires a well-developed infrastructure and possibility to move a great quantity of materials and produce through the boundaries, but at that Russia has a number of restrictions, including those of legislative character.
Recalling the answers to other questions Barrett was asked at the press conference on 23 June by our journalists, of note are the words saying that Intel had been struggling for a quarter of a century for the Apple computer business and finally acquired it. And although the business is small enough in terms of percentage (merely 2.5% of the world's), it is nevertheless important because Apple solutions are sort of a summit in terms of design and concepts for the computer equipment development. The course taken by Intel to platformization is right because users need complete solutions and not separate components. That is why the corporation will offer system integrators its own platforms thus developing the idea of target platforms for various segments (not only home and office, but also health care and management). Barrett also stressed the importance of development of wireless communication technologies (in particular, WiMAX and software-switched multi-standard radio) in modern society. Regarding the remark that for the whole history of Intel the corporation is now headed by a person (Paul Otellini) of economic and not technical education background, Dr.Barrett noted that Paul is now the best person for this position just because of his education background and 30 year of experience in the computer industry. For further development of the IT industry, Russia needs a closer interaction of the government and legislators with representatives of business and industry in this field.
Therefore, as Craig Barrett said in conclusion of his statement, Intel is doing its best of its abilities to make "information and communication technologies another natural resource of Russia", and many years of Intel's practical experience in the country of the former Soviet Union is a convincing evidence of feasibility of this idea. If we pave the Red Square with silicon chips the way it is done on the slides of Barrett's presentation (see the photo below), it is in Intel's ability to favor accelerated development and introduction of advanced technologies into all the spheres of economics, science, education, as well as household of tens of millions of people living in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, Barrett believes.