MINSK, 8 September (BelTA) – The Development Bank of Belarus and the Belarusian Innovation Fund have concluded an agreement on cooperation. The document was signed by Chairman of the Board of the Bank Andrei Zhishkevich and Director of the Fund Denis Korzhitsky, BelTA has learned.
“The State Science and Technology Committee and the Belarusian Innovation Fund are very important institutions in the country. They work with the financing of new innovation projects, which often require significant financial resources. The Development Bank, as the largest institution that helps attract investment loans to enterprises, will enable the State Science and Technology Committee and the Innovation Fund to finance more projects,” said head of the bank Andrei Zhishkevich.
In his words, the move is also promising for the Development Bank, as the recent changes in the bank's mandate allow it to work not only with projects that are part of state programs, but also with independently selected projects. “That is why we are now also interested in finding and obtaining promising and interesting projects for our own portfolio. It is important that this document do not remain in the form of a memorandum on paper but become a basis for practical steps,” said the chairman of the bank.
According to Andrei Zhishkevich, they will cooperate as two independent entities, uniting their potentials in financing projects if necessary. “Apart from joint participation in project financing, the agreement also envisages information exchange and joint work to improve the legislation. The Development Bank is looking into the possibility of financing venture activity. The Belarusian Innovation Fund is a unique institution with direct experience within the Belarusian-Russian Venture Investment Fund. Today this is the only platform with practical experience of working with venture investment, and it is very important for us,” the chairman of the board of the bank said.
Director of the Belarusian Innovation Fund Denis Korzhitsky said that the Fund and the Development Bank had implemented joint projects before. Those projects were financed by both the institutions. “The two entities, however, had no system of cooperation as development institutions. With signing the agreement, we plan to start working differently and establish an exchange of expertises. The Development Bank has a high-quality financial expertise, our Fund boasts a sci-tech expertise. The Fund has been set up to develop innovative ventures in Belarus, and I think that our cooperation will contribute to their further development,” the head of the fund said.
The Belarusian Innovation Fund uses resources of the national centralized innovation fund to finance projects on a repayable basis. As a rule, the annual volume of the fund amounts to some Br20 million. “Work is underway to increase financing of innovative projects as innovative ventures are considered one of the key areas of activity. This activity creates added value in the country,” Denis Korzhitsky said.
Photos by Maksim Guchek