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Yurii Maletin
Last visit date 19 May 2010
Alexander Shnaydruk
Last visit date 15 December 2011

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MARKET or PLAN: about the technology commercialization in Ukraine

MARKET OR PLAN: Scientific developments commercialization in Ukraine

20 years way from concept to serial production – regularity or inability to organize the process? I believe that businessmen of Japan, Korea, China would pass this way at least five times faster.

In 1989 a team of Ukrainian scientists have developed concept of utilizing principally new technology for production of well known but little used in industry components. Now they are called in the world as super-capacitors or ultra-capacitors. The scientists had been working in close cooperation with leading, at that time, R&D institutes and enterprises of radio-electronics industry. After breakdown of the USSR a number of the USA and Sweden companies showed their interest to the project.

Several Ukrainian and foreign business groups were dealing with the project. During this time some practical results were achieved. However, the works were done almost on pure enthusiasm. Financing, purchase of the equipment and even salaries to the scientists were not regular. Such cycling ‘work’ was maintained for quite a long period of time. The scientists worked from time to time; however, they still were managing to participate in largest international conferences. Application of new and new ideas greatly improved parameters of the products and possibility to use them in the variety of electric circuits, which require fast accumulation and practically immediate output of large powers and currents.

During this time the scientists managed to achieve results that by far were ahead of the results received by Western and Eastern companies. We are looking for the appropriate for science and customers name for these devices, which would explore their essence.

However, for the time being these are just laboratory samples. Development of design and technological documentation was not organized. No preparations for the production was done. Nevertheless, some venture businessmen that decided to make good and fast money on great idea came across. They were not only neglecting establishment of serial production but not even bother to make high quality samples.

Due to lack of financing, including salaries, in 2009 work on the project was almost frozen. Within a year the scientists were left with no salary and went to work in other companies often completely changing their sphere of activity.

Business could not use and realize with profits achievements of the scientists mainly due to complete absence R&D and production planning and no control over investments use. No coordination between scientific sector and production lines was established.

Personnel and executing discipline decides everything. Lots of people believe that this famous phrase is a slogan of Stalin. However, exactly the same slogan for many many years is applied in practical activity of largest Japanese corporations. Unlike democracy in social life, in any production with any social-political structure, production will be effective only when team-administrative system is applied. Only due to this system, production companies of Japan, South Korea, China (Hong Kong, Taiwan), Singapore reached amazing results.

One of the key elements of such system is strict plan and control over its execution.

In the Soviet Union samples of works for organization and production establishment of missiles and space complexes, electronics, aviation – deliberate establishment of competing firms for production of space-rockets, military transport aviation, radio-electronic equipment.

Experience of designing and constructing sarcophagus SHELTER during liquidation of consequences of Chernobil accident in 1986. At that time within only seven months (May – December 1986) a unique construction was designed and built. Tens of scientific research and design organizations were involved into the operation. During the construction phase building administration No.605 had around 15,000 workers and engineers. All the works were done according to tough schedule. Twice a day management of the Administration had operational coordination briefing (Russian slang – OPERATIVKA).

By the way, lots of young managers like to show off using English terminology, not even always going into essence of the translation. They call OPERATIVKA English style – meeting. But meeting is a meeting (Russian meaning of word ‘meeting’ – assembly of people where some activists shout out slogans), while OPERATIVKA is a short and very specific planning and reporting session. In some spheres it was even called leafjet. All these are positive examples, both socialism and capitalism, of applying strict planning systems in economy.

In the Soviet Union they were pressing on consciousness and responsibility in front of the society and the state. In West Europe and USA order in the production is paid by money. Eastern countries are basing the order on national traditions and corporate ethics.

However, the most important thing remains strict planning of all actions aimed to complete the tasks, unconditional control and personal responsibility for execution of the plans.

Nevertheless, lots of managers prepare for execution programs and not plans. Programs usually do not specify exact terms, defined scopes of work and specific executors.

All candidates for top state positions in all countries write programs for elections. They know exactly that it is almost impossible to control a program. Big part of contemporary managers also write brilliant programs, but absolutely unable to develop a plan, not even saying about realizing it. They work in the style of many soviet scientists from academic institutions under Olympic slogan: Most important is not the result but participation.

At the same time, manager of any production section in any country knows that on his section every employee must have specific task not only for a day but for every given period of time. Only in this case the section will successfully work.

Activity of an effective company must be aimed on the final result presented in the form of product that can be sold. Where the product is any specific result that has its customer.

Karl Marks, who for some reason is considered by many people as ideologist of socialism, more then 100 years ago defined a formula of production development and based on this formula increase of capital: MONEY-PRODUCT-MONEY. Translating it to modern language: input of money (investment) – the money is used for establishing of production (no matter in what form or what type: scientific developments, electronics, bread, etc. Important that the products can be sold) – sale of the product for money.

Obviously particularly for this discovery, almost in the center of London there is a monument to Karl Marks. He showed where the added value comes from.

Venture (or simply saying investment) company by its nature must find scientific idea and bring it to the form of product, but not just tell to the world what brilliant idea they have. Only after that to sell materialized idea to an investor, who has a will to organize serial production.

Proper (lossless) appliance of the formula M-P-M makes a company’s activity effective.