Trianon Startups at TASS. New formats for Russian-French Business Cooperation

3 February 2020

February 3rd, TASS hosted a press conference about the Trianon Startups forum, which started that morning in the Pushkin Museum. Among those attending were the Co-Chair of the Trianon Dialogue Forum, Ambassador P. Morel, the creator of the project and member of the Trianon Dialogue Coordination Council E. Chatelard, MGIMO’s Vice-Rector, also Coordinator of the Trianon Dialogue Projects A. Malgin and the Director of MGIMO’s Endowment M. Petrova.

In his opening speech, A. Malgin presented the key topic of the press conference: the meeting of French startups with large Russian companies, organized in the framework of the Trianon Dialogue. The Vice-Rector also reminded those attending that MGIMO serves as the Russian secretariat of the Trianon Dialogue.

The Co-chair of the Trianon Dialogue P. Morel noted that the Dialogue’s main mission at the moment is to involve new people and organizations in the Russian-French interaction, thus creating new opportunities for bilateral collaboration. Recalling the first meeting of the Trianon Startups, which was held at the Palace of Versailles last year, P. Morel remarked how effective it was as 15 contracts were signed between Russian start-ups and large French companies and many ideas for future cooperation emerged: «We realized that the initiative was very productive, and today 30 representatives of French startups and large Russian companies have gathered in Moscow to pursue cooperation in a similar format. »

The creator of the Trianon Startups, a member of the Coordination Council of the Trianon Dialogue E. Chatelard, described the project in detail, noting that the meeting provides startups with the opportunity to communicate with representatives of large businesses: «If a startup wants to enter and sell on foreign markets, then meeting with company representatives in this country is essential, as it helps to understand the prospects for business development». During the event, startups can conclude contracts with a firmly established business, and large companies can benefit from the mobility and innovative ideas of startups. The meeting also promotes trade and economic relations between Russia and France, leading to better bilateral relations and the desire to expand cooperation further yet.

E. Chatelard underlined the fact that «Developing a dialogue is an idea that drives the presidents of our countries, and startups can foster this dialogue. The Trianon Startups project already has concrete results: 15 contracts have already been signed, one Russian startup is working in France, another is getting ready to enter the French market. It is evident that this meeting will be even more productive than the previous one».

A. Malgin also remarked that French startups are not just abstract ideas, but enterprises which are already operating, which are profitable and have serious turnovers by Russian standards, and which want to expand their activities yet further by coming to Russia.

M. Petrova gave a talk about MGIMO’s Endowment, which has been managing the University’s interaction with the business community since its foundation in 2007. She remarked that the Trianon Startups forum allowed the Endowment to reach a new level and to begin its international cooperation. Different MGIMO partners took part in the forum including VTB Bank, Mercury, Metalloinvest, Russian Railways, Rosneft, Rostec, Gazprombank and Norilsk Nickel. Some new companies, which had never before contacted the Endowment, took an interest in the meeting. The forum was attended by the heads of company accelerators, IT departments, departments in charge of the digital transformation of Russian companies.

Taking questions from journalists, A. Malgin spoke about the format of the «dialogue of dialogues». The first meeting of the St. Petersburg, Trianon and Sochi dialogues was held in June last year at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. At the initiative of colleagues from the Petersburg Dialogue, the following meeting took place in Krasnodar, but they stayed in contact in between times. Later, colleagues from the Russian-Italian dialogue joined the format. The sides decided to coordinate a number of activities.

During the final section of the press conference, the plans of the Trianon dialogue for 2020 were discussed. P. Morel noted that this week the «Days of the Russian Book» are unfolding in Paris, and that the Russian Film Festival will be held in February. From March 10th to April 3rd, the Second Music Festival will be organized in Toulouse. Mid-June, the Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature will open in Marseille; an event of primary importance as the key topic of the Trianon Dialogue this year is «Climate and the Environment». Early July, the Trianon Dialogue will participate in the Urban Forum in Moscow.

A. Malgin emphasized the idea that the Trianon dialogue sees all its projects to completion. In March, during a traditional meeting of architects in Cannes the results of the competition of young architects for the development of campuses will be summarised. The Trianon Dialogue will also participate in the third Paris Peace Forum, where a project for large-scale cultural village will be disclosed.

— See the MGIMO web-site for russian version

Trianon Startups at TASS. New formats for Russian-French Business Cooperation