Key component: why the development of the electronics industry is important

Mishustin announced the readiness of the authorities to send 280 billion rubles to support the electronics industry

At the Innoprom international exhibition in Yekaterinburg, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced the authorities’ readiness to allocate 280 billion rubles to support the electronics industry.

In the modern world, the word “electronics” has acquired an almost unambiguous interpretation. A rare man in the street will be able to explain what it is, but he will be able to show a smartphone, laptop, “smart” watch and other technical means that he uses on a daily basis. However, the modern electronic industry is not only familiar gadgets, it is a huge industry that includes a large number of types of serious industries, a significant part of which remains invisible to the average consumer.

The development of this industry simultaneously leads to the creation of a basis for the development of the national industry as a whole, since any technically complex product today will use electronic components. That is why, in 2020, the Strategy for the Development of the Electronic Industry of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2030 was adopted. And that is why it is important that at the plenary session of the 11th international exhibition “Innoprom” in Yekaterinburg, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced the authorities’ readiness to allocate 280 billion rubles to support the electronics industry.

Modern electronic manufacturing is extremely expensive. Intel intends to invest $ 20 billion in the construction of two factories in the city of Ocotillo (USA), hoping to produce computer chips not only of its own design, but also of third-party customers. According to her forecasts, by 2025 the market for contact electronics production will grow to $ 100 billion. TSMC, one of Intel’s main competitors, is going to build a production complex of six factories with a total cost of $ 35 billion in Arizona. Why the complex at once? The fact is that for the functioning of a modern enterprise in the electronic industry, a large number of auxiliary industries are needed. There is also the problem of the limited choice of suppliers of equipment for modern electronics – simply because there are not many of them. Thus, the Dutch company ASML today is practically the only manufacturer of lithographic equipment.

The need to create a major player in the national electronics market is obvious, because only such a participant is able to integrate the necessary industries and attract the appropriate amount of investment. In 2019, the formation of such a player was completed by merging part of the assets of AFK Sistema and Rostec State Corporation. The creation of the united company “Element” allows us to assert that through it Russia made an application for membership in the club of leading electronics manufacturers. This can be considered a prologue to the electronics industry reform that is taking place today. It is also obvious that Element can become one of the main recipients of investments from the package of 280 billion rubles, which is going to be used to support the electronics industry. It should be noted that our country has unique developments in the field of electronic engineering. For example, the Institute of Physics of Microstructures of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Nizhny Novgorod) and the Institute of Spectroscopy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Troitsk) took an active part in the ASML project to create new photolithographic installations for the production of computer chips using unique innovative technologies.

There are many options for the development of the electronics industry. Regardless of the chosen direction, the key factors remain the availability of a development strategy and the financing of the industry. The government’s willingness to support domestic electronics for the first time in many years creates a solid foundation for the development of an extremely important component of the national economy.

Pavel Gribov, Associate Professor, Faculty of National Security, Institute of Law and National Security, RANEPA

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