Smart mobility

St. Petersburg cleantech startups are going global


On 12th of March, 2019, a matchmaking session “StartUp Boom: from pitching to global markets” took place in the St. Petersburg SME Partneriat, one of the biggest business events in St. Petersburg, aimed at developing international cooperation in business. SmartUp Accelerator took part in the event to discuss the latest trends in startups and clean solutions.

St. Petersburg is one of the leaders in the field of startup development among Russian regions. Such a success is predetermined not only by St. Petersburg’s HR potential, but also by highly developed infrastructure for startups. Today, markets are increasingly global. Therefore, startups need to catch up with the international trends in order to be successful.

Growing demand for clean urban solutions

The startups are the drivers of cleantech and circular economy, with their innovations having potential to expand into international markets. An increasing majority of cities’ inhabitants comes to think about applying solutions, which would facilitate a reduction of resource consumption as well as improve the welfare of the population. Big businesses are also interested in developing clean technologies. In Russia we see a growing number of electric cars, while the infrastructure for their use is also developing.

Indeed, the inhabitants of big cities attribute great attention to clean solutions. Moreover, it is not only about electric cars. The number of urban bicycles, scooters, hoverboards is also increasing. In general, the development of innovative approaches to public transport, solutions to reduce the level of fuel consumed, the creation of service stations suggests that we are heading towards a new economic model.

Research and partnerships supporting the mobility transformation

Despite economic crisis and geopolitical turbulences, Russian entrepreneurs are vigorously trying to catch up with global leaders, developing ambitious cleantech projects (Volts Battery, AVt&Co, Igoods) Although cleantech sector is dominated by small and medium enterprises, there is a growing interest in environmentally-friendly initiatives on the part of local authorities and large businesses.

Undoubtedly, St. Petersburg along with Moscow is a trailblazer in this field. For example, St. Petersburg Government has bankrolled the installment of electric vehicle charging station at the heart of the old city. The charging station was designed and manufactured by “Yablochkov” (“Jupiter” LLC). Large businesses are also aware of the gravity of clean technologies in modern economy. St. Petersburg-based “Gazprom-Neft” has already embarked on installing electric vehicle charging stations on their gas stations. The first project of that kind was carried out together with St. Petersburg-based “Electric Vehicles Aid” company in 2018.

It is also important to mention R&D initiatives, co-sponsored by big companies and universities. For instance, “Kirovsky Gas Technologies” LLC (part of the “Kirovsky Zavod” group of companies) and ITMO University signed a partnership agreement, entailing an implementation of joint research projects. This initiative aims at developing new technologies in the field of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


The blog post is written by Tatiana Malevannaia from the St. Petersburg Foundation for SME Development.