London, 26 November 2018– The annual Russian–British Business Forum (RBBF) was held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. The Forum brought business circles of the two countries together for the fourth time, and became the platform for discussions, unveiling Russian developments and signing bilateral agreements. The theme of RBBF 2018 was 'Partnership in Innovation'; the Forum was focused on non-energy exports, digitalization of various industries, the latest technologies, practices in fintech and the expansion of trade in services. The Roscongress Foundation was the co-organizer of the Russian–British Forum.
"Creative industries bring a wide range of products and services for the purposes of culture, including film and TV, design and architecture, advertising and fashion. Russia and the United Kingdom today share unique intellectual potential, products and inventions, and theirsynergy can build another important bridge between the two countries. Exchanging experience in implementation of creative initiatives, disclosing potential of national creative industries, and, in particular, animation in the format of international projects– that is exactly what is important to be developed and maintained, that is where it is possible to cooperate for mutual benefit," said Boris Abramov, Russia's Trade Representative in the UK.
Today, Russian animated films are in the lead on television and the Internet globally. Russia produces over 4,200 minutes of animation each year, including more than 150 TV shows that gather 3.5 billion views on global YouTube.
The UK and Russia are united by long-term cooperation in the field of animation. British public television channel S4C ordered the animated anthology based on the works of William Shakespeare from the Russian studio Christmas Films. Another successful example of cooperation is participation of the famous British puppet animator Barry Purves in the work on the film Tchaikovsky – An Elegy which is part of the 'Tales of the Old Piano' series by the Russian studio M.I.R. Many British cartoons, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Peppa Pig, Chicken Run, Corpse Bride, are very popular with the Russian viewers.
On the Russian part, the largest animation studios, including Soyuzmultfilm, Parovoz, Melnitsa, Riki Group, as well as representatives of The Rocks Films studio, STS Channel and the Russian Animated Film Association took part in RBBF 2018. Participants spoke about the present and future of national creative industries and discussed the opportunities for international projects with their British colleagues. The British creative industry was represented by leading companies and speakers, including Sarah Muller, Vice President of Children's and Youth Programming at Sony Pictures Television.
The discussion's moderator Yuliana Slashcheva, Chairwoman of the Board at Soyuzmultfilm Studios, noted: "The role of creative industries in the development of modern society and market structures is already among the leading ones. In the last 10 years alone, world trade in this area more than doubled. Russia is the country with the highest creative potential, and as for animation, it has always been famous for its exceptional variety of stylistic and technological solutions. Our content is already in great demand in foreign markets, and we are interested in further search for various forms of cooperation and co-creation."
During the Forum, other products and solutions of Russian companies were unveiled, such as the VR/IoT rehabilitation platform by Motorica, project of Center 2M based on IBM technology (in partnership with IBM) in machine vision, and PharmMedPolis, the new territory of innovation in the Republic of Tatarstan. In total, more than 70 Russian and British companies held business meetings. Russian high-tech startups, including those funded by Lanit Ventures, Skolkovo and Pulsar, held talks with representatives of Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Barclay's, LLB Investment, Citigroup and other financial institutions.