The 10 Most Innovative Companies In Russia

From Kaspersky Lab to Optogan, these companies are creating great products and disrupting industries worldwide.


01 / Yandex >>

For mastering search. The internet search company Yandex is already three times more popular than Google in its home market (Russia) and this year, it made its move onto Google’s international turf with the launch of an English-language search engine. One of Yandex’s key advantages has always been the complexity of the Russian language, whose Lego-set of prefixes, roots and suffixes has forced it to be a step ahead in the nuance of its algorithms. That pushed the Firefox browser to drop Google in 2009 as its default search engine in Russia, succeeding it with Yandex.

02 / Kaspersky Lab >>

For turning hackers into an army of virus fighters. Russia’s leading computer security company has lured the most brilliant Russian geeks away from hacking (their usual forte) and into its virus analysis team. With the help of these whiz kids, Kaspersky Lab has become the fourth largest antivirus-program provider in the world.

03 / ABBYY

For pioneering optical text recognition technology. Its products for converting paper documents into searchable electronic files are playing a critical role as all text goes digital. It also has an office in Milpitas, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, a rarity for a firm with Soviet roots.


04 / Rosnano

For establishing a clearinghouse for innovation in nanotechnology. Hundreds of project proposals have been submitted to this state-owned venture, ranging from to motor oil to high-tech medicines. The hope is that one of them will develop into a revolutionary invention that will make nanotechnology–and the Russian tech sector–a driver of global innovation.

05 / Rosatom

For expanding from nuclear power plants and warheads into medicine. Last year, Rosatom pumped more than $20 million into a new nuclear medicine complex that would encompass the entire production chain, from the production of isotopes to the manufacturing of the machines that then beam them into cancerous tissues.

06 / M2M Telematics

For positioning itself to dominate the chip market for Glonass, Russia’s answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System. Among the companies eager to leverage its tech: Nokia, Motorola, and Qualcomm.


07 / Optogan

For building a full-scale manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg that will be able to produce 360 million of its patented high-brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) every year.

08 / Mikron

For fine-tuning smart cards. A subsidiary of state-controlled Sitronics, Mikron makes the scannable chips used in everything from passports to subway tickets. It has developed the full production chain of these cards in Russia, delivering them to most of the former Soviet states, China, and parts of Southeast Asia.

09 / NPO Saturn

For advancing military aviation. Last year, the Russian jet engine-maker developed the engines for Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet, the T-50, which is designed to compete with some of Lockheed Martin’s latest warplanes. The T-5, which has made nearly two dozen test flights, is scheduled to be introduced in 2015.


10 / Lukoil

For investing in R&D. As Russia’s biggest privately owned oil company, its efforts have mainly been focused on state-of-the-art technologies in oil refining and petrochemicals, as well as investments in clean energy and carbon-capture techniques.

Browse our list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2011

Photograph by: Kl ingo