New R&D branch for Norilsk

MMC Norilsk Nickel has consolidated its in-house research and development (R&D) assets into a separate business that will have the status of an independent R&D branch. A new entity will be formed on the base of the Gipronickel Research and Project Development Institute in St. Petersburg, with two branches in the cities of Norilsk and Monchegorsk.

The branch will consolidate under its roof all existing R&D divisions of MMC Norilsk Nickel: Norilsk Project Institute; Mining and Metallurgical Research Centre in Norilsk; Project Development and Research Centre of Kola MMC; and two science and technology libraries in Norilsk and Monchegorsk.

The major goal of this reorganization is to increase the efficiency of the in-house scientific research and technology development thus promoting the company’s leadership in the global mining and metal production industry. The reorganization will improve asset management and reduce costs in R&D, also opening ways to conducting research on a contract basis.

According to Elena Kovaleva, Director for Long-term Development at MMC Norilsk Nickel, the separation of R&D facilities into one independent branch will reinforce in-house science and technology progress on its way to leading positions not only in Russia but on an international level as well.

“Consolidating our R&D activities under one potent entity we are actually creating our own Silicon Valley in the sector of mining and metallurgical sciences. The merged intellectual capitals of Norilsk, Monchegorsk and St. Petersburg will enable the company to bring into life the most advanced ideas and innovations”, says Kovaleva.

“In addition to other obvious advantages, the optimization of costs and cash flow management that may be achieved through such reorganization will make Gipronickel’s economic performance more transparent, competitive, and therefore more effective and more flexible in terms of contract execution with third parties”, pointed out Aleksei Teksler, Deputy Director of the Polar Branch and Head of Diversified Support Department.

The decision on the reorganization of R&D activities and consolidation of all R&D divisions was made in August 2006. This transformation is a part of MMC Norilsk Nickel’s programme of management improvement and general corporate restructuring.