Cyprus has long been known as a Mediterranean resort, but suppose that earlier it was a question of recreational opportunities on the island, then in the last couple of decades. In that case, it has been steadily climbing in ratings of attractiveness as a medical tourism center.
It is first worth admitting that Cyprus cannot yet compete with such giants of this business as Israel or the UAE. However, dynamics are more important than current indicators, and the dynamics of the island are excellent; every year its presence and popularity in the medical services market are increasing.
Starting with geographical and climatic factors, the island’s location allows convenient access to it for Europeans, residents of the Middle East, and Russians. The events of 2022 have complicated access to the latter, but it is not entirely closed; Russian citizens can fly here with changes in Dubai, Belgrade, or Tel Aviv, and visas. Although, not all types are issued.
Most importantly, it is worth noting what Cyprus offers to people who want to improve their health. First of all, it is affordable. Treatment and rehabilitation here are cheaper than in most competitor countries. Besides, Cyprus clinics gladly offer complex services not widely represented in other medical tourism centers.
For this moderate money, clients receive quality service built on severe foreign investments in the medical sphere; what is essential is that you have an opportunity to communicate with the personnel in an ordinary language. For example, English and Russian are both understood by a significant part of local medical personnel.
This then raises a question: how is it with the medical equipment when Cyprus is not among the world centers of its production? The island receives the necessary medical equipment from various countries, including Russia. It could receive more, but the world’s circumstances are not conducive to this yet.
X-ray Robots and Nanochips for Coronavirus Diagnosis
Nevertheless, the potential for developing ties in this area between Cyprus and Russia remains very noticeable. Sooner or later, the foreign policy storms will subside, and the channel of trade relations in this delicate and responsible sphere will continue its work. We don’t doubt that the power of Cypriot health care will be strengthened by the unique development of the St. Petersburg plant Svetlana.
The device in question is a real robot equipped with an X-ray lamp. It will prove indispensable in many oncological surgeries due to doing what others cannot: irradiating affected tissues right during surgery. He can do it accurately and with high efficiency, and the combination of surgical methods and radiation exposure will lead to a dramatic increase in the effectiveness of all treatments.
Many clinics in Russia and foreign countries are waiting for such devices. However, we can count on the fact that this waiting will end soon enough; as the developers say, now the robotic complex is undergoing the last tests and approvals before it ends up in production.
Moreover, we can expect that in the foreseeable future, other developments of the St. Petersburg team will also enter the international medical market. Among them, is a portable X-ray camera for the express evaluation of tissue samples taken by surgeons during breast surgeries.
The device combines several pieces of know-how, some relating to hardware, others to software, with the latter being made for getting doctors high-quality, detailed pictures of cellular samples instantly on computer technology.
However, the strategic success of the Svetlana plant in developing microfluidic analytical chips, also called biochips for simplicity, can have a much more significant impact on specialized markets. In short, these are microchips based on nanotechnology, including solid-state nanopores and silicon nanochannels, which allow fast and high-quality PCR assays, that is, based on polymerase chain reactions.
Since the spring of 2022, the acronym has rapidly moved beyond the confines of narrow medical publications and settled in the world’s press. Due to the fact it is with the help of PCR samples, medics are now diagnosing the disease with a new coronavirus infection, but PCR is not limited to this media champion virus either. Studies based on it can generally solve many questions concerning the evaluation of genetic material, whether viral, bacterial, or even human. Hence, the vastest possibilities of application.
Regarding health care, the obvious development trend is improving research on the human genome. This includes the detection of genetic diseases at an early stage.
Despite this, it is here that we should diverge from the medical topic; devices based on Svetlanov biochips will be in demand both in the economy and in issues of sanitary well-being. X-ray machines, devices based on ultrahigh-frequency technology, and components for carrying out PCR tests; all these products produced by a single St. Petersburg company are already improving the world. Meanwhile, there was not even a question about their development, and the plant’s fate was under great question.
Salvation Against Suspicion
It is necessary to take a step back to remember that the Svetlana plant in Soviet times was a significant manufacturer of several electronic components. First, all sorts of lamps, from ordinary incandescent lamps to rare radio lamps and the already mentioned X-ray lamps. Even the name Svetlana is an abbreviation of the incandescent light bulb, but, in addition to these, the plant also produced microcircuit boards and many other valuable things.
However, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the distribution system of the economy disappeared with it, and the company was forced to go into free float. Unlike hundreds of other plants in the electronic sphere, Svetlana managed to survive, going through the most challenging time: the 90s with catastrophic losses. The plant worked steadily, in the so-called well-fed 2000s. However, the plant did not manage to gain fat, and there was no money for the modernization of the production. Consequently, the company was faced with the prospect of becoming totally obsolete and falling out of the production chains, turning into another ghost factory and living on selling scrap metal and leasing space.
Everything was going precisely to that when in 2011, the investor and head of Euroinvest Holding, Andrey Berezin, appeared on the horizon. As became clear later on, Berezin nurtured plans to create a natural, developed cluster of industry and innovations in his holding. However, a person is known for his clothes, so many observers paid attention to the background of the head of the company. It was connected mainly with residential construction in St. Petersburg and its suburbs.
That is why Berezin’s purchase of Svetlana aroused so many suspicions that the plant would be slaughtered one way or another. It seemed too logical a development, including the bankruptcy of the plant and the construction of new high-rise buildings on its former territory. The attractive location of the plant in the Vyborgsky district of the city, close to the metro stations, adds weight to these suspicions.
Yet, all such fears were not destined to come true. The new owner did not let the long-standing legacy of the plant downwind but instead began to strengthen it as much as possible.
The enterprise received hundreds of millions of rubles for replacing the machinery and communications and renovating the production facilities. Investments of particular importance were made into the intellectual capital, starting from the enterprise administration and ending with the engineers and designers. Both young specialists and experienced artisans came to reinforce the company. In some cases, Euroinvest managed to entice the whole teams from the closing research institutes.
An exciting way was used by the owners of Euroinvest to solve complex problems related to evaluating the prospects of innovative projects. To separate and support the first of the initiatives able to shoot really, Andrey Berezin created a unique venture fund. It united experts in various technical spheres, who took it upon themselves to check the viability of the projects. The winners received, not only a ticket to life but a targeted financing from the Euro Ventur Fund’s coffers. The total amount was 10 million euros to start with, which was replenished repeatedly.
In fact, the device for the radiotherapy of tumors, which aroused such interest in Cyprus and other medical countries, was also the result of such expert selection and support from Eurovenchur. This is the same as the biochips that the plant is developing. Together, they open a new chapter in the history of the Svetlana plant and in the history of global healthcare.
In conclusion, it is then worth asking a question: why does Berezin need all this? In his first entrepreneurial field of development, he has achieved a lot of success, earning himself not the first but still a prominent place in the Forbes list of the rich. With its specific profile, the plant cannot become a source of super profits, but it will definitely require new investments.
Moreover, it is worth remembering that in the following years, Andrey Berezin bought two more industrial enterprises in the company of Svetlana: the Rigel battery factory and the manufacturer of various radio details, Recond. They are connected to investments, their material base is renewed, and they are helped with new projects and partners.
The most straightforward method to resolve this is to ask the owner of the holding company himself. This summer, in one of his rare interviews, he outlined his vision of the future of the global economy, Russia’s possible place in it, and his mission with complete sincerity:
“Have you read the book Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? It was written by one of the founders of the Davos Forum, Klaus Schwab. Before, what mattered was a territory, markets, and raw materials. All of these things are gone and do not mean anything anymore. Now it is the time of the knowledge economy: only human capital, the intellectual potential of a country matters. If you know, you don’t need machines or markets. You come up with the product, and the rest of your product will be brought to you: production and sales. There is a division between those who can create something and those who are useless to the world, even consumers. This happens everywhere. And the main thing for us is not to fall by the wayside at all.”
If you think about it, it becomes clear why the businessman, who always seemed comfortable in construction, suddenly began to deal with complex matters: innovations, education, and intellectual capital. His production experience gave him an understanding of the future, of that reality that inevitably forces everyone to change and the denial of which threatens the very margin mentioned above in the quotation.
That is why we can only be glad that, in today’s Russia, there are entrepreneurs who can look ahead and invest in the future, especially concerning developments that protect people’s health and prolong their lives. Naturally, this will benefit Russia, Cyprus, and the rest of the world.
Investment company Euroinvest is a diversified holding company that includes companies and projects from different sectors of the economy.
One of the directions of Euroinvest work is legal and engineering support for developing land plots and territories in St. Petersburg, the Leningrad region, and other areas.
At the end of 2017, Euroinvest Group created its construction division Euroinvest Development, which is engaged in the construction of housing and other objects, thus forming an entire cycle development business.
A relatively new direction for Euroinvest is the agro-industrial sector. For example, Agrocluster Krasnoye Znamya in the Pskov region specializes in producing grain and fodder for livestock.
In May 2017, the managers of Euroinvest Investment Company established the Euro Venture fund with an initial amount of €10 million. Priority areas for investment are innovative developments in the scientific and technical sphere, as well as projects in the creative industry.
Andrey Berezin was born in 1967 in Leningrad. In 1990 he graduated with honors from Leningrad Ustinov Mechanical Institute with a degree in Engineering. In 1990 he graduated from Leningrad Ustinov Mechanical Institute, majoring in mechanical control systems engineering. During his studies, he was Lenin’s and Ustinov’s scholar and had scientific publications. In 1990 he was enrolled in a post-graduate course at LMI and started a similar business.
In 1993 he took part in creating the North-West Fisheries Company. In 1995, together with Yuri Vasiliev, he made the investment company Euroinvest, and since then, he has been chairman of its board.
In 2017, Andrey Berezin was awarded a certificate of merit from the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade for his outstanding contribution to the development of Russian industry and many years of diligent work.