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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New JV to Market Military Technologies

A new U. S. -Russian joint venture launched Monday said it has established a network of scientists and institutions across the ex-U. S. S. R. and hopes to bring a vast storehouse of technology, much of it military, to market in the West.

Arnold J. Lipman, president of East/West Technology Partners, said it is already marketing 50 such technologies, including systems for early cancer detection, new methods for metals production and advanced microelectronics.

Lipman said the company will announce in Washington D. C. on Wednesday the names of two U. S. firms and one British company that will purchase Russian and Belorussian technologies.

East/West Technology Partners is just one of several Western companies involved in the race to bring technology from the former Soviet Union to the West. But private efforts have been hampered by governmental obstacles and legal difficulties on both sides.

The U. S. government, for example, had previously erected barriers to Russian technology, partially to protect American industry from competition. The inability to gain clear title to intellectual property in Russia, meanwhile, has hampered efforts to sell it in the West.

The technologies, many developed for Russia's military-industrial complex, include a new system for manufacturing printed circuit boards and a method to improve production of photo-voltaic cells, which convert sunlight to energy.

Lipman said the photo-voltaic technology was "a long step toward making solar energy competitive with fossil fuels".

"These are only the first of what we expect to be many licensing deals to be signed in the coming months", said Phil Odeen, president of BDM International Inc.

The company is a three-way partnership between BDM of Virginia, Intex Corp. of Washington D. C. and Technology Exhibition and Investment Inc. , a Russian company that includes prominent Russian scientists and academicians from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

East/West said it had not actually signed any agreements with the Russian government. But Odeen said it has the government's "blessing", which is needed to gain approval to export the technology: It has also received encouragement from the U. S. side. New Ambassador Thomas Pickering spoke at the press conference Monday.

Frank Carlucci, the former U. S. secretary of defense, is chairman of BDM, a public company in the United States with 1992 revenues of $424 million.

East/West acknowledged that substantial difficulties remain in gaining clear title to Russian technology. In the former Soviet Union, all property belonged to the state. But East/West said it had established methods to determine if clear title exists and that a new law on Russian intellectual property would help resolve some of the issues.

Lipman stressed that East/West would not exploit Russian scientists and institutes who would remain the owners of the technologies. Deals would allow them to share in the revenues generated by the technology.

Among the ventures of the company will be a permanent exhibition of Russian technology at the Russian Academy building on Leninsky Prospekt. A similar exhibition will be established at BDM's Virginia headquarters building.