Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that a technological development agency should be established in the country.

“I believe there is a need to implement the business community’s initiative to set up an agency on technological development, which would provide assistance to enterprises in acquiring domestic and foreign patents and licenses,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address.

In late October, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the country’s government must not be the only contributor to set up innovative research centers and stimulate technological development, but should set a pattern for business investment in such projects instead.

The Russian government has recently substantially intensified efforts to support and develop high-tech industry in the country. These efforts are intended to lower a traditional reliance by regional commerce on raw materials production and encourage economic diversification.