Skolkovo Innovation Center

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The logo of Skolkovo

The Skolkovo Innovation Center is a high technology business area that is being built built at Skolkovo near Moscow, Russia.[1][2][3] The site aims to be a highly modern complex created to encourage science and technology companies.[citation needed] Although historically Russia has been successful with development of science and technology, its lack of entrepreneur spirit led to government intervention of patents and nonproliferation of Russian tech companies beyond the scope of regional service. This site is tasked with the development of technology start-ups but also marketing them correctly. As corporations and individuals become "residents" of the city, with proposed projects and ideas receiving financial assistance.[4] Skolkovo was first announced on 12 November 2009 by then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.[5] The complex is headed by Viktor Vekselberg and co-chaired by former Intel CEO Craig Barrett.

The scheme of work

Viktor Vekselberg, head of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

In March 2010 Vekselberg announced the necessity of developing a special legal order in Skolkovo and emphasized the need to offer a tax holiday lasting 5–7 years.[6]

In April 2010 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev charged the government with working out specific legal, administrative, tax and customs regulations on Skolkovo.[7]

In May 2010 Dmitry Medvedev introduced two bills regulating working conditions in Skolkovo. The bills were adopted by the State Duma in September of that year[8] and, on 28 September 2010, the President of the Russian Federation signed the bills into federal law.[9][10]

In August 2010 Dmitry Medvedev introduced a bill easing migratory policies in regards to Skolkovo.[11]

Visa policies for foreign nationals

On 20 August 2010 a new government decree regulating visas for participants of the Skolkovo project was published. According to this decree, specialized and highly skilled foreign nationals who arrive in Russia with the purpose of securing employment at Skolkovo will be granted a visa for a term of up to 30 days. In the event of successful job placement they can then obtain a work visa for a term of 3 years.[12]


A new highway was opened connecting Skolkovo to the MKAD in June 2010.[13] Railway transport will be available via Belorussky Rail Terminal and Kiyevsky Rail Terminal. A link to Vnukovo International Airport is also planned.


The innovation center will be financed primarily from the Russian federal budget. The center's 2010 budget was 3.9 Billion RUB. An additional 22 Billion RUB is planned for 2012 and 17.3 Billion RUB in 2013.[14][15]


Skolkovo includes five "clusters" specializing in different areas. These include IT, Energy, Nuclear Technologies, Biomedicine and Space Technologies.[16]

Information technologies

The IT cluster is tasked with creating an effective model for successful commercialization of IT technologies in Russia. Over 450 companies have signed up for the IT cluster.[17]IT ecosystem includes over 50 fast growing cyber-security startup companies with more than 700 employees in total

Energy-efficient technologies

The Energy Efficient Technologies cluster aims to introduce breakthrough technologies focused on the reduction of energy consumption by industrial, housing and municipal infrastructure facilities. Today over 80 companies are on board for the energy efficiency cluster.[18]

Nuclear technologies

The development of nuclear technologies is a means to both become an innovation leader and maintain the competitive edge of Russia's defence industry. At the same time, the Nuclear Technologies cluster aims to encourage the competitiveness of nuclear power markets and develop breakthrough technologies and products.[19]

Biomedical technologies

The strategic goal of this cluster is to create an ecosystem for biomedical innovation. In order to achieve this goal, the best practices of leading biotechnology and biomedical research centers were studied. More than 215 companies have signed on for the Biomedical Technologies cluster.[20]

Space technologies and telecommunications

The Space Technology and Telecommunications cluster is intended to strengthen Russia's position in the respective industries. The scope of activity is wide: from space tourism to satellite navigation systems. Russian companies aim to increase their market share in this global market, the total volume of which is estimated at $300 billion.[21]

Cooperation between clusters

There are good examples of cooperation between the clusters. For example, in 2012 clusters of Information Technologies and Biomedical Technologies organized joint contest on Mobile Diagnostic Device "Skolkovo M.D."[22] and FRUCT was named the contest winner.

Innovation City

The main elements of The City are the University and a Technopark. The City will also feature a Congress Center, office buildings, laboratories, fitness centers and stores. An efficient rail transport and a logistically optimized layout will enable commuters to reach the center of Moscow within 40 minutes. The City will measure roughly 400 hectares and have a permanent population of 21,000. Employees, including commuters from Moscow and surrounding regions, will comprise about 31,000 people.[23]

Sustainable development

Skolkovo is an energy efficient city with minimal or zero emissions of environmentally harmful substances that ensures the total recycling of household and municipal waste. At least 50% of the energy consumed by the city will come from renewable sources. The well-developed water system uses significantly less water by Russian standards without compromising comfort or hygiene. The transport system prioritizes walking and cycling. The use of vehicles with internal combustion engines is prohibited in the city. Energy passive and active buildings that do not require energy from the outside and even produce more energy than they consume will be built at Skolkovo. Household and municipal waste will be disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way possible – leveraging the use of plasma incinerator technology.[24]

Electronics Technology Center (ETC)

In July 2012, IBM and five leading Russian innovation companies: the Skolkovo Foundation, Rusnano, Rostelecom, Russian Venture Company and ITFY, all signed a collaboration agreement to foster a culture of applied research and commercialization and attract key talent and investment from around the world in the area of microelectronics.

The agreement will give the Electronics Technology Center access to IBM’s intellectual property for chip design. IBM will also provide cloud computing technologies to form the basis of a new virtual design environment to be used to develop new microelectronic devices such as sensors to be used in smarter infrastructure projects, industry and consumer electronics.

“IBM is leading the way in collaborative innovation,” said Kirill Korniliev, General Manager, IBM Russia & CIS. “The ETC will use cloud technology to create a virtual working environment that brings together Russian innovation leaders where they can acquire, use and share design knowledge and spur a new wave of microelectronic innovation.”

The cloud will help unite Russia’s dispersed microelectronics development teams and provide access to advanced technologies and best practice and foster global collaboration. Russian chip designers and fabless design houses will be able to access new semiconductor technologies, including automation tools, design kits, libraries and intellectual property. The center will also provide access to a wide variety of semiconductor production processes offered by many different foundries.

The agreement was signed by Victor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation; Anatoly Chubais, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Rosnano; Alexander Provotorov, President and Chairman of the Management Board of Rostelecom; Igor Agamirzian, CEO of Russian Venture Company; Evgeny Babayan, Chairman of the Board, ITFY; Leonid Svatkov, CEO ITFY; Bruno Di Leo, Senior Vice President IBM; and Kirill Korniliev, Country General Manager, IBM Russia & CIS.

"We are working with IBM to create an R&D ecosystem to kick start a new era in microelectronic devices design. Leveraging the latest cloud computing technologies, the Electronics Technology Center will provide customers with access to cutting-edge electronics technologies, design automation tools and specialist knowledge regardless of where they are geographically located," said Evgeny Babayan, Chairman of the Board, ITFY.

The ETC will initially focus on microelectronics design; however in the future it may be extended to other fields where cloud computing can support collaborative development projects.[25]

Open University Skolkovo (OpUS)

Skolkovo's Open University (OpUS) isn't an educational institution in the typical sense of the word, because graduating students don't receive a diploma. Instead, OpUS is a source of prospective Masters and PhD candidates, for the Skolkovo University of Science and Technology (SkTech), and interns for Skolkovo partner companies. The educational plan of OpUS includes lecture series, master classes and courses by leading scientists, thinkers and practitioners. Students acquire knowledge in the priority research and development areas of Skolkovo (information technology, biomedicine, energetics, space and nuclear technology). In addition, they have an opportunity to gain knowledge in academic and innovative competencies (foresight, forecasting, thinking, projecting), entrepreneur competence, experience in teamwork on projecting and solving inter-disciplinary problems.[26]

OpUS was opened on 21 April 2011 in Moscow. Selection for Winter 2011-2012 students was carried out in Saint Petersburg and Tomsk. There are currently more than 250 students enrolled in OpUS.

International collaboration

International partners include:

Finland Nokia Solutions and Networks

Germany Siemens, SAP

United States Microsoft, Boeing, Intel, Cisco, Dow Chemical, EMC Corporation, IBM, Johnson & Johnson

Sweden Ericsson

France Alstom

France EADS

Israel In 2011 Israel's Ariel University Center, jointly with Martal Consulting Group,[27] signed a cooperation agreement with the Skolkovo Innovation Center known as "Silicon Valley" in Russia. Following this agreement, an Israel-Skolkovo Gateway/Center (IsraelSK) was formed. IsraelSK model for innovative technologies commercialization involves raising private capital and government grants leveraging for Israeli and Russian start-up companies.[28]

See also


  1. Russian 'Silicon Valley' for Moscow Region, The Moscow Times, 15 February 2010.
  2. Kremlin picks site for Russian "Silicon Valley", Reuters, 18 March 2010.
  3. Ben Morris, Russia creates its own Silicon Valley, BBC News, 26 April 2010.
  4. About Skolkovo
  5. Skolkovo Foundation
  6. Viktor Vekselberg: we create an environment where you will have gained a critical level of intelligence. Vesti video
  7. Verbatim record of the meeting of the Commission for Modernization and Technological Development of Russian Economy. The Kremlin
  8. The September reading.
  9. Dmitry Medvedev signed the law on innovation center "Skolkovo" The Kremlin
  10. Changes to some legislative acts in connection with the adoption of the law on innovation center "Skolkovo". The Kremlin
  11. Professionals do not need accounting and control.
  16. What is Skolkovo?
  17. Information Technologies Cluster Official Skolkovo Website
  18. Energy Efficient Technologies Cluster. Official Skolkova Website
  19. Nuclear Technologies Cluster Official Skolkovo website
  20. [1]
  21. Space Technologies and Telecommunications
  22. FRUCT won the “Skolkovo M.D.” selection, as well as 9 million rubles of the Skolkovo grant
  23. The City. - a Vault of animated video tours of the city.
  24. Sustainable Development
  25. rushpr Cloud computing technologies to form basis of new virtual design fab. 13 July 2012.
  26. Skolkovo Open University
  27. Your Way to Russian Silicon Valley. Israel-Skolkova Gateway.
  28. "Israel Skolkovo Gateway". Retrieved 24 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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