Construction for the actual innovation city in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo is underway. More than 500 companies have already joined the project.
16 July 2012
Skolkovo takes off - applicants snowballing
In 2010, a non-profit Skolkovo Foundation
was founded to create a new science and
technology development center in the
Moscow suburb of Skolkovo. The
construction for the actual innovation city is
underway. More than 500 innovative
companies have already joined the project
and the amount of applications for
participation in the project is snowballing.
The first Skolkovo Innovation Center building "Cube-House"
will be ready in September.
The Skolkovo project is structured around five clusters, each responsible for the development and
commercialization of innovative projects. To turn Skolkovo project into a success a number of
elements were created, including Technopark Skolkovo, Intellectual Property Center, Customs and
Finance Company. Also at the end of 2011, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology was
incorporated (Skolkovo Tech).
President Dmitri Medvedev presented the creation of a modern technology center in November
2009, saying "this would be something like Silicon Valley in California, and other similar
international centers.” Now Russian Prime Minister Medvedev is the Head of the Board of Trustees
of Skolkovo Foundation.
The strategic goal of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre is to concentrate international intellectual
capital, thereby stimulating the development of break-through projects and technologies.
Skolkovo is more than a science or technology park and aspires to become an open-source blueprint
for urban development and aims to create favourable conditions for the innovative process.
Since the start of the project, the institute has sought foreign partners. Last October, Skolkovo Tech
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) penned a three-year cooperation agreement.
The institute is set to begin operations in 2014 and be in full operation in 2020.
In the course of implementation of the project, companies that are engaged in innovative
development are discovered. After a selection process, some of these become project participants of
the center. They are provided with all assistance necessary for development.
The Skolkovo Foundation and its partners transform the infrastructure, resources and other
possibilities of the centre, into effective services for companies that are project participants.
Skolkovo Tech’s operations will be funded through the Skolkovo Foundation that administers donor
funds from e.g. private firms.
Within the Skolkovo project, five clusters are created.These include energy efficiency, information,
biomedical, nuclear and space technologies clusters.
Amount of applicants snowballing
Undoubtedly, we are at the beginning of our long path, since the Foundation is building from
scratch an innovation centre with global impact, says President of Skolkovo Foundation Viktor
Vekselberg in the first Annual Report 2011 that was published in June.
“However, the main achievements of 2011 make it possible for us
to assert that we have succeeded inlaying a foundation, setting up a
platform for realizing our mission, which is creation of the
ecosystem favorable for promotion of entrepreneurship and
research,” Vekselberg describes.
"First, this applies to development and implementation of all
necessary procedures for awarding the status of a Skolkovo Project
participant by the end of 2011, the number of innovative
companies that received the status of Project participants exceeded
330. This is by far more than we expected," he says.
Today, 1,600 applicants are awaiting this status. The amount of applications for participation in the
Project is snowballing. In 2011, we developed and introduced grant procedure, which made it
possible for 70 companies working in Skolkovo to receive grants for implementation of their
“In 2012, we expect the amount of grantees to double. The total value of grant financing that we are
planning to distribute in 2012 will amount to 6 billion rubles (USD181 million),” Vekselberg says,
Large business companies believed in Skolkovo’s success; among them are the world’s industrial
giants Siemens, IBM, Nokia, Ericsson, EADS, Cisco, and many others.
First success stories being born
The Annual Report represents several success stories in the fields of ICT, Internet, chemical
processing and energy efficiency.
For instance, under development work or completed are microprocessors with new architecture,
new search engine of the Internet media broadcasting sources, early fire detection system for
forests, device for projecting three-dimensional high definition image in the air and creation of
hybrid new generation locomotive.
The locomotive is being tested at the Riga Railway Station in Moscow. It provides 40 percent
energy savings and cuts over 50 percent polluting substances - compared with conventional
“The results of the past year and, first and foremost, the specific examples of commercialization of
research results of various companies that have been Project participants for a short time, inspire in
me confidence that we are able to resolve the task set before us,” Vekselberg says.
“I am confident that we can create the innovation ecosystem that will comprise hundreds of most
advanced and promising innovative technologies, ensure their development, and allow us to
promote new and absolutely unique products on the Russian and international markets.”
Responding to energy efficiency challenges
Improving energy efficiency is Russia's major macroeconomic challenge.
Energy efficiency must support all the other priorities for technological
Cluster of energy efficient technologies introduces new breakthrough
technology solutions aimed at the reduction of energy consumption by
industrial, housing and municipal infrastructure facilities.
The cluster comprises two basic units – “Generation” and “Consumption” and
includes the following priority areas of research:
*energy efficiency of buildings and structures;
*energy efficiency in the industry;
*electric power generation and accumulation;
*electric power transportation and transformation;
*green power production (the use of alternative energy sources);
other energy-efficient technologies.
The energy efficiency cluster has been dealing with inventing new energy
saving devices as well as with reducing the cost of existing products,
according to Voice of Russia.
Currently, experts at the Skolkovo center are working on five projects aimed to
reduce the cost of LEDs and increase their energy efficiency. The center also
plans to produce next generation lamps using organic light-emitting diodes,
According to Vasily Belov, Executive Director of the Cluster of Energy
Efficient Technologies, some green energy projects also are going on, part of
them are long-term, while the implementation of others is about to begin.
For instance, there are four wind power projects, and others offering the use of
The first scientific conference of the Skolkovo Foundation took place in St.
Petersburg in June 2012. It was organized by the Energy Efficiency Cluster
together with the IT Cluster.
The Energy Efficiency Cluster together with venture funds Siemens VC,
Bosch VC, Emerald, Leader, RU-COM held a venture fair, as well as a
training seminar for participants together with CRDF Global.
More than 15 participating companies of Skolkovo took part in the fair and
gave short presentations to representatives of venture funds.
The fair made it possible for the participating companies not only to present
their projects to potential investors, but also to form business contacts in order
to attract additional investments for the development of their projects.
The meeting of the Energy Efficiency Business Club “Skolkovo” took place in
Moscow in March 2012.
A scientific conference of the Energy Efficiency Cluster dedicated to the topics
“Smart Grids” and “Energy-Efficient Illumination” took place in April in
U.S.-Russia extensive dialogue on sustainable energy
Pulkovo - a pioneer of green building in Russia
Russia approves new environmental policy
Russian building sector starting to turn green
Russian energy efficiency laws gain traction
Russia's renewable energy to gain momentum
WTO accession to boost Russia's energy efficiency