Russia: the next Silicon Valley? («Forbes», USA)

In the near future, Russia will no longer be known as a country whose growth depends on the production of natural gas. Future Russian — technological powerhouse that rivals the think tank and talents of Silicon Valley, the aide said the president Arkady Dvorkovich during the APEC summit in Honolulu this weekend.


Dvorkovich told the Russian press that the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt (Eric Schmidt) said during his speech at the summit: Russia should become a center of skilled labor and intelligence personnel for the international IT-companies.

Schmidt was unavailable on Saturday evening to immediately for comment.

Russia has long been known as a professional, high-tech country with qualified scientists. Russia is the first country to send a man into space, it has a long list of Nobel laureates in the sciences. The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 Alferov is the scientific director of the new high-tech innovation project. Not so long ago, new to the IT-area company Kaspersky Lab, based in Moscow, took market share from powerful competitors Symantec and McAfee. In short, Russia has much to offer in the technological part of the economy, not just in the product.

The country is building a modern science park near Moscow, called the center of the Skolkovo innovation projects where Alferov is just one of a number of public and private Directors. The government expects from 25,000 to 30,000 people will live and work in Skolkovo, developing new space and telecom products, innovative medical devices, biotechnology, environmentally clean and efficient energy, as is the case with the new LED lamps, nuclear technology, and of course the same information technology.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it plans to invest in new Russian companies working in Skolkovo. The Russian company Speereo, which develops technology to transfer voice, received 50 thousand dollars or 1.5 million rubles starting capital from Microsoft and another 1.5 million rubles from the Skolkovo Foundation, a private non-governmental organization dedicated to the launch technology park together with the government.

Skolkovo and Microsoft started working together in November 2010, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (Steve Ballmer) announced the establishment of joint research center at the time of his then a trip to Moscow. Microsoft was one of the first U.S. multinationals that have expressed interest in the project Skolkovo. And she is not alone, and others are expected.

General Electric has signed a preliminary agreement with the Skolkovo project in June, but no details are reported on the size and the amount of investment GE, except for the company’s interest in conducting research in the field of energy, biotechnology and information technology.

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, President of Skolkovo Foundation, said in a June press release: "We welcome the decision by General Electric for the implementation of major projects."

CEO of GE Jeffrey Immelt (Jeffrey Immelt) said in a press release: "We are confident that the new GE research center in Skolkovo will become a universal platform for the application of Russian scientific potential in specific business projects as well as for the introduction of advanced technology GE in Russia" .

RIA Novosti news agency reported in June that IBM is also considering setting up a research center in Skolkovo. Memorandum of Understanding between the Skolkovo Fund Skolkovo and IBM was signed in the first half of the year.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology also creates a joint educational program with the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo.

Skolkovo is a pet project of the incumbent President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, who expressed concern about Russia’s dependence on commodities. Given the appropriate technological capabilities of Russia and the educational level, Medvedev is banking on a new, more high-tech Russian, and not to the current economy of natural gas.

Craig Barrett (Craig Barrett), a former executive at Intel, is also involved in the project. He is the co-chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation. Barrett stepped down as chairman of the board of Intel in 2009 to focus on a program called World Ahead, which disseminates technologies in developing regions of the world.

Original publication: Russia, The Next Silicon Valley?

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