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Russian High-Tech Development Institutions Open Office in Silicon Valley

Dépèche transmise le 24 mars 2011 par Business Wire

Russian High-Tech Development Institutions Open Office in Silicon Valley

Russian High-Tech Development Institutions Open Office in Silicon Valley

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boeing, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and MIT are key partners in Russia’s high-tech Skolkovo Innovation Center (Skolkovo), which opened yesterday its American beachhead in Silicon Valley along with OAO ROSNANO and the Russian Venture Company (RVC).

“The opening of our joint Silicon Valley office is another step forward in Russia’s commitment to develop a thriving innovation and technology industry”

The new Russian Innovation Center will serve as the U.S. representative office of the three organizations. It will promote and coordinate high-tech partnerships and scientific cooperation in the IT, biomedicine, energy efficiency, nanotech, nuclear and aerospace sectors among top Russian and American companies, venture capital firms, and academic and scientific institutions.

“The opening of our joint Silicon Valley office is another step forward in Russia’s commitment to develop a thriving innovation and technology industry,” said Alexei Sitnikov, Director of International Development at the Skolkovo Foundation. “We are bringing Silicon Valley know-how and entrepreneurial spirit to Russia to create globally competitive products and services based on cutting-edge research, while also sharing our knowledge and experience with companies here.”

Sitnikov is optimistic that the new Russian Innovation Center will expedite partnership discussions currently underway by Skolkovo with IBM, Google and several other leading California innovators. He also noted the extensive partnership being developed with Stanford University, including the role of Stanford professor and Nobel laureate Roger Kornberg as Co-Chairman of the Skolkovo Academic Board.

Sitnikov also stressed that while Silicon Valley is the “birthplace of venture capitalism and home to many of the world’s most innovative companies,” Skolkovo Innovation Center is also attracting to Moscow other great partner companies from Europe and Asia. Among the other global companies already investing in Skolkovo are Alstom, Bouygues, EADS, Nokia, Philips, Siemens and TATA.

Skolkovo, Rosnano and RVC are initiatives of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s drive to modernize and diversify Russia’s economy. President Medvedev made forging “full-fledged relations” and “solid cooperation” with Silicon Valley companies an important objective of his first working visit to California last June. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden toured the future campus of Skolkovo Innovation Center during his visit to Russia two weeks ago.

Sitnikov announced the launch of the Russian Innovation Center at the 8th Annual Global Technology Symposium (March 23-25) in Menlo Park, the leading investment conference on venture capital, technology, and entrepreneurship in emerging markets. “Russia as a Cradle for Innovation” was the theme for the first day of the conference (www.usrts.org).

Joining Sitnikov to announce the opening of the Russian Innovation Center were Bay Area venture capitalist Alexandra Johnson, Skolkovo Foundation Vice President of Planning and Development Alexei Beltykov, and representatives of Cisco and Microsoft, as well as several prominent Silicon Valley VC investors.

"Skolkovo's main goal for cooperating with Western venture funds is not search of capital. We seek expertise on how to grow high-tech companies and transferable management experience," said Alexandra Johnson, who serves as an advisor to Skolkovo Foundation President Victor Vekselberg and leads the Russia initiatives of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

In the past year, several high-profile U.S. companies have pledged investments at Skolkovo, including San Jose-based Cisco, which has earmarked $1 billion over the next decade to transform Skolkovo into Russia’s first “smart connected” city.

Almaz Capital Partners, IBM, Intel, Google, and Microsoft have also concluded agreements to partner with Skolkovo to advance software production and IT infrastructure. Boeing is establishing a design center at the technopark to employ 300 IT specialists to support commercial aircraft construction. Private equity firm Siguler Guff is investing $250 million in Skolkovo for digital infrastructure and IT services.

Skolkovo Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Skolkovo Innovation Center launched by President Dmitry Medvedev. The special zone provides tax, customs and visa incentives to attract both large and small innovative companies, as well as engineers, scientists, programmers and entrepreneurs. Skolkovo will also make substantial investments in Russia’s human capital by attracting foreign specialists and nurturing local talent.

About Skolkovo Innovation Center

Skolkovo Innovation Center is a techno park immediately outside Moscow. Skolkovo focuses on developing research and development with commercialization potential in five key industry sectors: IT, energy efficiency, aerospace, nuclear and biomedical industries. While Skolkovo has the strong support of the Russian Government, it is a private initiative, directed by an independent Governing Council, Board of Trustees, and Scientific Advisory Council. www.i-gorod.com/en/

About OAO ROSNANO

ROSNANO’S mission is to advance Russia into the pool of the world’s leaders in the field of nanotechnologies. The priority of ROSNANO is commercialization of nanotechnology projects with high business potential and/or social benefit. The Corporation has 130 billion rubles (about $5 billion) under management. www.rusnano.com/Section.aspx/Show/17872

About Russian Venture Company

Russian Venture Company is a government “fund of funds” and a development institute of the Russian Federation, one of Russia's key tools in building its own national innovation system. Its mission is to encourage Russia’s own VC industry and boost capital of VC funds. RVC’s role is that of a government fund of venture capital funds channeling public incentives to venture capital and financial support to the hi-tech sector, and of a Russian VC industry development institution. http://www.rusventure.ru/en/

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