Russia aims to challenge renowned Silicon Valley with its own Skolkovo innovation center in the suburbs of Moscow. The modern center for research and development will be built in the village of Skolkovo located in the Odintsovo area, Moscow region. The Russian 'Silicon Valley' will host five different scientific communities next to the campus of Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, a top-level business school founded by leading Russian and international companies.
The idea to create a Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley was announced by President Dmitry Medvedev in March 2010. Russia has many talented and creative scientists working on the cutting-edge technologies in a variety of fields. In addition, there is a potential to create favorable conditions for "brains" from abroad. Building a high-tech hub for scientists and businesspeople in Skolkovo should help Russia to develop and commercialize new technologies in the right way.
Initially, Skolkovo will become a center of research and innovation in five directions that carry top priority for Russia - energy, IT, telecommunications, biomedicine and nuclear technologies. The territory of Skolkovo innovation center will host the branches of the largest corporations and the best graduate programs. It will provide tax incentives, easy access to new clients, and mechanisms to finance and sell new ideas. For all these reasons, the center is sometiems called "innograd" which means "innovation city" in Russian.
The Russian government considered a number of locations for the new high-tech town, including the city of Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg, Obninsk and many other regions which already host large scientific communities. The choice of the village of Skolkovo might be explained by a number of reasons. First, it is on opportunity to start from scratch and create new conditions for the best people who will power the future of Russian economy. Second, Skolkovo is conveniently located in close proximity to the capital of Russia and such institutions as Moscow School of Management and the Center of Space Communication. In addition, the suburbs of Moscow have very efficient infrastructure which will further help the Russian government control the development and progress of its new ambitions project.
Known as "the city of the future" in Russian, Skolkovo construction is planned to begin in the second half of 2011. There are number of prestigious businessmen involved in the Skolkovo project, including Roman Abramovich. The present head of the Russian Nanontechnology Corporation (Rusnano) and Rusian reformer Anatoly Chubais is also taking part in the project. The winner of 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics Zhores Alferov is appointed the scientific director of the project. Russian President Medvedev has also extended an invitation to all businessmen to discuss the issues of financing and tax policy in the Skolkovo center.
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