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Russia's 'Silicon Valley' will need political support

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Subject

Skolkovo.

Significance

The Skolkovo innovation city -- sometimes colloquially referred to as Russia's 'Silicon Valley' -- outside Moscow was created to help diversify and modernise the Russian economy. Skolkovo has been designed to attract international innovative firms to carry out research and development (R&D) inside Russia. However, although significant state resources have been deployed to support its development, progress has so far been relatively slow. This is due to the array of structural constraints facing innovation-oriented activity in Russia. Skolkovo aims to become the basis for an innovation ecosystem that brings together researchers, entrepreneurs and investors in five priority areas: IT, energy, nuclear technologies, biomedicine and space technologies.

Impacts

  • Skolkovo's long-term success will be key to helping Russia diversifying economy.
  • Skolkovo's success will also drive development of further tech cities across Russia.
  • Russian innovation environment weakness means erosion of elite support for the project could prevent it from achieving its objectives.
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