Skolkovo and Innopolis to create a single innovation ecosystem

Igor Shuvalov promised to invest 9 billion rubles in it

Innopolis and Skolkovo are merging into a single innovation ecosystem to expand the access of Russian innovative companies to services. This was announced following the meeting with the participation of Chairman of VEB.RF State Development Corporation Igor Shuvalov and Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov in Innopolis. Skolkovo will be responsible for the involvement of Tatarstan's industrial companies in acceleration and grant programmes, and Innopolis will be responsible for the localisation of science city services. VEB is going to allocate 9 billion rubles for the construction of four infrastructure facilities of Innopolis, including two technoparks. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Innopolis will join Skolkovo ecosystem

Head of VEB.RF state corporation Igor Shuvalov and Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov held a meeting in Innopolis on the further development of the country's innovation development centres, proposing to combine the efforts of Skolkovo Foundation and Innopolis SEZ. Until now, they have been competitors in the struggle to attract new startups, residents and projects, but after the large-scale reform of development institutions in 2020-2021, the foundation came under the management of VEB.RF. The updated strategy presupposes a close partnership, providing for integration into a single innovative “ecosystem”. The agreement was signed following the meeting.

Skolkovo will be responsible for increasing the number of participants through a dedicated fast track. That is, the residents of Innopolis will have the opportunity to remotely obtain the status of a resident of the Moscow innovation centre and access to its services.

Along with this, Skolkovo will be responsible for the localisation of participants in Innopolis and promote the involvement of Tatarstan industrial companies in acceleration and grant programmes. For example, last year KAMAZ, TANECO and Alabuga SEZ received grants of 300 million rubles each for the introduction of new developments into production, Igor Drozdov, the chairman of the board of Skolkovo Foundation, said at the meeting.

Acceleration under joint mentoring

The general area of responsibility includes project support at early stages. Joint acceleration programmes will be supported both financially and through curatorship, Igor Drozdov said. According to him, the presentation of acceleration projects is promised to be held at the next meeting of the board of directors of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding. The common area of responsibility also includes the joint use of infrastructure — coworkings. According to Igor Drozdov, they are going to appear in many regions.

“The goal of our great joint work is to create seamless support of innovations, an important element of this ecosystem is effective interaction between development organisations," said Igor Shuvalov. “The synergetic effect of such a partnership is an increase in the number of technological entrepreneurs who will be able to realise their potential for the country and improve the quality of people's lives.”

The head of VEB.RF proposed to launch the simultaneous construction of two technoparks — both in Innopolis and Skolkovo.

“We need to see how to support each other," he reasoned. “Forming a partnership, I think that it is necessary to launch the construction of two technoparks at the same time — in Innopolis and Skolkovo. And we will look at their filling in a different way.

“Let these sanctions remain for another 5 years, otherwise we will go the easy way”

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov spoke in favour of Innopolis becoming a platform where federal-scale tasks will be solved in terms of developing IT solutions for the aviation and automotive industries.

“It is clear that we lived with illusions and saw our weaknesses. But there are advantages in this, too. I always say: it is important that these sanctions are lifted no earlier 5 years, otherwise we will find easy ways again. We see that in terms of software products for the aviation and automotive industries, we will need to change a lot," the president of the republic said.

VEB will invest 9 billion rubles in Innopolis

During the meeting, it became clear that two technoparks would be built in Innopolis after all. The managing director of the VEB.RF business unit, Timur Temirgaliyev, told Realnoe Vremya that the state corporation will provide about 9 billion rubles for the construction of new infrastructure of Innopolis. It's about the construction of four facilities, including a coliving, a hi-tech park. This is what will be built in the first place — until 2024. Then they will address housing.

“The need for housing, the need for high-quality urban infrastructure — it is extremely high. We divided [the project] into two phases. The first phase involves covering the already formed need for housing and offices. It is proposed to build two technoparks. One is Kalinin, which will ensure the mobility of teams, startups and academic staff between Skolkovo, Skoltech, and Innopolis. It is also planned to build an industrial park," Temirgaliyev said.

According to him, the second phase of the project involves the development of Innopolis after 2025. Here he mentioned four key blocks. In particular, the residential quarter Yu-1, which, as Temirgaliyev noted, will be financed by DOM.RF.

“We are ready to finance the construction of two technology parks, a hi-tech park. The total support from VEB will amount to about 9 billion rubles," Temirgaliyev said.

The company of the ex-minister of digital development, communications and mass communications of Russia, Nikolay Nikiforov, can act as a housing developer. According to him, they have already made the first risky investments.

“We have made the first step: we have a master plan, we have ready-designed facilities, and we even decided on the construction. We took a risk and began to invest our own funds. About 1,5 billion rubles have been invested in those objects that we have seen as materialising essences. With the support of VEB, things will go much faster," Nikiforov hopes.

Three cooperation agreements were signed following the meeting. They were signed by the rectors of Innopolis University and Skoltech, Alexander Tormasov and Alexander Kuleshov. They agreed to train students in joint programmes, invite them to internships. Evaluating these steps, the head of VEB.RF noted that young people will have great opportunities.

“Unfortunately, foreign partners left Skoltech before the end of the project," he noted. According to him, the Russian university is able to continue the project without them.

Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov

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