Economy of Belarus - - UNION STATE -

The Skolkovo In­no­va­tion City where res­i­dents of the Skolkovo Foun­da­tion will live and work is be­ing built 3km to the west of Moscow. By 2014, this Rus­sian “Sil­i­con Val­ley” will oc­cupy 389 hectares and in­clude var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties, such as a techno park with R&D cen­ters, a busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor, re­search cen­ters of ma­jor transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions and univer­si­ties. Apart from that, the in­no­va­tion cen­ter will fea­ture res­i­den­tial and guest zones with the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing cafes and restau­rants.

The in­no­va­tion city will have ev­ery­thing to en­sure com­fort­able work and life of sci­en­tists, man­agers, teach­ers and stu­dents. The project ini­tia­tors see it as a large lab­o­ra­tory of promis­ing so­lu­tions for the devel­op­ment of mu­nic­i­pal econ­omy and ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment.

The cen­ter is be­ing built in ac­cor­dance with the town plan­ning con­cept of AREP, a France-based firm spe­cial­iz­ing in ur­ban plan­ning. Fa­mous ar­chi­tects, win­ners of Pritzker Prize Mr Kazuyo Se­jima and Mr Pierre de Meu­ron are work­ing on the project. The city will have mainly low-rise build­ings. The first build­ing to be con­structed will be Hy­per Cube which will host the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the foun­da­tion and res­i­dents’ of­fices. The de­vel­op­ers also prom­ise to put in place a so­phis­ti­cated trans­port in­fra­struc­ture which will en­able the res­i­dents to reach Moscow in 20-30 min­utes.

Skolkovo part­ners in­clude big in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, in par­tic­u­lar Boe­ing, IBM, Cisco, Siemens and Nokia. Many transna­tional cor­po­ra­tions plan to open their sci-tech cen­ters there. Apart from that, such giants as Mi­crosoft, In­tel, Sis­tema, Ren­ova and John­son & John­son de­cided to set up cor­po­ra­tion ven­ture cap­i­tal funds in or­der to in­vest in star­tups. At the first stage they are ready to in­vest $557 mil­lion in promis­ing projects.

Now Skolkovo has more than 700 res­i­dents. All in all, the in­no­va­tion cen­ter has re­ceived over 10,000 ap­pli­ca­tions.

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