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.