The centre being developed near Moscow will offer a test model for creating innovative companies and provide experience that must then be spread throughout the country, the President said. But before anything, Russia needs to build a modern and effective model that really works, and this is what Skolkovo is all about.
Mr Medvedev said he hopes that the special legal, administrative, tax and customs rules that will apply to the innovation centre, and also the simplified immigration procedures for foreign specialists will contribute to the project’s rapid and active development.
The President said that effort must be made to create the right environment for centres such as Skolkovo to develop and work. It is very important for people to feel an interest in creating and introducing new technology and be motivated to start a business from scratch. Sadly, the Russian business community today is for the most part not yet ready to invest in risky innovation projects. In this sense, Russia can learn from the experience of enthusiasts who started with not a lot of money but went on to create new products, Mr Medvedev said.
The President also stressed the importance of cultivating a general climate of trust and understanding in order to develop international cooperation, including on innovation projects. Mr Medvedev thanked Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger for his contribution to developing ties between Californian and Russian companies. Mr Schwarzenegger said he is ready to help Russia to develop advanced technology.
The Global Innovation Partnerships Forum is taking place on October 11–13, 2010, in Moscow and Kazan (capital of Tatarstan), and features representatives of US venture funds and high-technology companies.