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Map Of Innovation Centres in Russia

15/10/2010

More than 500 companies from 15 countries attended the International Ural Exhibition and Forum of Industry and Innovation INNOPROM – 2010 in Yekaterinburg and presented their innovative technologies in various sectors of the economy.

The organizers have made an interactive map of Russian innovations, showing cities in Russia currently hosting or preparing to host techno-parks, business incubators, patent offices, and scientific and educational centers. Despite common misconception that Skolkovo is the only spot of innovation on the map of Russia, there are several contenders for the title of Russian Silicon Valley.

Tomsk and Novosibirsk are well-known as scientific centres since Soviet times and the only factor that prevents them from flying away from the woods of domestic market to the sky of international market of ideas and innovations is their location in the heart of Siberia, which is unlikely to attract innovators, even from other parts of Russia, not to mention from the whole world. As for Tatarstan, one could say the same thing, but the climate there is milder, it is closer to Europe, and the government develops innovations there purposefully.

Moscow region, by and large, is not fit for the innovator because of the bad climate and ecology, as well as horribly high prices and wages which lays stamp on startups. However, the high concentration of power, money, business and science, inherited from the Soviet Union, makes this region actually a separate country, and a very innovative one, with the highest concentration of students, scholars and universities in Russia. Nearly the same applies to St. Petersburg , although the concentrations of resources there are smaller.

Kaliningrad region is on the list of innovative regions due to transport proximity to Europe and the relatively mild climate. The most interesting regions for innovations is Krasnodar region and the Far East.

The first one boasts massive investments for the Olympics in Sochi . I personally know of several innovators who prefer to spend considerable time in the warm Gelendzhik, Sochi and manage their business on the internet. But as of now, Sochi is more Russian Miami than Russia’s Silicon Valley. This city is famous for being the summer home of the elite, as well as for expensive housing and a gambling zone.

Far East is far away from Moscow, and from Europe, but has regular communication with all the countries of Southeast Asia. In Vladivostok, there are several universities, and major investments are planned for the APEC summit in 2012. Neighboring Khabarovsk Region is known as a centre of defense industry. Amur Region is notable for the fact that the spaceport is being built there, and it will be invested the same amount of money as in Skolkovo.

Which of the regions will be considered by us, the Russian Silicon Valley? Nice to think that it will appear somewhere in Krasnodar region closer to the Black Sea which will allow to swing between expensive Moscow and cheap fruits, sun and sand of Southern Russia.

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