The Skolkovo Foundation will establish a Utilities Specialist Training Centre.

The Skolkovo Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Regional Development signed an agreement as part of the 10th Sochi Investment Forum. The document stipulates the establishment of a utilities specialist training centre on site in the innovation city.

Skolkovo’s town planning project calls for using state-of-the-art technologies to make life in the town comfortable, while also rendering municipal facilities less costly and more environmentally friendly. Heating buildings with geothermal heat and biogas produced by waste processing, collecting and efficiently using rainwater, and eliminating transport that works on combustion engines is all customary in Europe and will be very useful for Russia. The town has set an ambitious goal: to obtain up to 50% of the energy consumed by the town from renewable sources. ‘Skolkovo has the chance to become the first LEED-certified human settlement in Europe.’

For solutions to be effective, they must go beyond the innovation centre and help modernise Russia's public utilities, and ensure the competitive power and sustainable development of Russian cities. The technologies tested at Skolkovo will help reduce the cost of public utilities for residents and make cities cleaner, more convenient, and, consequently, more attractive for educated and active citizens, who in today's world can choose where to live and which country to invest their efforts and resources in. Technology transfer, besides the actual transfer of practices, always includes a proliferation mechanism, and the cooperation between the Foundation and federal ministries and authorities will be an important part of that.

Establishing training centres directly in Skolkovo will help to convincingly demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed solutions and to overcome the skepticism inherent in practical people. They will have the opportunity to see firsthand, for instance, energy active buildings designed in collaboration with the Danish engineering company Ramboll, which intends to prove that resource-saving solutions work in a typical Russian environment as well as they do in Europe. The idea is well received by the key Russian partners of the town planning project. The Federal Grid Company, which will implement Russia’s first underground power substation at Skolkovo, is going to use this example to demonstrate its capabilities to prospective customers. Affixing his signature to the document alongside Deputy Minister Ilya Ponomarev, Executive Director in Territory Development of Skolkovo Foundation Victor Maslakov noted that training chief engineers for municipal facilities is as important a task as nurturing chief architects for cities.

Background information

About the Skolkovo Foundation

The Skolkovo Foundation for Development of the Centre of Research and Commercialising of New Technologies was created at the initiative of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2010. Its goal is to mobilise Russia’s resources in modern applied research and create a favourable environment for academic pursuits in five key areas of technological development: energy and energy efficiency, space, biomedicine, nuclear technologies and IT. The project calls for establishing the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SIST), research institutions, a business incubator, a technology transfer and commercialisation centre, representative offices of foreign companies and R&D centers, residential quarters and social infrastructure, as well as for eventually spreading the effective system to other innovation regions in Russia. Special laws governing Skolkovo give its residents special economic preferences.

Visit the Foundation's official web site at