A branch of Skolkovo will open in Russia’s Sverdlovsk region, operating from the Universitetsky technopark, it was agreed this week.

An agreement on setting up the branch in the Urals was signed on Tuesday in Yekaterinburg by Skolkovo Foundation vice president Yury Saprykin and Denis Skomorokhov, director general of the technopark. Similar agreements are expected to be signed with innovations centres in the cities of Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk and St. Petersburg.

Skolkovo's Yury Saprykin (left) shakes hands with Denis Skomorokhov as Yevgeny Kuivashev looks on. Photo: Universitetsky technopark.

Some of the residents of the Universitetsky technopark are also Skolkovo residents, Sverdlovsk region governor Yevgeny Kuivashev said at the signing, noting that the agreement would enable the partners to reach a new level of cooperation.

“The Urals is a centre of development and education, as well as of both fundamental and applied science,” said Kuivashev.

“The Sverdlovsk region is in fifth place among Russia’s regions in terms of advanced manufacturing, and first in the Urals federal region,” he said, adding that the region had long been working with colleagues from Skolkovo, which he described as a strategic partner.

The Sverdlovsk region is the first to get its own branch of Skolkovo, and will be a pilot project that helps the Moscow-based foundation devise the best mechanisms for working with the regions, said Saprykin.

“The potential for cooperation is immense. We would like to share all the standards and services of the Skolkovo Foundation with the Universitetsky technopark and its residents,” he said.

The Universitetsky technopark is home to about 40 resident companies working in areas including telecoms, electronics, energy conservation and nanotechnology.

Yury Sibirsky, deputy head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s department for regional development, said that the signing was further confirmation of the two sides’ fruitful cooperation. He said similar agreements are expected to be signed in the near future with Academpark in Novosibirsk, the Chelyabinsk IT park and Lenpoligraphmash in St. Petersburg.

Skomorokhov said that Skolkovo’s expert assessments of projects would enable companies to get confirmation of the quality of their technologies, products and staff, ensuring their competitiveness both within Russia and on international markets.