This year’s Startup Village, the Skolkovo innovation city’s annual two-day open-air conference for tech entrepreneurs and investors, is being held in partnership with Japan.

Japan is the partner of the Startup Village in 2018, designated the year of Japan in Russia and vice versa. Photo:

As the official partner of the Startup Village, which will take place at Skolkovo on May 31 and June 1, Japan will have its own pavilion at the event, hosting a programme devoted to cooperation in tech between the two countries. Japanese companies – from small tech businesses to large corporations – will be out in force at the Startup Village, representing a range of industries from industrial processing to the service sector, and Skolkovo will welcome an official delegation from Japan that will include the Japanese ambassador to Russia. Within the conference’s agenda, Russian companies and specialists with experience of doing business in Japan will take part in seminars.

In Russia and Japan, 2018 has been designated the year of Russia in Japan and vice versa, and the Startup Village’s organizer said she was delighted that the conference had become part of the official programme of the year of Japan in Russia.

“For many years, Japan has been closely associated by people around the world with technology and innovations, so we’re particularly pleased to see Japan as the country-partner of our conference,” said Ekaterina Inozemtseva, general director of Skolkovo Forum, the organizer of the Startup Village, which is attended by up to 20,000 tech entrepreneurs, venture investors and industry companies.

The Skolkovo Foundation signed a cooperation agreement with Shimadzu Corporation in 2013. Photo:

“I’m sure that the opportunity for Russian startups to meet with leading tech companies from the land of the rising sun will boost the development of their projects and spur them on to new innovative ideas and solutions,” she added.

The partnership is aimed at expanding cooperation between the two countries’ innovations ecosystems. The Skolkovo Foundation has for a long time enjoyed close cooperation with Japanese tech companies. In 2015, it entered into an industrial partnership cooperation agreement with the Russian office of Japan’s FANUC corporation. This developed into an agreement with the corporation’s head office signed in December 2016 during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. FANUC is building its own engineering and R&D centre inside the Skolkovo innovation city.

Skolkovo also has agreements with Panasonic, which also has an office at Skolkovo and has carried out work together with Skolkovo resident startup RAIDIX on data storage systems. The foundation also has agreements with the prestigious RIKEN research institute and Mie University.

Other Skolkovo startups that have found success on the Japanese market include Eidos Medicine, a resident startup of the Skolkovo Foundation’s biomed cluster, which has sold its surgery simulators for training doctors and medical students to Japan’s Juntendo university. VisionLabs, a resident startup of Skolkovo’s IT cluster that makes face recognition technology, announced last year that it would work together with Panasonic Corporation, after the startup was selected by the electronics giant to take part in the New Technology Japan Trip. And ExoAtlet, another Skolkovo IT startup that makes rehabilitative exoskeletons that help disabled people to walk again, announced in November that it was setting up a joint venture in Japan together with the startup’s South Korean partners.