On August 12, a press conference covering the launch of the Skolkovo Foundation’s first environmental program, GreenTech Startup Booster, took place. The project was organized with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector of the Russian Federation jointly with Russian and international companies that are environmentally oriented.

The goal of the GreenTech Startup Booster environmental program, which is unique to Russia, is to implement “green” technologies in key industrial sectors, to support startups and companies in the mature development stage that are working in the environmental sphere, and to unite business, science and the State in solving environmental problems. Most importantly, however, it aims to implement the global model of sustainable development. The GreenTech Startup Booster selection process will go on until December 2020 and applications will be accepted until 3 October. Following that, pilot implementations are planned for the best projects through to March 2020.

Partners will provide support in the international arena; these include WIPO Green, Climate-KIC, the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). From the Russian side, the project will be supported by National Priorities, the Moscow Agency of Innovations, MSP Bank, Green Patrol, Business Russia, the Moscow Innovation Cluster, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the Innovation Promotion Foundation, the Russian Carbon Fund, the Russian Environmental Society, and other organizations that are interested in developing environmental technologies in Russia. The program is intended for companies with ready products, whether prototypes or products that are already in production. The solutions are aimed at tackling the main industrial challenges in environmental and sustainable development areas both for current and long-term development (carbon footprint reduction, greenhouse gas emissions, improving the efficiency of water and air treatment facilities, waste disposal, and so on).

The chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, Arkady Dvorkovich, focused attention on the global environmental problem and its significance in the context of sustainable development, but also the economic aspects of implementing “clean” technologies.

Arkady Dvorkovich, chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation. Screenshot: Sk.ru.

“The environmental agenda is one of the Innovation Center’s priorities,” said Mr. Dvorkovich. “Over 300 of our residents are already implementing projects in this area. Many of them are working in a competitive market and their overall turnover in 2019 was nearly 7 billion rubles. The time has come today to support not only individual companies, but to put a full-fledged project into practice with business partners. The search for modern high-tech solutions in this socially significant and relevant area is no easy task. Its fulfilment is also impossible without the participation of leading Russian universities and the largest domestic and multinational corporations. I am sure that together we will successfully implement the most ambitious plans in the field of ecology.”

The vice president of the Skolkovo Foundation and executive director of the Skolkovo Energy Efficiency Technologies Cluster, Oleg Dubnov, outlined that the accelerator is divided into the following six blocks: reducing negative impacts on water, earth and air, clean energy, monitoring the surrounding environment, and human and environmental health.

Oleg Dubnov, vice president of the Skolkovo Foundation and executive director of the Skolkovo Energy Efficiency Technologies Cluster. Screenshot: Sk.ru.

“We aim to bring together startups that have projects that will, at the very least, be at the pilot stage within a year,” said Mr. Dubnov. “Preference is given to legal entities in order to speed up the implementation process of a technology. Applications are being accepted from Russian and international companies. Over 500 applications are expected and 50 projects will be selected in November; of these, industrial partners will select the top 20 for pilot projects during the final stage in December. Right now, two ministries are supporting us. We hope that other state entities will join them.”

The industrial partners of the GreenTech Startup Booster will be able to conduct pilot testing and implementation for the program finalists at their own locations independently or with the support of the Skolkovo Foundation. The finalists will also be able to become Skolkovo residents with the possibility of receiving a five million ruble grant for the implementation of a pilot project.

The industrial partners that have confirmed their participation in the program include Sibur, NLMK, Helyx, Severstal, Tatneft, Gazprom Neft, TMK as well as ENEL, EDF, and TOTAL, which are foreign leaders in the ecological agenda. Leading Russian universities such as D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, the National University of Science and Technology, the National University of Oil and Gas “Gubkin University,” Lipetsk State Technical University, the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, and the Ufa State Petroleum Technological University will participate as academic partners.


GreenTech Startup Booster website: https://greentech.sk.ru/