Skolkovo is playing a key role in redressing Russia’s import-export imbalance when it comes to innovations, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaking in Novocheboksarsk this week. Photo: government,ru

Speaking ahead of a meeting of his modernization commission this week in the central city of Novocheboksarsk, Medvedev called “our big problem” the fact that Russia imports 11 times more intellectual property than it supplies to foreign markets, as revealed by global patent-application statistics.

“Nevertheless, there are separate successful projects … Rosatom has significantly increased the flow of [domestic IP] license contracts,” Medvedev said, referring to the state nuclear agency.

“And at the Skolkovo Foundation they’ve formed an Intellectual Property Center, through which last year more than 5 percent of all Russian-derived international patent applications were served,” he said. The comments were posted to the website. That statistic was reported by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Medvedev said.

More than 300 of Skolkovo’s 1,000-plus residents are clients of the in-house Intellectual Property Center. They filed 56 international patents through the IP Center in 2014, and the center saw through deals worth an aggregate 1.5 billion rubles. In some sectors, Skolkovo accounts for up to a quarter of the total number of patent applications out of Russia.

The Skolkovo IP Center offers the complete range of services for startups to register their intellectual property at home and abroad, including legal support. It is open to companies outside the Skolkovo ecosystem, though residents qualify for discounts.

Medvedev also had praise for the Fund for Developing Small High-Technology Enterprises’ role in supporting domestic innovations, but criticized other, unnamed institutions for failing to “play a more active role, which is so far, to be honest, not particularly visible.”

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Russia is as high as seventh in the world by number of domestic patent applications filed, but much lower when it comes to international patents, Medvedev said.

“Seventh place is pretty decent – this means the creative process is being felt, but at the same time, the amount of international applications filed within the framework of the agreement on patent cooperation, our country occupies just 25th place. This is a pretty meek result,” he said.

Medvedev signed a decree on the creation of the Skolkovo Foundation when he was president in 2010. He currently chairs the board of trustees.