Skolkovo resident SEMAT has secured 50 million rubles in investment from Russian-Czech company MTE Group to research electrical discharge machining, a deal signed at Startup Village.

Karavaev and Volkov, in light suits, during the signing. Photo:

EDM is typically used to produce prototypes for the aerospace, car and electronics industries, as well as to die coinage and jewelry. It is also used to make production parts where the materials involved are particularly hard.

SEMAT researches and builds EDM machines of various types. The investment group, MTE, also has a machine-tool building arm called MTE Kovosit, and the deal foresees MTE “becoming a participant and partner” in SEMAT, it said in a release.

SEMAT general director Pavel Belikov said the deal effectively means MTE is “taking SEMAT under its wing.”

The money will help SEMAT continue its research into “creating a new type of special electrochemical EDM machine,” he said

In EDM, a white-hot spark is created to cut through electrically conductive material, with non-conducting water flushing away the metallic dust. Chemically, the process is erosion on a tiny scale, allow for very fine and intricate cutting.

SEMAT has been a resident of the Skolkovo nuclear cluster since December. The cluster helped create the legal entity and the Skolkovo Investment Service provided document support for the investment deal struck at Startup Village, said Belikov.


At the signing ceremony this week, Igor Karavaev, the executive director of the nuclear cluster, said Skolkovo plans to award a grant to SEMAT to give the project additional impetus.

MTE general director Denis Volkov, meanwhile, noted that SEMAT had much promise. “This potential for development is always found in people and in teams,” he said.

The deal was one of more than a dozen signed at Startup Village, Russia and Eastern Europe’s biggest startup conference, held at the Skolkovo Innovation Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On day one alone, more than $272 million worth of deals were announced.