The Skolkovo Foundation has won the right to host next year’s Asian Science Park Association (ASPA) conference in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.

The decision to hold next year’s event at the brand new campus of the Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island was made on Thursday by ASPA’s board of directors in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh, where this year’s conference is taking place.

The ASPA conference will be held on Russky Island, accessed via the world's longest cable-stayed bridge. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“The Skolkovo Foundation’s victory in the competition for hosting the next ASPA conference in 2018 is entirely logical,” said Alexander Chernov, the foundation’s senior vice president, who was present in Ho Chi Minh for the announcement.   

“Skolkovo has just hosted the Open Innovations forum, which was a huge success, and was attended by more than 18,000 people from 98 countries. We have shown once again that we know how to host international events at the highest level,” he said, adding that all the members of ASPA’s board of directors, who represent Japan, South Korea, Iran, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia and India, had voted unanimously in favour of Skolkovo’s bid. 

Skolkovo Foundation senior vice president Alexander Chernov. Photo:

ASPA is an international nongovernmental organisation that was set up in Japan in 1997 with the aim of facilitating joint development in scientific technology, industry and economy across Asia. It comprises 519 technoparks from 36 countries, including 18 from Russia. Its annual conference is attended by innovative organisations including science and technology parks, business incubation centres, universities and venture companies.

Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok is located on the Sea of Japan, close to Russia’s border with China and across the sea from Japan. The Russian federal government has made concerted efforts to develop the Far East region in recent years, launching a ministry specifically for that purpose. The Far Eastern Federal University campus that will host the ASPA conference was built for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that Russia hosted in 2012, when the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge over to Russky Island was also built.

The Skolkovo Foundation opened an office in Vladivostok in 2015, and now has nearly 40 resident startups in the Far East. Last month, Skolkovo Foundation president Victor Vekselberg opened a brand new technopark on Russky Island that offers local startups the same key services available to residents of the main Skolkovo Technopark in Moscow.

The opening of the technopark was part of an official plan approved by the Russian government in May to develop Russky Island as a science and education cluster that will become a platform for Russia’s integration into the Asia-Pacific region.