What Is Skolkovo

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  • What is Skolkovo? Russian initiatives to support national innovation ecosystem Ilya Ponomarev , Chairman, Hi-tech Development Subcommittee, State Duma Advisor for commercialization , Skolkovo Foundation 30 / 11 /2010
  • Presidents call for modernization
    • Medvedevs 4i initiative
      • Infrastructure
      • Institutes
      • Investment
      • Innovation
    • Presidential address to the parliament in 2009 was focused on innovation
      • Most fashionable discussion topic
    • Pres. Obama reset policy assumes that US and Russia are building common values
      • Creating a compatible innovation ecosystem is a perfect example
  • Myth #1. Russias ecosystem lacks finance
    • Government created numerous financial institutions
      • Equity financing
        • Rusnano $10b investment company
        • Russian Venture Corp $1b fund of funds
        • Rosinfocominvest $150m PE fund
        • Bortnik Fund seed and pre-seed grants
      • Debt financing
        • Vnesheconombank
      • Infrastructure support
        • Hi-tech parks
        • Special economic zones
        • Skolkovo Foundation as an entry point
    • Many large businessmen are thinking about investing in hi-tech
    • Some VCs are formed, many with foreign capital
  • Real problem with finance
    • No exits within the country
    • Lack of internal demand
      • Foreign technologies usually preferred over Russian
      • Government is absent
    • Deficit of physical infrastructure
      • Inexpensive offices
      • Business services
      • Quality housing
    • No experienced investors
  • Myth #2. All is needed is some legislation changes
    • Russias legislation made a significant progress during recent decade
      • Corporate law
      • Securities law
      • IP regulation is copied from German IP law
      • Tech transfer law (similar to Bayh-Dole Act)
    • Skolkovo Law unveils possibility to solve many issues manually
      • Taxation
      • Immigration
      • Construction permits
  • Real problem with legislation
    • Law enforcement
    • Some Russian laws are incompatible with usual approach legal acts:
      • VC regulations to be fixed soon
        • No LLP form
        • VC funds in Russia are regulated as mutual funds
      • Corporate legislation options, stock series
      • Technology transfer act bureaucratic
    • In some Acts bad wording leaves room for unfavorable misinterpretation
      • Software VAT exemption act
      • Privacy protection act
    • Main points of immediate attention
      • State procurement act
      • Internet crime liability definition
      • Bankruptcy regulations
      • e-Payment systems
      • Miscellaneous industry-specific acts ( telecom , advertisement , mass-media , )
  • Myth #3. Russias R&D is full of projects
    • Huge Soviet legacy of technological ideas
      • Primarily in places like Novosibirsk Akademgorodok
    • No practical knowledge of handling IP rights
    • High desire to get involved in commercial activities, but
      • No experience
      • Unadequate self valuation
      • No desire to follow the market and find niches
  • Main problem of Russias innovation ecosystem human resources
    • No entrepreneurs, even less experienced serial entrepreneurs
      • High entrepreneurial potential of Russians is focused on avoiding govt regulations
      • Russians are willingly taking economic risks, but current institutions punish such behavior
    • Lack of international business experience and proper connections
      • No success stories to follow
      • Language barrier
    • Education reform is controversial
      • Education, research and industry are disconnected
      • Heavy impact of brain drain
      • Demographic crisis of 1990s starts to hit
      • No adequate business schools, professors with first-hand experience
    • Negative legacy
      • Decreased level of peoples geographical mobility
      • Excessive concentration of business activity in Moscow, colonial policies towards other regions
      • Housing and utilities deterioration
  • Objectives of Skolkovo
    • To develop Russian innovation ecosystem by creating a universal entry point to
      • Globalize Russian businesses
      • Localize international businesses to start R&D and hi-tech manufacturing
    • Create in Russia new companies and/or their divisions, to develop new hi-tech services and products
    • Attract foreign specialists and support local talents in hi-tech
  • Key principles
    • Project is managed by a non-for-profit Skolkovo Foundation, governed by a special law
    • Project participants receive set of business services as well as certain incentives for companies with revenues up to 3 bln. Rbl.:
      • 0% profit tax
      • 0% VAT (optional)
      • 0% property tax
      • 14% social payments
      • 0% custom duties
    • Each structure unit of Skolkovo is an independent business with its own P&L
      • Each department is supposed to grow into self-sustainable operation
      • Each service is to be provided on competitive basis
    • Business model is developed as a private-public partnership, but assumes separation of public and private funds
      • After a while Skolkovo Foundation should become independent of state funding
      • /
    • ( .. )
      • ,
  • , :
  • On-site project components
    • Office premises
    • Labs and small-scale manufacturing
    • Residential space
    • Shared facilities and services:
      • Prototyping centers
      • Financial services
      • Business incubators
      • Customs
      • IP support
      • Security
    • New technology university (Russian MIT)
    • Social and recreation space
      • Cafes and restaurants
      • Medical care
      • Schools and kindergartens
      • Entertainment
  • Admission
    • By decision of Skolkovo Foundation Board, based on simple and transparent Admission Policy
      • By recommendation of accredited partners (funds, hi-tech parks, business incubators, etc.)
    • Different types of residents with different set of incentives:
      • Intl. hi-tech companies (?)
      • R&D centers of Russian/intl. low-tech companies
      • Mature Russian hi-tech companies ( ?)
      • Hi-tech startups
    • Different types of partners ( ? ) :