Russia is aiming to become a leading country in the innovation field, and is looking for partners in Italy. At the Foreign Ministry today, 14 July 2011, the Skolkovo Foundation – a research initiative strongly backed by the Russian Government – is giving a presentation to Italian companies and universities on opportunities for research and innovation partnerships in the energy, information technology, biomedical and nanotechnology fields. Similar events have taken place in France, Israel, Austria and Belgium.
The event was opened by Secretary of State Vincenzo Scotti, who underscored that Skolkovo is “an instrument of Russia’s modernisation policy. Its goal is to attract and work with” foreign companies. In Italy, he added, “Skolkovo does not yet have a presence but today we’re noting our companies’ interest”.
A number of initiatives have already been established by the Russian group, with companies such as Siemens, Cisco, Boeing, Microsoft, Nokia and Alstom and in scientific and academic spheres such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. Now it’s Italy’s turn. The President of the Skolkovo Foundation, Viktor Vekselberg, explained that contacts have already been made with Italian companies and “we’ll soon be in a position to draw up agreements”.
The Foundation’s foreign partners must be specialised in scientific research and the design, elaboration and commercialisation of innovative projects. They have access to considerable tax incentives, starting with exemption from taxes on profits, VAT, and import-export taxes.