Russian Silicon Valley: Russia creates new high-tech development zone

November 23, 2010

Seeking to create its own version of Silicon Valley, the Russian government is building a new "technology incubator" zone.  In September 2010, President Dmitri Medvedev signed a new law to establish the Skolkovo Innovation Center, located 20 kilometers west of Moscow.  It will provide incentives for private companies to engage in research and development and commercial application of new technologies, focusing on information technology (IT), space research, nuclear energy, environmental protection and energy-saving. 

A special commission will consider applications for participation; over 40 companies have already submitted proposals.  The Russian authorities also plan to provide top-notch infrastructure and facilities, andthey have already allocated over $133 million to the project.

Under the new legislation, companies accepted as "members" of the Center will be entitled to a variety of special privileges, including a 10-year holiday from income, value-added, and property taxes; reimbursement of customs duties for certain imported equipment; and rights to operate under streamlined accounting and technical regulations.  There are even plans for a new court to be located in the Center that will handle intellectual property disputes, with the goal of reducing IP infringement.  From: Russian Law News.

                                                                                                                       ----- Barbara Olszowa


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