Tekes and the Skolkovo Foundation concluded a cooperation agreement

On the 25th of June at a meeting of Mr Putin, the Russian president, and Mr Niinistö, President of Finland, a cooperation agreement between Tekes and the Skolkovo Foundation was signed at the Finnish President's summer residence in Kultaranta. The signatories of the agreement were Mr Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes, and Mr Victor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation. Skolkovo is a special economic zone outside Moscow that promotes research and Russian growth enterprising under the protection of the Russian government.

The agreement between Tekes and the Skolkovo Foundation will create openings for closer and more interactive cooperation between Finnish and Russian actors. New opportunities for networking and cooperation will be on offer for the clients of both agencies, and a funding programme for joint projects will be launched.

Russia is interesting for growth enterprises

”Tekes will aim to encourage Finnish companies to work with businesses located in Skolkovo. One of our goals is to provide more information and thus enhance capacities for understanding the operating logic of the local business environments. Our shared goal will also be interesting other international actors and funders in the projects“, says Pekka Soini.

A funding programme for Finnish-Russian projects will be set up to promote cooperation. The first step will be defining shared principles for funding projects as well as the themes and dates of the first application round based on plans of intent.  While both parties will fund companies in their own countries based on their own definitions, decisions on projects to be funded will be made jointly.

”When we encourage Tekes clients to work together with entrepreneurs in the Russian organisation’s ecosystem, our primary goal will be to achieve new or expanded business activities in Russia or with a Russian company in Finland”, Soini explains.

The Skolkovo ecosystem 

The Skolkovo ecosystem has more than 900 registered members, mainly start-ups, that have received tax breaks or funding and other services. More than 50 venture capitalists who have pledged USD 350 million of investments to the ecosystem are on board. Almost one half of this sum has already been invested. Investments raked in by Skolkovo have boosted Russia to the fourth place in Europe in statistics measuring investment intensity. Capital investments in Russia in general have increased ten-fold in the last seven years.

The greatest challenge companies face is associated with business competence. Some entrepreneurs have already received significant funding, which should be used to develop the companies’ business and to gain international connections and skills.

Skolkovo is clearly oriented towards international cooperation. A number of major international companies are already located there. In June, for example, Siemens opened a scientific research laboratory in the zone. Cooperation contracts have already been concluded with the Finnish companies Teknopark Ural, Yrityssalo and Start Up Sauna. Another Finnish actor with a unit in Skolkovo is Spinverse. Aalto University has also had talks about hosting an expert from Skolkovo at Aalto.
 
Further information

Director General Pekka Soini, tel. +358 2 950 55700, pekka.soini(at)tekes.fi
Virpi Herranen, Tekes Russia, tel. +7 92 1942 1216, virpi.herranen(at)tekes.fi

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