Skolkovo Fund, Roscosmos to Cooperate on Space Tech

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Roscosmos and the Skolkovo Fund will work together on developing advanced space and telecommunications technologies as part of the space agency’s long-range development plan that extends out to 2030 and beyond, Russian media report.

Under the partnership, the two organizations will define priorities for the development of innovative space technologies. Skolkovo will also work to bring together Roscosmos with other organizations and companies on programs of mutual interest.

Skolkovo is an effort by Russia to develop its own version of Silicon Valley outside of Moscow. The plans include building a very large technology city where Russian government agencies, businesses and foreign partners will work togeth to innovate and develop advanced technologies. Skolkovo is being spearheaded by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was inspired after a visit to Silicon Valley in California.

Skolkovo has five clusters, including one that focuses on space and telecommunications technologies. Signing agreements with the new tech city is probably a requirement for Russia’s major space companies and organizations. Skolkovo already has agreements with Energia, Energomash and other companies.

A number of multi-national companies have signed up to cooperate with Skolkovo, including SAP, Cisco and IBM. The Virgin Group is to work with Skolkovo on commercial space activities.

The  president of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SkTech) is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Edward Crawley. The prominent Russian speaking space expert has been charged with turning SkTech into a Western-style university that will combine theoretical and applied research with a focus on commercialization.