MOSCOW — Nov. 1, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Skolkovo Fund announcing a wide-ranging series of collaborative initiatives that will underpin the Russian Federation’s technology innovation agenda.
The MOU signaling the beginning of a collaboration was signed by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and president of the Skolkovo Fund Viktor Vekselberg. In accordance with the signed agreements Microsoft is planning to develop the following five areas at Skolkovo:
1. Establishment of a software development center at Skolkovo that will aim to create elements of Technical Computing, a new initiative delivering solutions for large-scale scientific, engineering, and engineering data analysis and simulation, and Microsoft Business Solutions. Russian software developing companies may be involved as subcontractors for certain development projects. It is envisioned that solutions created at this center will be used not only in Russia, but all over the world.
2. Collaborative research projects cooperation with Russian and foreign universities and scientific research institutions in a number of promising areas. In addition, joint international research events and workshops are also planned, which will attract leading world-class presenters in both IT and high-tech and related domains.
3. Extended Russian innovative startup assistance program that will support startups at early stages of their development, while engaging market players in project investments and providing technological review for such projects. Microsoft is also planning to provide financial support for implementation of the most promising ideas at their early stages, with the selection of candidates conducted by an expert committee consisting of the heads of the Microsoft office in Russia and representatives of Russian Seed Investment Funds.
The Microsoft BizSpark program, which has already provided more than 1,500 startups with a technology platform and tools, will also be extended. According to the plan, Microsoft will establish favorable terms for accessing Microsoft’s cloud services for certain software startup companies residing at Skolkovo.
4. Establishment of a technology center to provide collaborative access to IT technologies in Skolkovo. Based on the successfully operating technology center that was opened in Moscow a year ago (and which was the first in Central and Eastern Europe), this center will give companies working in Skolkovo a unique opportunity to test and adapt their solutions on corporate-scale IT infrastructure.
5. Support of the creation of the technological university at Skolkovo. Students and professors will be taught state-of-the-art technologies with close support from Microsoft. Students will also be able to learn at specialized Microsoft schools and do internships in the major research centers, including Microsoft Research in Cambridge and Redmond.
“We are pleased to welcome such an important IT player as Microsoft as a member of the Skolkovo project,” Vekselberg stated. “The huge experience of this corporation, both in creation of cutting-edge IT products and solutions and in the organization and support of research, and its expertise and ability to create an innovative ecosystem, will be very useful for developing Skolkovo.”
“Microsoft is committed to continuing investments that foster local IT industry development and expand growth opportunities in Russia,” Ballmer emphasized. “We are proud to be participating in the Skolkovo project, which represents an important step toward increasing technology innovation and modernizing Russia’s economy.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Microsoft develops and manufactures a wide range of software products. These include desktop and network operating systems, server applications for client/server environments, desktop business and office applications, interactive programs and games, and Internet and development tools. In addition, Microsoft offers online services, publishes books on computer science, manufactures peripherals for computers, and deals with research and development of new computer technologies. Microsoft products are sold in more than 80 countries around the world, are translated into more than 45 languages (including Russian), and are compatible with most PC platforms.
In November 1992, Microsoft opened its office in Russia (since July 2004 — Microsoft Rus OOO), which is engaged in software promotion, partner network development, product introduction, state-of-the-art solution localization and IT market development in Russia.
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