Exploring the possibility of building a Skolkovo-style tech park in Cuba, a government delegation from the island visited Moscow this week seeking to create the optimal engine of innovation.
The Cuban delegation. Photo: sk.ru
It was the third Cuban delegation to travel to Skolkovo since March, when Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart called in upon Skolkovo president Victor Vekselberg to strengthen technology ties between the two countries.
This week, Zarays Guiterrez, the head of the Cuban science ministry’s legal department, and her team were taken on a tour of the Skolkovo Technopark.
“The idea and aim of the trip here is to study this example (of Skolkovo) to create an analogous project in Cuba,” Gutierrez told sk.ru.
“All of our meetings at Skolkovo have been very informative – we can already consider the visit to have been a success,” she said.
In June, following the Startup Village, Cuba’s science minister Elba Roza Perez Montoya said her country needed to capitalize upon its intellectual potential.
“In Cuba at the moment there is no single technological center, or tech park, but we have centers of competence in various high-tech spheres,” she said.
Gutierrez, left, on the tour of the Skolkovo Technopark. Photo: sk.ru
“For instance, in the IT sector we have the University of Information Technology attended by 10,000 students. Cuba also has research centers involved in nanotechnology. Each one of these centers could be viewed as a technology park, but they aren’t really like that. Moreover, the theme of commercialization in these centers is insufficiently developed,” she added.
The commercialization process is Skolkovo’s main function – helping get ideas off drawing boards and onto shelves.
Russia and Cuba were close allies during the Cold War – as exemplified by Diaz-Balart, Fidel Castro’s first son who studied at the Kurchatov nuclear research institute within Moscow State University – and remain friendly international partners.
Skolkovo is currently considering admitting two projects from Cuba’s Institute of Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology into the ecosystem, Kaem said.
Last September, Skolkovo signed a partnership agreement with the Herber Biotech firm to trial an anti-cancer vaccine in Russia with the support of the domestic pharmaceutical industry.