Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hailed the development of the Skolkovo innovation centre that he founded six years ago as president at a meeting of its board of trustees on Wednesday.

“Overall, the project is developing quite successfully, it’s beginning to have a significant effect on science, innovation and the economy,” Medvedev told fellow board trustees, including Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Russian Academy of Sciences president Vladimir Fortov, at the meeting at Medvedev’s state residence, Gorki, in the Moscow region.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev chairing the Skolkovo Foundation board of trustees meeting at Gorki on Wednesday. Photo:

Medvedev founded the Skolkovo Foundation in 2010, when he was president of Russia, with the aim of diversifying the country’s economy away from energy exports and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and venture capitalism. He makes regular visits to the innovation centre and is a member of the board of trustees.

“Today Skolkovo consists of almost 1,600 innovative companies,” Medvedev told the board on Wednesday.

“More than 100 of them are already involved in international deals, and have entered international markets. More than 21,000 high-tech jobs have been created via the project, and the company’s revenue in the last year was 40 billion rubles ($657 million). The foundation plays an active role in implementing national technology initiatives, and works to develop products and solutions in demand among major Russia and international companies,” said the prime minister.

More than 100 billion rubles in investment in the innovation city came from budget funds, with almost the same amount - 92 billion rubles - invested by businesses, said Medvedev.

The result is “a small city,” he said, referring to the building of the Skolkovo innovation centre outside Moscow.

“The biggest technopark in our region has opened. The building of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology [Skoltech] is being built, along with research labs for the foundation’s partners.”

Medvedev noted that the Moscow International Medical Cluster is also being built at Skolkovo, partially funded by the Moscow government.

While work on most of the infrastructure of the innovation city is well under way, more accommodation is needed for its scientists and entrepreneurs, he said.

“The [construction] plan includes a range of housing solutions designed to suit both budding entrepreneurs and Skoltech professors, and everyone else whose work is connected in any way to the foundation,” said Medvedev.

The first residents of Skolkovo’s brand new accommodation are due to move into the innovation city early next year.

Other members of the Skolkovo board of trustees include Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, and Ivan Bortnik, creator of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology.