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The Skolkovo Foundation signed two agreements on Thursday aimed at providing the authorities responsible for Russia’s roads with hi-tech solutions designed by the foundation’s resident startups.
Victor Vekselberg (left) and Roman Starovoit shake hands on the agreement between Skolkovo and Rosavtodor. Photo: Sk.ru.
The first agreement was signed by Skolkovo Foundation president Victor Vekselberg and Roman Starovoit, head of the Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor). The agency is responsible for the management and monitoring of Russia’s roads and transport safety.
“The Federal Road Agency is a young, progressive team and there's no technology that we wouldn’t use,” said Starovoit at the signing ceremony at Skolkovo’s Technopark.
“Given the resources concentrated at the Skolkovo innovation centre — whose residents are ever growing — it’s really interesting and important for us to be in the same space as those generating these progressive ideas,” he said, adding that his agency was counting on close cooperation both in terms of project management and in the use of innovative materials and technologies.
Vekselberg said the foundation was glad to welcome Rosavtodor as a partner with practical knowledge of market demands.
“There are certainly interesting ideas and inventions inside the Skolkovo project; as to whether we implement them, that depends above all on the level of interest and demand,” he said.
“Rosavtodor is one of the country's main clients and consumers of composite materials, in which the teams of our cluster specialise,” said Alexei Belyakov, head of Skolkovo’s space technologies cluster.
“In addition, there is great potential for cooperation regarding the monitoring of the condition of roads using unmanned aerial devices and satellites. Under the agreement signed today , Rosavtodor will become a user of Skolkovo innovations, and we have plenty to offer the agency,” he told sk.ru.
Later on Tuesday, Vekselberg signed a second cooperation agreement with Russian Highways (Avtodor), the state company responsible for building, developing and operating Russia’s vast network of motorways and highways.
At the signing ceremony, which took place at the start of a meeting between Vekselberg and many of the foundation’s startups, Vekselberg said he hoped that Avtodor would become a client of some of the foundation’s resident companies.
“They [Avtodor] know what they want, and it coincides with our ideas — and best of all, they have money,” he joked.
Sergei Kelbakh, chairman of the board of Russian Highways, said the company was always on the lookout for new technology.
“Skolkovo is the place where we can find the most innovative solutions of tomorrow,” he said. “This [the cooperation agreement] is only the start.”