The Skolkovo Foundation has teamed up with the Russian Export Centre, a state body that helps Russian companies enter foreign markets, to set up a Russian innovations hub in Dubai.

The hub is planned to be located in the national innovations and industrial zone of Dubai, where tax and customs benefits are in place, along with reduced social payments for employees, a large network of technology partners, training courses, and other services and discounts likely to be in demand among Russian companies.

Dubai has positioned itself as an international leader in the adoption of innovative technology. Photo: Pixabay.

Seven Russian hi-tech companies working in areas including infrastructure security, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, 3D modelling and automated industry have already committed to having a permanent presence at the hub.  

“The aim of the hub in the first six months after it opens will be to agree new contracts worth 10 times more than the initial costs of its creation,” said Pyotr Fradkov, head of the Russian Export Centre, who signed the agreement on creating the hub together with Konstantin Parshin, head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster.

During the following two years, the goal will be to increase the number of residents to 20 companies, and the total volume of annual contracts up to $30 million, added Fradkov.

“Together with our partner, the Russian Export Centre, we are delighted to offer Skolkovo resident companies new and highly sought-after export support services,” said Parshin.

“It’s especially important that this support can be provided to relatively small and young companies that have competitive technologies.”

With its futuristic landscape of record-breaking skyscrapers, Dubai has positioned itself as an international leader in the adoption of innovative technology, having pledged to introduce a flying taxi service by 2020.

At the annual GITEX consumer computer and electronics trade show held in the Persian Gulf city this year, Skolkovo resident Hoversurf, the maker of a flying motorbike, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai police, who are reportedly interested in the flying vehicle’s potential use in emergency situations. The Russian company also received an invitation to start mass production of its hoverbikes in the region with support from the local authorities.  

Skolkovo startups are regular participants in GITEX Technology Week, which attracts visitors from about 100 countries.