Skolkovo in pictures: 2016


At the beginning of June, Skolkovo hosted its annual Startup Village, the biggest international tech conference in Eastern Europe. Thousands of investors, entrepreneurs and scientists from around the world attended the outdoor event, along with Russian government officials and foreign diplomats.

One of the highlights of the Open Innovations forum was the entertaining presentation of the latest version of Skolkovo resident Promobot’s friendly robots. After Zhenya, a flirty female robot, was unveiled, orders for 35 robots were received within the first half-hour.

In October, the giant Skolkovo Technopark opened its doors for the very first time in order to host the Open Innovations forum. “I’d really like this building to become an innovations Mecca on Moscow’s innovations map,” Skolkovo president Victor Vekselberg told those gathered at the Technopark. “We’ve done the easy part: constructing the building. Now we need to imbue it with the true spirit of innovation – and only you can do that.”

During the course of the year, the state-of-the-art campus being built for Skoltech really began to take shape. The round building, designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winners Herzog & de Meuron, will have a diameter of 280 metres and be two-three storeys high. It consists of rectangular blocks encircled by two intersecting inner rings and one outer ring.

In August, science met music at the Skolkovo innovation city when it hosted its first Skolkovo Jazz festival. The programme featured performances by international jazz musicians, complemented by original science talks and experiments taking place around the outdoor event. Five thousand people came to the festival, which was later named the best jazz event of the year by Radio Jazz.

On Sept. 1, the Skolkovo International Gymnasium opened its doors to pupils from its new – albeit temporary – premises on the territory of the innovation city (the brand new purpose-built school is still under construction) with a new head teacher and a total of 130 pupils. The occasion was marked with a celebration for pupils, teachers and parents.

In September, Moscow hosted the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) conference for the first time, and Skolkovo was one of the hosts and co-organisers. The conference attracted a record number of more than 1,500 attendees from nearly 70 countries. The new president of IASP praised the Russian capital’s technoparks and said the city could become a gold standard of innovation for other capitals around the world.

In June, U.S. aviation giant Boeing opened a state-of-the-art training and research centre at Skolkovo. It’s the first one out of more than 10 training centres around the world where research activity will be carried out as the same time as commercial pilots are trained. The new centre will use big data technology gained from flight simulators to analyse all possible situations in the cockpit and allow the company to further reduce the risk of human error during flights.

Fifty-five years after Yury Gagarin became the first man in space on April 12, 1961, a monument to the Soviet cosmonaut was unveiled at Skolkovo, between the Boeing research centre and the Renova Lab building that is still under construction. The ceremony was attended by cosmonaut Yelena Serova, who returned from a six-month stay in space last March. Next to the new monument is a re-entry capsule from a spacecraft, presented to Skolkovo by United Rocket and Space Corporation in recognition of the cooperation between the two organisations.

Just in time for Christmas, Skolkovo resident ExoAtlet delivered its first bulk delivery of medical rehabilitation exoskeletons to a Moscow clinic, having gone from individual sales to mass orders in the space of just a few months. And a few weeks before that, the company won the RBC media group’s award for Breakthrough of the Year for its life-changing exoskeletons, which help disabled people to walk again.