The Lenpolygraphmash technopark in St. Petersburg was awarded the status of a regional Skolkovo operator at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Thursday.
Skolkovo Foundation president Victor Vekselberg (right) hands St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko a plaque to mark the city's Lenpolygraphmash technopark becoming a regional Skolkovo operator. Photo: Sk.ru.
Skolkovo regional operator status gives innovation hubs in Russia’s regions the right to offer local tech entrepreneurs the same support and services as those offered by the Skolkovo Technopark, enabling startups to develop their projects without having to relocate to Moscow.
Skolkovo Foundation president Victor Vekselberg gave St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko a plaque to mark the occasion, and invited the governor to attend the Startup Village conference for startups and investors that will take place at Skolkovo on May 31-June 1.
“The dream of a big Skolkovo, of the distribution of ideas and experience that have been accumulated during the realization of the Skolkovo project, has begun to spread actively across all of Russia,” said Vekselberg.
“St. Petersburg is of course a natural addition to the project’s development on a nationwide scale,” he said.
Poltavchenko welcomed the initiative, saying that St. Petersburg has great potential in the area of science and innovations.
“Last year we took first place in the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia rating,” he said at the forum.
“It’s not surprising, therefore, that one of the first recipients of the prestigious status of a Skolkovo Foundation regional operator is one of our renowned enterprises, Lenpolygraphmash,” said Poltavchenko, adding that the city was prepared to develop its cooperation with Skolkovo in every way possible.
The Lenpolygraphmash technopark houses about 100 innovative companies and related infrastructure, including 10 shared resource centres. Last year, the resident companies saw combined revenues of 5.5 billion rubles ($90 million).
The status will assist the St. Petersburg technopark’s resident companies in raising investment and patenting their inventions, as well as enabling them to take part in acceleration programmes and events run by the Skolkovo Foundation.
About 40 residents of the Lenpolygraphmash technopark are expected to undergo assessment by Skolkovo experts by the end of the year: the first step to the individual startups gaining Skolkovo resident status.
The Skolkovo Foundation already counts about 150 tech startups that were founded in St. Petersburg among its 1,800 resident companies.
Technoparks in Yekaterinburg, the Chelyabinsk region and Novosibirsk have already been awarded Skolkovo regional operator status, and a similar agreement with Technopark Perm will probably be signed in the second half of this year, Yury Sibirsky, deputy head of the Skolkovo Foundation’s regional development department, said earlier.