13.11.2011 [News]

One year since Skolkovo and Microsoft started working hand-in-hand

The Skolkovo Innovation Centre and Microsoft are marking the first anniversary of their cooperation and in view of this, they are promoting their joint work to support start ups at the innovation centre.

Russia’s Speereo is the first company to receive a joint grant from Skolkovo and Microsoft. It received 100,000 U.S. dollars to develop a system to identify voices in Russian and English languages. Skolkovo and Microsoft plan to award such grants regularly to other participants in the IT sector in the future. Rendering support to promising research and production is not the only form of cooperation between them. Skolkovo and Microsoft have jointly organized lectures at several Russian Institutes and Universities, a Microsoft team will permanently register at the innovation centre in the spring and the residents of Skolkovo will get access to the resources of the American company in the near future, says the head of Microsoft Russia, Nikolai Pryashnikov.

According to him, Microsoft will expand cooperation with Skolkovo to support young companies and this will pave the way for the Skolkovo residents to subscribe for the entire Microsoft soft-package for a reasonable price. Ordinary companies pay 20,000 U.S. dollars for such a service, but the Skolkovo residents will pay only 329 U.S. dollars. This is advantageous for young companies because it will help them to focus on their research and development without thinking of searching and purchasing licensed and the most advanced software.

Both Skolkovo and Microsoft don’t want to reveal other forms of their cooperation. But Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner insists this is only the beginning of their joint work.

Russia’s innovative technology market is quite promising. Skolkovo is a good partner and Microsoft is proud that cooperation between the two is strengthening. It’s interesting to be involved in promoting the IT sector in Russia, which has its own system and culture of teaching exact sciences and information technology. Russia has its own professionals among engineers. Consequently, Russia has every chance to be among the leaders in the production and application of innovative technology not only in the region but also in the world as a whole. Microsoft is happy that it is involved in this process.

Notably, over 200 companies have already registered as Skolkovo residents. Microsoft Corporation, which is first and foremost involved in the IT sector, has set the task of supporting at least 100 start ups. It is actively involved in choosing candidates. To get approval, the project should contain innovative idea, which should have the potential for development. Moreover, the company should present its business plan skillfully. Both Skolkovo and Microsoft attach great importance to the team that implements a project.

Source: The Voice of Russia provided by HSE