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Russia’s Skolkovo project attracts Belgian investors

Belgian companies are interested in investing in Russia’s Skolkovo innovation hub, Belgian Crown Prince Philippe told Skolkovo Fund President Viktor Vekselberg in Moscow on Monday. “The Skolkovo project is a symbol of Russia’s policy aimed at economic modernization,” the prince pointed out. On Monday, he paid a visit to Russia at the head of his country’s heavyweight economic mission.

The Skolkovo project will focus on research in five priority spheres, such as nuclear technologies, energy efficiency, software, biomedicine and space. In this regard, Belgian investors’ readiness to cooperate is certainly of paramount importance, experts say.

The main focus will be placed on collaboration with those Belgian companies, which are internationally recognized, explains Alexei Sitnikov, the head of the Skolkovo Fund’s international development department.

"First and foremost, these are pharmaceutical and green energy companies," Sitnikov says, touting a mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides. "As far as energy efficiency is concerned, the goal is to adapt European technologies to Russian realities," he adds.

Right now, we are in the process of negotiating with dozens of companies, Sitnikov went on to say, citing a string of legally binding deals that, he said, will soon see the light of day.

"Expanding a mutually advantageous collaboration with foreign firms remains our key priority," Sitnikov says, singling out the implementation of a host of joint educational projects, as an example.

For their part, several US companies are currently mulling joining the Skolkovo project – a topic that will be high on the agenda of an expanded session of the US-Russian Business Council and the High Technology Council, slated for later this month.

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