Futurussia is a community of young scientists, engineers, inventors and innovation managers, which was initially formed by open competition of Federal agency of youth affairs of Russia with the purpose to issue the challenge to think over a concept and to prepare proposals for a creation of an international innovation complex near Skolkovo village, ways to create this complex and valid machineries of interaction between science and business. The “futurussia” term was proposed by the head of working group for creation of innovation center in Skolkovo, First deputy head of the administration of president of Russia Vladislav Surkov. The first use of this term was on the first official meeting of the community members on Wednesday 7 April 2010 in the World Trade Center in Moscow.
On November 12, 2009 President Dmitry Medvedev instructed in his Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly the Government to expand the system of grants on the basis of tenders for those developing new technology. “Development institutes,” he said, “should search for and select promising projects from all around the country and provide financial support for innovative enterprises, including the small innovative businesses that the law now allows universities and scientific establishments to set up. Of course, they should share the risks in these ventures with private investors”. Besides he pointed at a necessity to complete preparation work on the programme for establishing a prominent research and development centre in Russia to focus on support for absolutely all of the priority areas. “This is a project to create a modern technological centre, something on the lines of Silicon Valley and similar foreign centres. It would offer attractive working conditions for leading researchers, engineers, designers, software programmers, managers and financial specialists, and it would produce new technology able to compete on the global market,” Dmitry Medvedev said.
On December 31, 2009 the president issue an decree on the working group for working out the project of creation of detached territorial complex for research and development and commercialization of the results. First deputy head of the administration of president of Russia Vladislav Surkov was appointed as a head of the working group.
In order to select the best place for establishing a prominent research and development centre there was a consideration of many places in Russia and the choice was made in favour of Skolkovo. Dmitry Medvedev declared this on March 19, 2010 at the meeting with Winners of International School and Student Olympics and University Students who Hold Presidential Scholarships. According to the president there will be an ultra-modern science and technology centre or even a kind of town, for the development and commercialisation of advanced technologies. “In fact, this will be a new town, in which the centre would be charged with developing all five presidential high-tech priorities, all the areas designated for modernisation, primarily energy, IT, telecommunications, biomedical technology and nuclear technology. But of course this doesn’t mean other modernisation components may not be promoted there as well,” Dmitry Medvedev said.
On March 23, 2010 Dmitry Medvedev declared that Victor Vekselberg, the head of “Renova” company, was appointed as the head of the center. At the Meeting of Commission for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy Dmitry Medvedev stated “Now, we need to move on to the practical work. We must not only create the facilities but also introduce an effective working system, because we are not doing all this just to build a certain number of houses or open laboratories and create a working environment. These things are, of course, important, but it’s still infrastructure. What’s most important is to bring people to this centre. And to make people come, we need to have a clear system of management in place, and this system depends on us.” He also said “We will also need a corresponding scientific advisory council, and bring in foreign partners, including well-known representatives from foreign scientific circles and companies. We will have more discussions on this issue, and after making our final decisions, we will invite specialists to participate in this process. I had some consultations on this matter with my colleagues, who are leaders of some foreign states, and they promised to help, at the very least with advice; this, too, is important. I think that this will be a rather important component in our work.”
The first meeting of members of futurussia
On April 7, 2010 in the World Trade Center in Moscow there was the meeting of 200 candidates for membership of futurussia and the first deputy head of the administration of president of Russia Vladislav Surkov. At the meeting he invited them to take a part in the project.
- Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation November 12, 2009 The Kremlin, Moscow
- Speech of Dmitry Medvedev at Beginning of Meeting with Winners of International School and Student Olympics and University Students who Hold Presidential Scholarships.
- Opening Remarks at Meeting of Commission for Modernisation and Technological Development of Russia’s Economy.
- Vladislav Surkov met futurussia community. The official site of President of the Russian Federation, April 7, 2010 (in Russian)
- The official site of futurussia community
- The official site of the working group for creation of innovation center in Skolkovo
- Russia Plans a Science City Modeled on Silicon Valley // New York Times April 9 2010
- Vekselberg Discusses Future Skolkovo Infrastructure // The Moscow Times, April 22 2010
- Let’s take a risk! An interview of Viktor Vekselberg // Itogi, April 26 2010
- Russia to have its own valley of innovations // he Voice of Russia, April 29 2010
- Duma Committee Calls for Reform of Foreign Specialist Permits // The Moscow Times, May 06 2010
- Russian version of this article