Russian education and science minister Dmitry Livanov at the fifth Russian innovation convention in Skolkovo (photo:dpa)

A grim future for Russian science

Russia’s economy needs reconfiguring. It needs to move its economy from one based on energy and raw materials to one which can compete globally in science, technology and research - if it is to prosper. Two multibillion-dollar high-tech projects Rusnano and Skolkovo - poised to become Russia’s answer to the US’s Silicon Valley – were meant to propel Russia into being an innovation-friendly economy. But analysts question whether the federation can attract and develop high technology companies at a time when innovation is losing out to corruption and cronyism – and a leader who sends out a message that power is more important than modernisation.

<i>Modernisation is high on the age...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
The real showcase is Skolkovo, a university and techno city located in 400 hectares just outside Moscow. The plan, put together in 2010 on the initiative of the then-President Medvedev, was to offer special incentives, such as tax breaks, to attract Russian and foreign high-tech companies
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