Microsoft to open R&D center in Russia's hi-tech hub

U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. will establish a research and development center in the Skolkovo innovation hub near Moscow, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Skolkovo president Viktor Vekselberg said on Monday.

Ballmer said the R&D center would focus on the cloud computing technologies both for Russia and the rest of the world. Cloud computing providers deliver business applications on-line that come from other web servers.

Along with the R&D center, Microsoft is set to establish an information technology testing center that would help IT specialists test their software products in various conditions.

The U.S. IT giant will also participate in creating Skolkovo University of Technology which would work in tight cooperation with Microsoft's divisions in Cambridge and Redmond.

Microsoft also plans to support one hundred Russian startups investing from $50,000 to $500,000 on each of them, the head of Microsoft Russia, Nikolai Pryanishnikov, said.

Skolkovo, dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley, is being built from scratch 20 kilometers west of Moscow. The center will focus on research in five priority spheres: energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technologies.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on foreign companies to participate in the Skolkovo project.

In October, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, during his visit to Russia, brought to Moscow a delegation of the U.S. investors interested in cooperation with Russia's innovation hub.

The delegation included representatives of venture capital funds and innovation companies from the U.S. Silicon Valley.

[Source: Ria Novosti, Moscow, 01Nov10]

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