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Surkov Takes Skolkovo Delegation to Washington

Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov has led a group of Skolkovo executives to Washington for talks on the commercialization of new technologies.

Surkov was to co-chair the two-day meeting, starting Wednesday, together with Robert Hormats, the U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.

The meeting was also to be attended by Deputy Economic Development Minister Oleg Fomichev, and a delegation from the Skolkovo Foundation headed by its president, Viktor Vekselberg and including the vice president of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Alexei Sitnikov, Interfax reported.

Sitnikov told Interfax that he would take part in discussions on cooperation between Russian and U.S. researchers in the commercialization of new technologies as well as the protection of intellectual property in joint U.S.-Russian research projects.

He noted that during the working group's last meeting, the two sides supported the idea of creating a joint U.S.-Russian expert council for assessing the effectiveness of the commercialization of new technologies in U.S. and Russian research centers.

He also praised a partnership between the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for allowing Russia to develop innovative technologies in cooperation with one of the best universities in the world.

Skolkovo, whose board of trustees is headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, has made headlines in recent days after investigators accused another vice president, Alexei Beltyukov, of making $750,000 in improper payments to a State Duma deputy with close links to the street protest movement.

Beltyukov is suspected of attempting to hide contracts awarding $300,000 and $450,000 to Just Russia Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov for lectures and research.

The working group was meeting in Washington for regular talks within the framework of the bilateral U.S.-Russian presidential commission.

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