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Russian 'Silicon Valley' for Moscow Region

President Dmitry Medvedev on Dec. 31 signed a decree to form a working group for the creation of an innovation center modeled on Silicon Valley.

According to Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration and Medvedev's own deputy in the modernization committee, the project is the brainchild of Medvedev himself.

However, the project was only revealed last Thursday at a meeting of the modernization committee.

The project will be implemented in two phases, Surkov explained. First, starting from spring, major companies will "grow" in clusters their own innovative products, which have been preselected by the commission. Then the most promising products will be taken away and "transplanted" into the "valley," which will start working from the end of the year, probably in the Moscow region. Applications are being accepted from major companies only. The criteria for choosing a project should be its scale.

Projects are accepted only within the five areas of modernization that are being focused on by the presidential commission: energy efficiency and energy saving, nuclear technology, space technology, medical technology, and strategic information technology.

Foreigners would be welcome in the center, Surkov said. "In addition, a qualified foreign investor would mean that we could go on the market in other countries," a member of the working group added.

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