IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Skolkovo Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the Russian Government, have signed two agreements aimed at driving innovation in Russia. As part of the first agreement IBM will establish a Science and Technology Center within the future Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow. IBM estimates that the new facility will employ up to 170 technical staff by the end of 2012. Through a second agreement, IBM will license to the Skolkovo Foundation know-how related to intellectual property management, including methods to help identify and evaluate technologies of high potential commercial value.
Building on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by IBM and the Skolkovo Foundation in June 2011, the first of this week’s agreements* confirms the focus areas of the IBM Science and Technology Center and outlines timeframes for their execution. IBM and the Skolkovo Foundation plan to collaborate on areas of mutual interest including modeling solutions for the oil and gas industry, mobile payment solutions and the use of business analytics technologies to improve road safety.
Via a separate commercial agreement also signed today, IBM will help the Skolkovo Foundation to develop an intellectual property management system to boost innovation at the Skolkovo Innovation Center. As part of this agreement, IBM will license know-how to the Skolkovo Foundation to enable its specialists to use the latest approaches in the development and commercialization of competitive technologies. A team of international IBM experts will also hold a series of workshops to help enable the Skolkovo Foundation management team to identify, protect, and manage intellectual property. Because of the absence of Russian experience in the intellectual property management field, this project is of strategic importance to the Skolkovo Foundation.
“The agreements signed today between IBM and the Skolkovo Foundation lay out a roadmap for our future collaboration and provide a framework around which our two organizations can drive innovation in Russia,” said Viktor Vekselberg, President of Skolkovo Foundation. “With IBM’s experience and leadership in Research and Development and Skolkovo’s huge focus on innovation, we are entering a partnership of great potential for Russia.”
Through IBM’s new Science and Technology Center, which will be initially based at IBM’s existing Russian Systems and Technology Laboratory in Moscow, IBM and the Skolkovo Foundation will collaborate on developing innovative solutions for key Russian industries including oil and gas, transportation and retail. Today’s agreement outlines three areas of focus for IBM:
• Design and development of modeling solutions for the oil and gas industry. Through the use of modern computing systems, IBM’s Science and Technology Center plans to create virtual models of oil and gas reservoirs to increase the efficiency and accuracy of extraction.
• Development of Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies. This project is aimed at the creation of security-rich and customizable mobile payment transactions for use across a number of industries including telco, retail and banking.
• Development of an integrated Intelligent Operation Center (IOC) using video technology to increase transport security. This project is aimed at exploring how analytics can enhance transportation safety such as by detecting road accidents.
“By pooling our energy, expertise and vision, IBM and the Skolkovo Foundation plan to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies for Russian and global markets,” said Kirill Korniliev, Country General Manager, IBM Russia/CIS. “Today’s agreements build on the great skills on offer in Russia and promote the development of an open and effective ecosystem of innovation in our country.”
IBM this year celebrates a century of leadership in business and technology innovation. For 18 consecutive years, IBM has been the world leader in the number of registered patents in the U.S. and IBM’s annual investment in R&D totals $6 billion.
The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in May of 2010 by the Russian Government to accelerate the transformation of Russia from a resource-based to an innovation-based economy. The Skolkovo Foundation aims to strengthen the links between Russian and international science, technology, education, entrepreneurship and investment communities. The Skolkovo Foundation is charged with overseeing the creation of the Skolkovo Institute of Technology and building a science and technology city near Moscow (Skolkovo City) forming a vibrant eco-system of technology innovation and entrepreneurship.
The agreements were signed yesterday at ceremony in Moscow attended by Viktor Vekselberg, President of Skolkovo Foundation, David Stokes, General Manager, IBM Central and Eastern Europe and Kirill Korniliev, Country General Manager, IBM Russia/CIS.