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Cisco Systems Unveils R&D Collaboration Plans in Russia

Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev (left) greeted by Cisco Systems chairman John Chambers, 23 July 2010 (Cisco Systems)

Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev, left, greeted by Cisco Systems chairman John Chambers, June 2010 (Cisco Systems)

Cisco Systems in San Jose, California revealed plans for new collaborations in Russia’s Skolkovo project, the country’s scheme to develop a technology and innovation center outside Moscow. The strategy unveiled today is part of a larger initiative with Russia announced by Cisco in 2010.

The Skolkovo project is Russia’s attempt to build a technology and innovation hub, bringing together intellectual and business resources to encourage entrepreneurs to start technology-based enterprises. The Skolkovo Foundation supports start-up companies in five technologies: information technologies, space, biomedical, energy efficiency, and nuclear. A business-management school granting MBA degrees is also located at Skolkovo.

In June 2010, after a visit by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to California’s Silicon Valley (pictured right) , Cisco announced a $1 billion investment in Russia over the decade. In addition to a financial commitment, Cisco plans to help develop Russia’s technical talent, partner with Russian businesses, and establish its own R&D and marketing presence in Russia.

Russia has accredited Cisco as a Skolkovo participant, which will enable the company to establish a physical presence in the city. The company says it will focus its R&D work in Skolkovo on video technologies, a high priority for business customers.

Other activities outlined today include expansion of Cisco’s network technology schools in Russia with the goal of tripling the number of schools to 615 by 2014 to train some 16,000 students a year. The company is also establishing six entrepreneurship institutes in Russia to train young Russian business people, including one such institute in Skolkovo. In addition, Cisco is expanding its sales associate program to Russia, which involves hiring and training university graduates for sales and systems engineering jobs.

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