Russia buiding its own ‘Silicon Valley’

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Russian president Dmitry Medvedev flew to California this week to drum up support for his country’s attempt to build an entrepreneurial enclave just outside Moscow.

He met with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday, and plans to meet with the founders of Twitter, as well as Google CEO Eric Schmidt, before meeting US President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.

Over the past four months, Russia has been building it’s own version of California’s Silicon Valley, called the Skolkovo ‘innovation city.’

“I want to see how things work on Silicon Valley. We would like to create something similar in the Russian Federation – adjusted to suit our views, of course,” Medvedev said in a Wall Street Journal interview.

To reduce its economic dependence on natural resources such as oil and natural gas, Russia has been pouring its efforts into high tech development. The government created a company called Rusnano to invest in nanotechnology, and has been supporting regional venture funds to invest in tech companies.

Medvedev also plans to meet with representatives with Cisco Systems, Yuri Milner, CEO of Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, and Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine.

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