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Russia plans a Bengaluru-like IT hub

June 21, 2010 19:41 IST

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will begin his two-day visit to the United States on Wednesday with a tour of Silicon Valley, as Moscow seeks to build a similar centre for an innovative modernisation of its economy.

Medvedev plans to meet with his American counterpart Barack Obama at the White House on June 24. Talks with the US President in Washington will focus on Russia's admission to the World Trade Organisation and other bilateral issues including political and trade issues, a top Kremlin aide said on Monday.

But the first point of Medvedev's US visit will be in San-Francisco as it is linked with the Russian leaders priority to develop hi-tech sectors as the base of the creation of a knowledge-based economy.

"San-Francisco will be the first point of the visit. The choice was not accidental and is linked to the priorities the President has set as early as last year," Kremlin economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich said.

Medvedev has set development of hi-tech sectors as the base of the creation of a knowledge-based economy as his priority and is pressing ahead with the creation of a national hi-tech research hub in Moscow suburb Skolkovo, dubbed by the local media as the Russian Silicon Valley.

Alexei Surkov, another aide of Medvedev, said due to the diversity of research, Skolkovo would be more like Bengaluru than Silicon Valley, which is basically focused on IT and IT-enabled technologies.

Medvedev will visit Google HQ in Silicon Valley and Stanford University, the centres of hi-tech research.

"All experts name Silicon Valley and Stanford University the most successful centres of innovative

development and hi-tech research. The president has decided he should see this all with his own eyes," Dvorkovich said.

He said Medvedev planned to meet Google Inc. head Eric Schmidt, who has agreed to join Skolkovo's board of trustees. Medvedev wants top international researchers and companies to help create the centre, which will produce commercial hi-tech projects and become a model for similar hubs across Russia.

Speaking at the just ended St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Medvedev had declared is plans to transform Russia into a 'dream country' to techies from all over the world.

Ahead of the G-20 economic summit in Canada, Obama and the Russian leader will explore new areas where the two countries could cooperate, including trade, investment and innovation.

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