Microsoft puts funds into Russian technology centre

Microsoft will build a major software development centre in Skolkovo, Russia's would-be Silicon Valley.Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vikto Vekselberg, the president of the Skolkovo Fund on Monday, the software maker said.

Microsoft will build a major software development centre in Skolkovo, Russia's would-be Silicon Valley.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vikto Vekselberg, the president of the Skolkovo Fund on Monday, the software maker said.

In addition to building the software development centre for its own efforts, Microsoft will embark on a series of collaborative research projects with Russian and foreign universities, provide further assistance for Russian technology startup companies, build a technology testing centre for companies in Skolkovo and help to support and develop aspects of the Skolkovo technology university's curriculum.

"Microsoft is committed to continuing investments that foster local IT industry development and expand growth opportunities in Russia," Microsoft's chief executive officer, Steve Ballmer, said in a statement.

According to the US-based centre for strategic and international studies (CSIS), Skolkova is the Russian government's attempt to emulate the success of the USA's Silicon Valley region within Russia. Over 110bn roubles (£2.2bn) have been earmarked from the Russian public purse for the project over the next five years, and networking giant Cisco has plans to invest over $1bn of its own money into the region, according to CISC.

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