Newsletter January 2012

Skolkovo, Russia
January 31, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SkTech) is only three months old, but we are already developing rapidly, ramping up our research, education and innovation programs. As of today, we are preparing to launch our first research centers, are actively seeking both permanent faculty and Founding Faculty Fellows, have begun the recruitment of our first pilot class of graduate students, and have made the first call for proposals under the development of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. On the first day of business in 2012, SkTech moved to its interim campus on the premises of the Skolkovo School of Management. On January 17-19 we held our first planning and development meeting with our founding partners from MIT on our interim campus.
February promises to be another busy month, with:
• International Conference on SkTech Research Centers Call for Proposals, February 9- 10, 2012 at MIT (leading to submissions of white papers by March 13, 2012)
• A conference on the Development of Centers for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Universities, to be held in Moscow on February 21 and 22, 2012
• The kickoff of our strategic foresight process with a discussion at TU Berlin on February 29, 2012
In this newsletter I have included a few major developments and events that are current or forthcoming, as well as some information on our recent events and achievements. We will be informing you regularly about what is happening at SkTech. Also, you can follow us on the web at, the MIT partnership website at as well as on Facebook ( and Twitter ( We hope that by keeping you well informed, we can actively engage you in the development of our Institute.

Edward F. Crawley

SkTech announces its first of several international calls for Research Center proposals

On December 21 SkTech announced the first of at least three international calls for Research Center proposals. At least fifteen new Research Centers will be formed to address frontier research in five strategic themes, with funding levels for each Center from $6M to $12M USD per year. Particular emphasis will be in the fields of Bio Science and Technology, Energy Science and Technology, Information Science and Technology, Nuclear Science and Technology, and Space Science and Technology. SkTech plans to support cutting-edge research, inspired by consideration of use, to enable and drive economic development and innovation. Such research may be within one of the strategic themes, at the boundary or intersection of one or more of these fields, or create new directions and new interpretation of the scope and meaning of work in one of these fields.
Each Research Center will be a joint collaboration between a non-Russian institution, and a Russian institution, eventually joined by collaborators from SkTech. The team will function as an inter-disciplinary, international research initiative, with educational and innovation components as well. The Research Centers will create transformational new science and technology and provide an initial base for and connections with SkTech’s innovation activities. Each Center is expected to integrate and contribute not only to research and innovation, but also to integrate and contribute to graduate education at SkTech through development of educational curricula, material, and approaches.
Short “white paper” proposals for Research Centers are due by March 13, 2012. It is expected that several full awards will be made in this round, but we will also award a larger number of planning grants, allowing non-Russian and Russian institutions to work together, and lay the foundation for future collaboration sponsored by SkTech or other programs.

International Conference on SkTech Research Centers Call for Proposals. February 9 – 10, 2012 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

In support of our mission to advance education, scholarship and economic development in the Russian Federation and beyond, SkTech will hold a Proposer’s Conference on February 9-10, 2012, in Cambridge, MA. The conference will be jointly hosted by SkTech and MIT and will provide a forum to learn about and plan for SkTech research center proposals. The agenda will include informational and panel sessions, and team- or proposal-building sessions. Over 300 scholars from leading international universities have registered to take part in the conference.
For more information about the event or SkTech’s Research Center program, please contact Dr. Ivan Sherstov, Director of Research, at or contact Further information can be found at the Skolkovo/MIT website:


The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology opens search for Faculty Positions in Science and Engineering

In December 2011, we initiated a search for candidates to fill tenured and tenure-track faculty positions. Over the coming decade, SkTech will grow to have a faculty of over 200 professors, appointed according to international standards and procedures. This first group of faculty members will provide a model of inspired leadership in research, education, and innovation.
Faculty responsibilities include teaching and development in graduate education, development of an internationally recognized research program, and participation in innovation programs. Faculty members have an opportunity to spend the first year in residence at MIT, participating in joint research with a faculty mentor and engaging in educational and innovation programs.
We invite applicants to explore teaching and research opportunities in SkTech’s five areas of focus: Information Science and Technology, Bio Science and Technology, Energy Science and Technology, Space Science and Technology, and Nuclear Science and Technology.
Applicants must have earned a Ph.D. in a relevant field, demonstrated outstanding research strength and have a strong disciplinary background. Applicants must demonstrate a potential to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries and in research programs with a consideration of use. Applications should have a commitment to education and the desire to work across the boundaries of SkTech with innovation and entrepreneurship communities.

SkTech continues the search for Founding Faculty Fellows

In December 2011, we announced the creation of the Founding Faculty Fellows program. Faculty Fellows will participate in shaping this university in its crucial formative stages. To date, we have received over 150 applications and soon will be ready to announce our first Fellows.

We continue to seek candidates wishing to explore the function of universities, the creation of new research programs, the design of programs, and the collaboration between universities and industry. Applicants must be permanent faculty members or senior administrative staff at a major university, or senior staff from industrial, national or academic research laboratories.

Faculty Fellows are expected to spend at least half time with SkTech working for a period of at least four months, and up to one year. However, individual time commitments are negotiable. English is the working language of SkTech, and knowledge of Russian is an advantage. Levels of financial support commensurate with sabbaticals at western universities will be provided, as well as travel and living allowances

Positions are available starting immediately, and running through at least June 2013. Applications should be submitted online at Further information can be found at the SkTech/MIT website:
For more information on Founding Faculty Fellowship program and Faculty Search please contact Mikhail Myagkov, Vice President for Academic Affairs, at


SkTech begins recruiting first 20 students for inaugural Master’s Fellowship Program. Delegation of students and graduate students from MIT arrived in January to meet with Russian students in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Kazan

We are pleased to announce the launch of recruiting for the inaugural SkTech Master’s Fellowship Program. This program will be the basis of the first pilot year of educational development at SkTech.
This unique three-year SkTech Master’s Fellowship Program will provide approximately 20 outstanding recent university graduates from Russia the opportunity to study for one year (2012-2013) at a world-class international research university, and then return to SkTech to complete a Master’s Degree in science and engineering. SkTech will select the 20 finalists of the program in an open, merit-based competition. There will be no fees charged the students for this program.
Prior to setting out for the international research university in September 2012, students will have the opportunity to work together, and with a select group of international students, in an intensive introduction to leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation. In the summer of 2013, the group of 20 students will return to SkTech’s interim campus in Skolkovo and participate in the planning of the education programs at SkTech.
“SkTech intends to have a transformative effect on the lives of its Master’s and Doctoral students,” said Bram Caplan, Director of Students and Education at the new institute. “We want graduates of SkTech to be global innovators who will attack the most daunting scientific and technological challenges facing Russia and the world today.”  A defining component of SkTech will be its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), which will integrate education, research and practice in entrepreneurship and innovation, as applied to the scientific discoveries of the SkTech research centers.
In order to raise student awareness for this program, SkTech’s primary institutional collaborator, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sent a delegation of undergraduate and graduate students to Russia for the week of January 15-21. The MIT delegation visited with Russian students at the Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Science, Mechanics, and Optics (ITMO), the National University of Science and Technology (MISiS), and Kazan Federal University. MIT students also had an opportunity to learn more about Russia’s innovation ecosystem in meetings with venture capitalists in Saint Petersburg, Skolkovo clusters and resident companies in Moscow, and the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan.
For more information about SkTech students and admissions, please contact Bram Caplan,  Director of Students at   or visit the student application website


Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation launches Innovation Sponsorship Program (ISP).

The Innovation Sponsorship Program (ISP) will assist researchers of SkTech in bridging the gap between the laboratory and marketplace, and will serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship in the research ecosystem.
It is well known that translation of research results to practical use (commercialization) is delayed and complicated by the lack of commercialization expertise in most research groups and by an absence of specialized funding to make prototypes aimed at specific market applications. The ISP will fund such translational research and development projects, help establish proof of concept and provide assistance with advancing the technology toward commercialization, such as help with identification of high potential market opportunities, intellectual property management, and, if appropriate, team development. The ISP has been developed and will be run by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (“CEI@SkTech”) in close collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has had considerable success with similar programs (e.g., Deshpande Center Innovative Research Grants,
This year, the ISP will be run in the “pre-pilot” mode – since the SkTech Research Centers have not yet been set up, it will target two to three research groups in Russian universities or academic institutions. The program will provide financial and commercialization assistance. Financial assistance will come in the form of one-year awards of up to three million rubles.  The initial awards are planned for the summer of 2012.
The purpose of this pre-pilot run is to develop a better understanding of commercialization instruments and of the working environment in Russia and its correlation with practices abroad. The lessons learned will later be used in setting up commercialization assistance programs for SkTech and its partners. Participants (awardees) of the pre-pilot ISP will receive commercialization training and assistance on all stages of the work. CEI@SkTech is committed to helping them succeed. Successful ISP projects will be ready to apply for Skolkovo Foundation residence and enter the Skolkovo Clusters’ pipelines.
The documents for the Spring 2012 Call For Proposals are being distributed to potential applicants and are available in open access at We look forward to your critique and suggestions and long-term mutually beneficial collaboration.
For further details about ISP, please contact Ilya Dubinsky, Director of  CEI@SkTech, at

SkTech launches capital campaign, aiming to raise $2B by 2019

On December 19, 2011, together with the Skolkovo Foundation and leading Russian business daily Vedomosti, SkTech held a major international conference on the topic of endowments for universities, support of SkTech initiatives and the importance of university-industry partnerships in Russia and abroad. SkTech President Edward Crawley laid out the plan to create the Institute’s endowment. This goal has been set in order to provide funds for the long-term sustainable development of SkTech, to attract leading faculty and students, and to create strong and viable ties to the Russian and international business community. The conference was well attended by prominent business leaders, government officials, banking and investment community representatives, as well as by a wide range of non-profit organizations that are in the process of creating and growing their endowment funds.
SkTech’s overall development plan will guide the Institute’s resource ramp up through its formative years, with significant support from the state, business, and community in Russia and beyond.
For more information, please contact Alexei Sitnikov, Vice President for Administration and Development, at

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