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    First project approved for Russian 'Silicon Valley' - paper

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    The first innovation project for Russia's new high-tech research hub near Moscow has been approved by Skolkovo's modernization committee, a Russian business daily quoted a presidential aide as saying on Tuesday

    The first innovation project for Russia's new high-tech research hub near Moscow has been approved by Skolkovo's modernization committee, a Russian business daily quoted a presidential aide as saying on Tuesday.

    Arkady Dvorkovich told Vedomosti daily that the project, supported by the Almaz Capital fund, was based on cloud computing, an Internet-based technology that allows complex mathematical calculations to be performed using hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

    One of the examples of cloud computing is a project initiated by the U.S.-based Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in 1995 that uses a network of personal computers to process data from radar telescopes looking for signs of life in outer space.

    Dvorkovich has high hopes for the project. "The authors of the project have serious ideas how to make it innovative. The independent experts have convinced us of its potential," Vedomosti quoted the presidential aide as saying.

    The paper said the project, along with cloud technologies, includes computer-based speech recognition and sending 3D-pictures via Internet.

    The project is estimated of 900 million rubles ($29 million), half of which Vedomosti said would come from the government and the remainder from the private Almaz Seed fund.

    In February 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev announced the establishment of a modern powerful center for research and development, which the media quickly dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley after the Northern Californian region that has served as a model for such centers in the United States and around the world.

    Skolkovo is being built from scratch 20 km outside of Moscow. Research at the center will focus on five priority spheres: energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technologies.

    Russia considers the development of the high-tech and innovation sector a top priority, pledging billions of dollars to finance the sphere.

    MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti)

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