Building the Future of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

Skoltech Establishes First Pillars in Its Drive to Build Capacity in Research, Education, and Innovation

Skoltech announced today that it will launch negotiations with leading universities and institutes around the world to form its first three Centers for Research, Education and Innovation (CREI).

CREIs are international partnerships, initiated by Skoltech as a new model to build capacity at Skoltech while addressing critical problems facing industry and society, particularly in a Russian context. These ambitious projects consist of researchers from at least three universities or research institutes: Skoltech, a Russian university or institute, and a non-Russian university. A typical CREI receives about $10 million worth of funding, depending on the scope of each research program.

The first three CREIs will be created upon the successful completion of negotiations, and will address the following areas:

  1. Infectious Disease and RNA Therapeutics, proposed by leading partners from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), Russia, with participation from University of Texas Southwestern (UTS), USA
  2. Stem Cell Research, proposed by leading partners from University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands and Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russia
  3. Electro-Chemical Energy Storage, proposed by leading partners from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), Russia

The first three CREIs, which focus on Biomedicine and Energy, will serve as instrumental partnerships accelerating the university’s capability to address critical challenges in society and establishing it as a leader in these respective spheres of research.

“In these three-way collaborations, all parties benefit,” stated Skoltech President Edward F. Crawley. “Russian researchers and industry gain better access to cutting-edge international science and technologies; our international partners profit from more access to the academic knowledge and new ideas produced within Russian institutes; and Skoltech will become even more attractive for the world's best scientists as it continues to develop its educational, research and innovation programs. Ultimately, I foresee major benefits for Russia as it further integrates into the world's scientific community, and commercializes the outcomes of this research."

Through a rigorous and comprehensive seven-month selection process, Skoltech received 129 proposals, an international peer review panel evaluated each proposal, semifinalists presented their ideas in person, and finally, the Skoltech Board of Trustees gave its approval of the three leading proposals.

Researchers from institutions and universities located in almost 30 countries applied, which included six Nobel Laureates, one Fields Medal winner, and numerous members of national academies.

Director of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems (Kharkevich Institute) and member of the Skoltech Board of Trustees, Alexander Kuleshov stated: “Creating the first three centers at Skoltech is a truly significant event for the project as a whole. Due to the first-class teams of scientists plus the selection of the ‘hottest’ research topics both in science and engineering, we are striding forth with a measured optimism.”

Related: Whitehead Institute to collaborate with Skoltech