Building the Future of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

Ringing in Skoltech’s First Classes


Moscow, August 6, 2012. The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), based in Skolkovo, Russia launched its first academic year, one of the most definitive steps in its development to become a world-class university for the 21st century.

Skoltech President Edward Crawley kicked off the first 4-week intensive course called the MIT Skoltech Innovation Workshop 2012 in the Russian tradition of ringing a bell. Skoltech’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), with assistance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), designed the novel course specifically for Skoltech students to teach them how to bridge the gap between scientific and technological prowess on one hand and creating a broad impact on the other.

Skoltech leaders and MIT faculty will guide 20 students from Skoltech, 8 students from other Russian universities and 6 students from Asian and European universities through this first course. Through team building exercises, lectures, and hands-on projects on real engineering systems, the students will learn how to identify societal problems, develop technical solutions, design prototypes and advocate as well as plan for impact. The group of students will also benefit from learning how to communicate and cooperate in an international setting.

“The key feature that defines a university is its students,” said President Edward Crawley. “Thus the pivotal moment for Skoltech is the day our students begin to frame who we are. Today, they will put us on the map.”

The Skoltech students are pioneering 3-year pilot Master’s degree programs in Information Science and Technology and Energy Science and Technology including a year abroad at leading research universities around the world that are also recognized as leaders of innovation.

Skoltech views innovation as the distinguishing feature of a new kind of university. During the course, students will also learn how to take a concept and transfer it to the market through startups and listen to guest lectures in leadership and ethics, so they understand the tradeoffs of the technology they develop.

From September, the students will spend academic year abroad at one of 4 leading research-innovation universities — Imperial College London (ICL), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) or MIT — before returning to Skoltech for the next two years in their program.

The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech will educate coming generations of researchers and entrepreneurs, advance scientific knowledge, and foster technological innovation to address critical issues facing Russia and the world in the new century. The university will be built on the best traditions of Russian and international practices within education and research. There will also be a specific focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.