The Skolkovo Foundation and its partner Israel Skolkovo Gateway have selected two start-ups to participate at the foundation in Moscow and establish bi-national ventures in Russia. Jointech Med Ltd., which is developing a device to reduce intra-articular pressure in the knee and Argus Computer Vision Ltd., which is using computer vision technology to develop an intelligent traffic rules enforcement system.
Argus and Jointech will join Tel Aviv-based Inango Systems Ltd., a provider of home communications systems, which has set up an R&D center in Ekaterinburg; Mobix Chip Ltd., a developer of smart grid and advanced metering solutions developer; Inango Systems Ltd., a developer of home communications systems; and Indorgo Navigation Solutions Ltd. The participating Israeli companies opening offices at Skolkovo's center in Inograd bring the total number of companies at the center to 200.
The Skolkovo Foundation, known as Russia's Silicon Valley, is trying to bring Israel's innovation engine to Russia.
Jointech and Argus were selected from the five finalists, which also included LRS Ortho Ld., which is developing smart laser-guided tools for orthopedic surgical procedures, GreenGold New Energy Technologies 2007 Ltd., which is developing techniques for converting thermal energy into electricity; and eVigilo Ltd., which is developing a mass notification system for emergency responders to reach millions of people within seconds. Dozens of candidates participated in the program to collaborate with Skolkovo.
Argus and Jointech were selected at the Venture Fair earlier this month, the first joint event of the two organizations, since the Israel Skolkovo Gateway center was established under the agreement between Skolkovo Foundation and Ariel University Center Technology Transfer Company in Tel Aviv in August.
The Skolkovo Foundation provides grants to Israeli start-ups that set up a company in Russia, and signs an R&D cooperation agreement to develop the product. The grant to the Russian venture covers 50-85% of the expenses up to $5 million. The Israeli and Russian companies jointly own the intellectual property rights to the developed product.
The Skolkovo Foundation is part of Russia's European high-tech outreach program. In addition to Israel, it is collaborating with companies from Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and France. Skolkovo Foundation IT Cluster director Alexander Turkot said that the Skolkovo Innovations Center would allocate 1.5 billion rubles (about $48 million) for the IT cluster grants.
Turkot added that adopting Israel's unique technology innovations model, with its dozens of high-tech success stories, is important for Russia. He added that the collaboration will benefit both Russia and Israel: Russia has found it difficult to develop high-tech ventures, while Israeli start-ups will gain access to Russian capital.
IsraelSK co-manager Vitaly Vishnepolsky said, “It is not easy to raise funds, which includes leveraging from foreign countries, while a bi-national start-up company, i.e. a mini-consortium of two companies, offers a solution to this problem. This model simultaneously offers many other advantages, such as penetration of the local market, and facilitating compliance with local laws and taxes."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 1, 2011
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