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Largest global innovation conference to kick off in Russia

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Moscow: The announcement of the Russia-US ceasefire deal for Syria, paving the way for new negotiations on the latter’s future, comes ahead of a major global conference here next week under the auspices of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP).

The Spain-headquartered IASP is the largest worldwide network of science parks and areas of innovation, uniting technology parks, business incubators and institutions, and it has a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Its mandate is to contribute to global economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the transfer of knowledge and technology.

The Russian capital will for the first time host the 33rd annual IASP Conference during September 19-22, following its selection as the venue after a global competition.

Over 1,500 participants from 70 countries are expected at the conference here, including technopark representatives from Russia, the US, Spain, Britain, Brazil, South Korea, China, Sweden, among others.

The theme of IASP 2016 is ‘The Global Mind: Linking Innovation Communities for Internationalization, Sustainability and Growth’.

“It’s the first time that the international IASP conference will be held in Russia, where science parks and innovative development zones are growing rapidly,” IASP President Jean-Francois Balduchi said in a statement here.

“The importance of internationalisation is constantly rising so at this conference we will be talking about the global mind and its huge importance for innovative communities in the context of growth and sustainability,” he added.

Russia’s biggest innovation fund, the Skolkovo Foundation, is the organiser of the upcoming conference here.

Created in 2010 by the Russian government for accelerating the country’s transformation from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy, the foundation runs the Skolkovo City here which houses an innovation centre comprising over 1,000 companies and startups, a Technopark and a new university established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The resident companies in the Startup Village conduct research in diverse fields ranging from information technology and robotics, space, energy-efficiency technologies and new materials.

“The cumulative revenue of Skolkovo’s start-ups through January 2016 reached $1.6 billion. They brought in more than $350 million in investment, creating 18,000 jobs and filing over 1,900 patent applications along the way,” Skolkovo said in a release here.

In this connection, Skolkovo is already collaborating with India and has drawn up plans to engage with India Inc for joint projects in a host of areas.

Meanwhile, in the Global Innovation Index 2016 report released last month in New Delhi, India has improved its ranking by 15 places over last year to 66th place in 2016, following five previous years of decline in position.

The Global Innovation Index ranks innovation performance of 128 countries based on 82 indicators.

Releasing the report, Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that a team would be set up to advise on how to further improve India’a ranking in the global index of countries in the sphere of innovations.

IANS

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