Microsoft announced on Monday that they have signed an agreement to help open a technology center in a small Moscow province called Skolkovo. Steve Ballmer signed the agreement believed to be a memorandum of understanding (MOU) alongside Viktor Vekselberg, who is said to be in charge of the project.
Under the plan, Microsoft will invest in the project and work to provide technology to education Russian students and professors. Something that is interesting considering just last week the Russian government announced that they were looking into funding a Windows alternative.
As part of the plans, Russian students will be taught about technology in special Microsoft schools and will be able to do internships in Microsoft centers, including Microsoft Research in Cambridge and in Redmond.
"We are pleased to welcome such an important IT player as Microsoft as a member of the Skolkovo project," Vekselberg stated in a press release from Microsoft. "The huge experience of this corporation, both in creation of cutting-edge IT products and solutions and in the organization and support of research, and its expertise and ability to create an innovative ecosystem, will be very useful for developing Skolkovo."
While Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that "Microsoft is committed to continuing investments that foster local IT industry development and expand growth opportunities in Russia," "We are proud to be participating in the Skolkovo project, which represents an important step toward increasing technology innovation and modernizing Russia's economy."
Microsoft plans to invest tens of millions of dollars a year in the project, while earlier this year, Cisco also announced that they would inject 1 billion dollars in to Russia to help build the Skolkovo Centre. Vekselberg had stated that an investment of around 180-200 billion rubles (4.3-48 billion euros, 5.9-6.7 billion US dollars) would be needed to create the center at Skolkovo.