I will be advising on the creation of Russia’s “Silicon Valley” right outside of Moscow. I’m starting this process by applying for a visa (which everyone needs) for entry into Russia TOMORROW.

Anyway, I honestly was half expecting to not succeed in getting it today and cancelling the trip. However, I was very impressed (surprised?). Got my Russian visa in less than an hour from start to finish – this included waiting in line for about 15 minutes. Was allocating half-a-day of running around.

The new science park, also sometimes called Inograd, Russian for Innovation City, will concentrate in the areas of energy, information technology, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology. This new “city” will be located in Skolkovo – 40km outside of Moscow.

Selected by the president of Russia, the project is managed by Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, who is the owner and president of Renova Group, a large Russian conglomerate. For this trip, I was invited by the Renova Group. On the government side, Vladimir Surkov, the first deputy head of the presidential administration, is the one overseeing the creation of the project.

Obviously, I’ll talk about how the trip went and post the usual pictures. If anyone knows of any good places to visit while I’m there the few short days, please e-mail me.

== Update ==
Here is a link http://www.flickr.com/photos/whsaito/sets/72157624518862872/ to the photos from my trip.