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.
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption
, biometric authentication
and cyber security
After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.
Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.
Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.
He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.