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 in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.
After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.
Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.
He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.