Russian national development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) will launch an Innovation Fund from 2012 to facilitate projects initiated by Russia's Skolkovo hi-tech hub near Moscow, the bank said on Thursday.
"Vnesheconombank is carrying out this work in accordance with Russia's recently adopted strategy for innovative development to 2020. The fund is expected to support existing innovative projects and also develop new initiatives aimed at creating an innovative sector in the Russian economy," VEB said in a statement.
The fund will support the government's innovation programs, creating innovation infrastructure in Russia, attracting venture capital investment for Russian innovation companies and advanced foreign technologies, promoting Russian innovations on the world market and seeking direct foreign investment in the domestic industrial and technological sector, VEB said.
VEB Deputy CEO Mikhail Kopeikin has said that Vnesheconombank intends to build up the share of investment in innovative projects in its credit portfolio from 20 percent to 100 percent. Requests for the financing of "insufficiently innovative" projects will be rejected, he said.
Seen as a key part of President Dmitry Medvedev's drive to modernize Russia's commodity-dependent economy, Skolkovo is intended to be an ultra-modern science community for the development and commercialization of new technologies.
The hub, being set up just outside Moscow, will focus on research in five priority spheres: energy, information technology, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology.