RDIF, Skolkovo and ACE strengthen cooperation between Singapore and Russia startup ecosystems

Press release, 14.11.2018

Singapore, November 14, 2018 - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the sovereign wealth fund of Russia, the Skolkovo Foundation and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) of Singapore have agreed to cooperate in supporting global entrepreneurial initiatives in Russia and Singapore and assisting Russian start-ups in entering the Singapore and Southeast Asian markets. A corresponding agreement was signed today in conjunction with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State Visit to Singapore.

According to the agreements reached, ACE and Skolkovo will jointly develop a Regional Innovation Hub to support innovation, share best practices, information on existing projects and business conditions, and will also jointly accelerate the projects and contribute to strengthening cooperation between Russian and Singapore start-up ecosystems. RDIF will also help develop projects promoted by Skolkovo and ACE. Together with its partners from leading international financial and strategic investors, the RDIF will offer companies RDIF’s experience and expertise in structuring and developing businesses. In addition, RDIF and its partners will be potential investors in the most attractive projects and start-ups.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted:
“Technological development is one of the main investment strategies of RDIF, and we intend to significantly intensify our work with innovative companies within the framework of the new RDIF Technology platform. RDIF’s cooperation with leading organisations such as Skolkovo and the Singapore Entrepreneurship Community will open up additional opportunities for young Russian companies to enter the markets of Southeast Asia, and also allow us to gain access to a large number of promising technology projects both in Russia and abroad."

Yury Saprykin, Vice President of International and Regional Policy at the Skolkovo Foundation, said:
“Singapore has traditionally been one of Russia's main partner countries in Southeast Asia. This year is especially significant for the development of bilateral relations between our countries as it is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In addition to traditional areas of working together, cooperation in technological development is actively advancing, in particular in the field of technology for a “smart city”. The Skolkovo Foundation systematically develops partnerships with key representatives of the innovation ecosystem of Singapore, providing support to develop the international business of Skolkovo’s participating companies. In practical terms, the signing of an agreement with ACE means the emergence of a trusted partner for Skolkovo’s companies, the opening of an office in Singapore and the ability to scale-up plans in the Southeast Asian region. ACE's physical presence is at the epicentre of Singapore's innovative entrepreneurship, and the partner network covers more than 800 start-ups, venture capital funds and accelerators.”

Dr Mark Hon, Chairman of ACE, said:
“In line with the ACE Connected Ecosystem and Regional Innovation Hub (RIH) initiatives, we are excited to embark on this partnership with RDIF and the Solkovo Foundation to create more collaborative opportunities for startups in Singapore and Russia. Through this partnership, the Solkovo Foundation will be one of ACE’s Connected Ecosystem partners and act as an innovation connection point in Russia to drive co-innovation between both countries’ startup ecosystems. Startups from both countries will be able to leverage on the enhanced connectivity to have greater level of cross-border access to network, resources, opportunities and support, including but not limited to reciprocal market access through existing programmes and co-working spaces, joint promotion of innovation events and knowledge workshops that will benefit startups from both countries.”

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in September 2010 by the Russian government with the objective of accelerating Russia’s transformation from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy. To achieve this objective, the Foundation is overseeing the creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, composed of more than 1,800 high-tech startups, Skolkovo Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (Skoltech) - a new graduate research University established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - and Skolkovo city, located near Moscow. Together, these entities establish a vibrant ecosystem of technology innovation and entrepreneurship. The cumulative revenue of Skolkovo’s startups reached $2,5 billion. They brought in more than $186 million in investment, creating 27,000 jobs and filing over 1,100 patent applications along the way. By 2020 over 2 million square meters of residential and office space will be built in Skolkovo with 35,000 people working daily in the Innovation Center. For more information: http://www.sk.ru/en

Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) - The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) is a national private sector-led organisation to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore. Launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade & Industry and restructured as a private entity in 2014, ACE is supported by the government, under the patronage of Senior Minister of State for Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade & Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon. ACE's Board of Directors also comprises of experienced entrepreneurs and professionals immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today, ACE plays a key role in building a dynamic and sustainable startup ecosystem in Singapore. ACE supports startups across all stages and focuses on three strategic areas:
(i) driving co-innovation between startups and enterprises;
(ii) helping startups to scale and internationalise;
(iii) building an access hub of connected ecosystems across countries.
For more information on ACE, please visit www.ace.org.sg

The ACE Connected Ecosystem is a network of regional startup ecosystem players focused on driving connected ecosystems to facilitate the flow of talent, ideas and business opportunities across borders. Through this network, we seek to position the Southeast Asian region as a single and highly-attractive destination for foreign companies, and Singapore is well positioned to serve as an access hub and launch pad. For more information, please visit https://ace.org.sg/our-network/

The Regional Innovation Hub (RIH) is a one-stop Open Innovation Platform providing corporates, SMEs, local and regional startups with the network, resources and capabilities to drive co-innovation. The RIH in Singapore will act as the connection point to other innovation hubs in the region to tap on cross-border innovation opportunities. For more information, please visit https://ace.org.sg/programes/scout/regional-innovation-hub-rih/

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Hayes / Andrew Leach
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133

Lyubov Korotetskaya
Skolkovo Foundation
Tel: +7 495 956 00 33, ext. 2587
Mobile: +7 915 132 83 69
E-mail: lkorotetskaya@sk.ru

Brian Patrick Tan
ACE
E-mail: brian@ace.org.sg

Li Peixin
ACE
Mobile: +65 9753 2886
E-mail: peixin97@ace.org.sg