EADS has backed a pledge to launch a big push to strengthen its presence in new markets around the world, while seeking to avoid costly engineering and planning errors, by signing a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on research collaboration with Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation. Jean Botti, EADS chief technical officer, and Viktor Vekselberg, executive president of the Skolkovo Foundation, signed the agreement in Paris on March 2. It underscores EADS’s intention to participate in the Russia-based Skolkovo Innovation Center, a high-technology business hub to be built in the Moscow region.
According to the MoU, EADS will establish a center dedicated to conducting research in the areas of aerospace technology, including telecommunications and navigation, efficient energy technologies and information technology. The center will also collaborate with the Skolkovo Institute of Technology and other Russian scientific institutions “to identify technologies and competences of mutual interest.”
Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) will play a leading role in the project, according to Vekselberg. UAC’s innovation program foresees projects for a joint research center in Skolkovo.
EADS also intends to investigate possible participation in a program to support the development of Russian start-up companies in relevant areas. Based on its long-standing experience, EADS said it intends to support development of educational programs in technology and to provide advisory services to the Skolkovo Foundation involving the establishment of internal regulations, corporate solutions and governance, technical support, security and IP rights. The EADS research center will serve as a branch of the Russian Technology Office (RTO), established in 2003 as part of EADS Innovation Works. Since its opening, the RTO has already managed more than 100 cooperative research and technology programs between EADS and Russian institutions with a focus on advanced engineering tools.
The corporate research network of EADS, EADS Innovation Works operates two main sites in Munich and Paris and employs over 700 people. It maintains so-called proximity centers in Getafe, Spain; Newport, UK; Toulouse and Nantes, France; and Hamburg, Germany to support “knowledge transfer” to business units in those locations. EADS Innovation Works also operates research and technology centers in Moscow, Singapore and Bangalore.