Rector Magnificus Prof. Dymph van den Boom signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Skolkovo Foundation in Russia on behalf of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) on Wednesday, 27 June. The memorandum is aimed at encouraging cooperation in academic ICT research and developing and exploiting innovative technologies.
Skolkovo is a major initiative aimed athelping transform fundamental research into innovation in Russia. To this end, an entirely new city is being built south of Moscow: Skolkovo City. A new university has also been founded: Skolkovo Tech (in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT), a private research university. Skolkovo Tech focuses on the promotion of scientific knowledge and support of technological innovation.
Information Science, and ICT in a broader sense, play a primary role in the plans for Skolkovo. Like Russia, the Netherlands recognises the importance of fundamental ICT research and innovation. By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the UvA connect Dutch universities and Skolkovo in this field of research. The intention is that future cooperation will take the form of joint research into, among other things, how information science can assist in computational decision support for complex socio-economic problems. The parties involved in this cooperation are also looking into the possibility of setting up exchange programme for staff and PhD students and joint Master's programmes.
Prof. Peter Sloot, professor of Computational Science at the UvA, is an important link in the contact between the UvA and Skolkovo. In 2010, Russia awarded a research grant of 3.3 million euros to Sloot as part of its ‘Leading Scientist’ programme.