1 Jul 2010 20:03

Skolkovo will help Russia draw talented foreign scientists

MOSCOW. July 1 (Interfax) - Vladislav Surkov, first deputy head of the presidential administration, said he is hoping the Skolkovo project will help "make a window" from the West to Russia for "brain import" and will draw talented foreign scientists to Russia.

"We should make it a habit that going to Russia to work is normal," Surkov said at a parliamentary hearing addressing legislative support of the project Innovations Center Skolkovo held in the State Duma on Thursday.

No matter what myths and cliches may exist about Russia in the West, they can be overcome, Surkov said. "We just have to make the first window. The first dozens, hundreds of people will come and then it will start happening naturally," he said.

Surkov called for the internalization of Skolkovo, in which a key role is played by "brain import, import of specialists." "I reiterate: we want the best specialists. The country of origin is not important," Surkov said.

Surkov reiterated that it is now "critically important" to draw foreign specialists to Russia and the government has provided grants for this purpose. Appropriate laws and government decrees have been adopted to help Russian companies working with universities and inviting specialists from abroad get state funding.

"I reiterate this to prevent us from running into the problem of false patriotism," Surkov said.

Surkov said that being a patriot now means understanding that Russia is interested in its intellectual potential to be replenished by the best, most talented scientists and specialists from abroad. "It's absolutely important," he said.