The Russians Are Coming!

Or rather everyone involved in nanotech is beating a path to Russia and their new high tech cluster at Skolkovo.

Not letting the grass grow under feet after splashing out a billion dollars on deals for Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) from Crocus Technology and $700 million on organic electronics with Plastic Logic,  to coincide with the St Petersburg International Economic Forum RusNano have been having a busy few days.

Announced so far this month are

  • $15m into SiTime for MEMS based timing chips
  • An investment in the $100 million Asia Pacific Nanotechnology Fund along with the Singaporean Economic Development Board (EDB) and Singapore-based investment group 360ip, the South Korean Economy Ministry’s Institute for the Advancement of Technology (KIAT), the St. Petersburg municipality and South Korea’s Samho Green Investment Venture Capital
  • A joint venture with Alcoa for a pilot manufacturing line for nanocoatings and production of advanced cables designed to address the issue of icing and breakage of power transmission lines because of bad weather conditions
  • An investment in South Korean ultracapacitor maker Nesscap Energy
  • An investment in Polar Quartz to create “a vertically integrated production complex for quartz micro- and nanopowder and ultrapure quartz concentrate” although some think the project is doomed
  • Another in Terwingo who produce high tensile strength sawing wire for solar and microelectronics applications
  • Yet another in Lafarge, a Russian cement company for “the development of innovative and sustainable construction materials”
  • A project to crreate an RFID driven “store of the future”
  • And even an online shop for nanotech solutions

Lots of risky stuff in there. but all with the long term aim of developing Russian high tech industry. Perhaps the only way to replicate the Silicon Valley model is to wave lost of cash around? Maybe that is why this happens in Russia while Britain can just about afford a roundabout.

Now, just wait until you see what the Chinese are planning!

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