Russia and China set up $200mn hi-tech fund

An interior view shows the Skolkovo Hypercube at the Skolkovo Innovation Center on the outskirts of Moscow (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)
Russia and China have signed a deal to set up a joint $200 million venture fund - a startup incubator for Russian businesses and a new Chinese robotics center.

The agreement was inked by Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation and Chinese Cybernaut Investment Group on Tuesday in Beijing during a Russia-Chinese business forum. The venture fund will focus on companies from the IT field and robotics, as well as space technologies and telecommunications, according to astatementfrom the Skolkovo Foundation.

READ MORE: Skolkovo to get Russia's biggest development fund

The business incubator will be located at the Skolkovo Innovation Center will deal with research and development, and host at least 15 companies. The Cybernaut robotics center will be established in China with the help of Skolkovo’s Robotics Center and will implement “a joint acceleration program for Skolkovo resident companies to ease them into the Chinese market.” The projects are expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2015.

The signing of the agreement is “an important step in the development of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the area of innovation,” according to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

READ MORE:China-Russia partnership mature & stable, not targeting ‘third parties’ – FM Wang Yi

Moscow and Beijing have been increasing cooperation in various fields, including the energy and financial sectors. In October, China and Russia signed a memorandum to jointly build high-tech parks in the two countries. Most recently, China and Russia decided to create a joint rating agency and to switch to local currencies in trading settlements. Beijing also considering the construction of the China Mongolia-Russia economic corridor which is expected to create a “new platform” for economic development between the countries.