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Making pancakes: How Russia plans a technology sector to rival Silicon Valley
This article is part of the CW Europe issue of August 2014
On the outskirts of Moscow, nestled among the dachas of oligarchs and politicians, and next door to Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich’s personal golf course, Russia’s bid to become a global player in technology is taking shape. According to Bloomberg’s league table of the most innovative countries in the world, Russia ranks only 18th – ahead of China but behind not only most of its global competitors, but also relative minnows in the world economy, such as Norway, The Netherlands and Austria. In the days of the Soviet Union, Russia had a reputation for engineering and technology that was embodied in heavy industry and its space programme – albeit focused on domestic markets. But in the post-communist world of the past 20 years, the country has struggled to convert that heritage into international success. Niche software firms such as Kaspersky in IT security and Parallels in virtualisation have been role models to an extent, and Russian software developers compete for offshore outsourcing work. But the Russian tech ...
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