The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skolkovo Tech) has invited 13 outstanding research teams to submit full proposals for the next stage of competition for the first three Skolkovo Tech Research Centers. Invited full proposals are due on June 1, launching the next stage of the peer review and selection process, which will culminate in recommendations for funding and negotiation of contracts with Skolkovo Tech. In addition to the 13 full proposal invitations, teams are also being selected for planning awards to further develop Research Center concepts for submission in the next round, planned for late 2012.
Skolkovo Tech is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skolkovo Tech will educate coming generations of researchers and entrepreneurs, advance scientific knowledge, and foster technological innovation to address critical issues facing Russia and the world in the new century.
Selection of the 13 finalists was based on peer review by more than 70 internationally recognized experts in relevant fields. Each proposal was evaluated on a variety of criteria, including collaborative research, education and innovation components; impact on Russia; and building capacity at Skolkovo Tech. MIT also worked with Skolkovo Tech to facilitate the international peer review of current and future proposals.
The reviewers noted the scientific and innovative quality of many of the submitted white papers. Mats Nordlund, vice president of research at Skolkovo Tech, said, “Even though we could only invite a small number of full proposals in this first round, it is clear from the peer review that many more exciting and high-potential Research Center ideas exist, which bodes well for our second-round Call for Proposals.”
The research teams of the 13 invited full proposals are drawn from many of the world’s leading universities and span the five strategic research fields of Skolkovo Tech: biomedicine, energy, space, nuclear and information sciences and technologies. Each Research Center will partner with Skolkovo Tech with an international co-lead institution and a Russian co-lead institution. International co-leads include the University of Groningen, MIT, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, LMU Munich, University of Chicago, Cambridge University, University of Helsinki and University of Pennsylvania. Russian co-leads include Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, National University of Science and Technology, Novosibirsk State University, Kazan Federal University, Nuclear Safety Institute RAS, Space Research Institute RAS, Institute of General Genetics RAS and Institute of Biochemical Physics RAS.
As part of a three-year collaboration with MIT to develop Skolkovo Tech and its Research Centers, MIT and Skolkovo Tech will co-host the second Skolkovo Tech Research Center Proposers Conference on July 9-10 in Skolkovo. Submissions for the second round are due Oct. 15.