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Silicon Valley in Siberia: Russia to build high-tech town on Yenisei River

A high-tech cluster similar to Silicon Valley in California will be built in east Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk later this year.

Credit: Maxim Blinov | RIAN

Digital Valley is part of a RUR 2 trln ($31bln) investment project, Yenisei Siberia. Its first infrastructure office is to open on the Yenisei by the end of 2019; overall, the cluster will employ up to 5,000 people. As a partner of the project, the IT company SAP agreed to train qualified personnel for the Digital Valley. SAP CIS CEO Andrei Filatov and Head of the Krasnoyarsk Territory’s Development Corporation Sergei Labyzhenko signed a cooperation agreement during SPIEF-2019.

The project was announced a few months ago. The high-tech cluster concept includes the integration of IT companies in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Siberian Federal District and Russia as a whole. Its resident companies will be offered unique preferential conditions for opening headquarters in Krasnoyarsk, according to Sergei Labyzhenko. The pool of future residents is already taking shape, as more than 40 companies said they wanted to become residents of the new Digital Valley.

The first office building is to become available at the end of 2019. In just three years, about RUR 5 bln ($77.5 mio) will be spent on building premises, a data center, infrastructure and a recreation zone. This is only part of Yenisei Siberia, a major investment project for the Krasnoyarsk Territory’s development, which now includes 32 smaller projects; RUR2 trln will be invested in the “new Siberia.”

We very much hope that SAP will become a flagship among the residents and a key partner in the Digital Valley and will use all its experience and potential to help our model of close interaction of digital companies and the real sector work the way we have planned it,” Labyzhenko said during the signing ceremony.

The agreement includes setting up the SAP Next-Gen Lab innovative laboratory at one of Krasnoyarsk universities, Andrei Filatov added. This will attract talented young people to Yenisei Siberia projects. The lab will test high-tech solutions, including those based on AI, the Internet of Things, and machine learning. Students will be able to use SAP tools to work on smart city, nature conservation and security projects, as well as on creating digital doubles of various objects and equipment. The regions of Yenisei Siberia – the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Republic of Tyva and Republic of Khakassia – will provide the arena for applying successful cases.

One of SAP’s key goals in the Russian market is to support the development of the digital economy. The digital economy is shaped by people who know how to work with modern technologies and how to apply innovative trends to specific business problems. For SAP, this partnership with Yenisei Siberia is an important strategic step reflecting our commitment to contribute to our country’s socioeconomic development,” said Andrei Filatov.

According to the participants in the ceremony, the Digital Valley project is of both economic and social significance. The development of highly competitive industries and personnel training reduce digital inequality, as all innovations and investment are now concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

By Anna Oreshkina

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