The letter of intent is the first step in the collaboration between SURFnet and Skoltech aimed to realise a high-bandwidth infrastructure for joint scientific endeavours between the Netherlands and Russia. The 'Skoltech Center for Stem Cell Research' is a prime example of such a data-intensive collaboration project. The high-speed connection will enable researchers in this project from Skoltech, Groningen University Medical Centre, the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics in Moscow, and other universities throughout the world to apply state of the art genomics technologies as they work to form the foundation for personalized medicine. Another example is collaboration in scientific ICT research and developing and exploiting innovative technologies carried out by Skoltech and the University of Amsterdam.
Increasing data intensity and internationalisation in the academic community has heightened the demand for effective international high-bandwidth network connectivity in research and education.
Edward Crawley, President of Skoltech, stated: "We are strategically forming partnerships to advance education, research and innovation. This network connection is one step on that path, empowering Skoltech scientists, students and our academic and industrial partners to truly make a difference in their collaborative research. Furthermore, it will increase Russias connectivity to Europe and beyond."
"The network connection will provide an incentive to collaborate between the Netherlands and Russia in the field of science. At the same time it will further strengthen the Netherlands' position as the digital gateway to Europe", stated Erwin Bleumink, CEO of SURFnet.
Signing the letter of intent was only one of the activities during Prime Minister Rutte's annual visit to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) where politicians, representatives of the business community, university professors and journalists convene to discuss the economic opportunities and challenges facing the world today.
The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. Established in October 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech educates global leaders in innovation, advances scientific knowledge and fosters new technologies to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Applying international research and educational models, the university integrates the best Russian scientific traditions with twenty-first century entrepreneurship and innovation.