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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Innovation Aid Offered By Intel, Schlumberger

NOVOSIBIRSK — Intel and Schlumberger may help Russia create a $720 million "innovation" complex in Novosibirsk to develop Siberia's scientific capital.

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, and Schlumberger, the biggest oilfield contractor, have committed to Technopark and "many Russian and international companies are actively working on the project," Novosibirsk Governor Viktor Tolokonsky said in an interview last week in Novosibirsk, the regional capital.

Technopark is a research, development and office complex in Akademgorodok, a scientific community built in the 1950s to house more than 65,000 Soviet nuclear and other scientists and their relatives. The Ob River was dammed in 1956 to produce electricity for the area.

In 2005, then-President Vladimir Putin asked Novosibirsk's regional government to convert Akademgorodok into a technology zone that can offer tax breaks and other incentives to encourage investment and innovation by companies. Such zones are part of a larger effort by the government to diversify the economy away from dependence on natural resources.

"Akademgorodok has a huge number of small, innovative companies and about 30 large research institutes," Tolokonsky said in an interview at the opening of a Baltika brewery in the city. "We don't have any problems attracting residents."

California-based Intel may open an office in Technopark and will make a decision after receiving an official proposal from the governor, Yelena Filatova, a spokeswoman for Intel in Russia, said by telephone from Moscow. "We have a lot of initiatives with the Novosibirsk government such as educational programs," Filatova said.

"In principle, we can confirm that we would be interested in participating in Technopark," Stephen Whittaker, a spokesman for Schlumberger, said by telephone from Paris. "The form of our participation would be a matter of further discussion." The company several years ago opened research and engineering facilities in the city, he said.

Technopark will eventually house 200 companies whose products will range from software to pharmaceuticals, said Irina Levit, a spokeswoman for the regional government. Sales of Technopark products will probably reach 21 billion rubles ($891 million) per year in 2012, about one- quarter of which will come from exports, according to the city's web site.

RosEuroDevelopment, which is co-owned by Morgan Stanley's real estate unit and France's Altarea, is investing about 15 billion rubles ($630 million) in the park's construction and the local government will spend 2 billion rubles ($85 million), according to the web site. The company plans to complete construction by 2015.