By Shura Collinson
The Skolkovo Foundation signed a cooperation agreement with France’s EDF energy company on Monday, hours ahead of a visit to the innovations hub by the French Minister for Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs.
The cooperation agreement with EDF, France’s largest state owned energy company, focuses on energy efficiency at industrial and urban sites and new methods for generating and consuming electricity, smart grids and smart cities, electricity storage and energy efficient electric transport.
“EDF … has proven practical experience of implementing energy efficiency projects in Russia,” said Nikolai Grachev, vice president of the Skolkovo Foundation and director of its energy-efficient technologies cluster, who signed the agreement on behalf of Skolkovo.
“This agreement will enable Skolkovo startups to offer their solutions to EDF Group. EDF’s experience and know-how will definitely be in high demand in our innovation ecosystem,”
By speeding up the development of renewable energy sources and smart grids, the cooperation will contribute to EDF commitments to support sustainable development and reduce СО2 emissions globally, the two sides said in a joint press release.
France’s Minister for Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs Emmanuel Macron, who witnessed the signing of the agreement together with Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister Alexei Ulyukaev, visited the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology later on Monday to launch the French Tech in Moscow project, which aims to open the door to French startups that want to expand onto the Russian market.
Ulyukaev said the signing of the agreement was “especially important for the implementation of smart city and energy efficiency projects.”