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purview operate by laws that facilitate participation of international companies and encourage innovation. These laws provide tax breaks and administrative benefits, such as onsite customs facilitation and work permit issuance to overcome bureaucratic delays.

Biomedicine is one of the main sectors of interest. Eleven of 30 grant applications for biomedical start-ups had been approved by April 2012. A total of $76 million had been invested, with each grant for $2–5 million over 3–5 years. The strategic goal of the biomedicine cluster is to create an ecosystem for biomedical innovations that consists of more than 90 companies.

The biomedicine cluster focuses on four main fields: (1) clinical medicine and health care, (2) medical-biological and biological sciences, (3) bioinformatics, and (4) industrial biotechnologies (including purification methods and industrial technologies for the production of medical preparations). Plans call for a preclinical medicine testing center for cluster residents that should start operating in 2013. According to this plan, the companies will not have to transfer money from abroad to pay for preclinical testing of medicines.

The following U.S. companies have shown interest in activities of the cluster: Johnson and Johnson, Agenus, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Dow Chemical. ChemRar Ventures has entered into licensing and research agreements with Skolkovo Foundation, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer.

SOURCE: Information provided by Skolkovo Foundation, April 2012.

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