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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Gold “SKOLKOVO”: the huge money spent with a merchant scale

SKOLKOVO is an innovation centre if who forgot. Created by decree of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010, to promote scientific research.

In 2016, the accounts chamber conducted an audit of “SKOLKOVO”. Recently was published a full report.

To laugh and cry from it want at the same time.

Now it is not clear “as they wanted”, but it is still “as always.”

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

“SKOLKOVO” is a territorially separated complex with a preferential legal regime activities. Manages the development Fund of the center for elaboration and commercialization of new technologies (let’s just call it the Foundation).

The Fund has six subsidiary companies: joint management asset management and services (ODAS), Customs Finance company (TFK), joint management for design and construction (ODPS), Centre of intellectual property (TSIS), Technopark “SKOLKOVO”, center for orbital flights SKOLKOVO.

And the Fund, and “daughter” are funded by the state almost 100%.

Anyway, 93.8 per cent of total expenditure in 2013-2015, according to the chamber, funded from the Federal budget.

During this time, “SKOLKOVO” has spent a total of 65.5 billion people’s rubles. What the money went?

First and foremost, at a high salary the lucky ones who work in the SKOLKOVO Foundation and its subsidiaries.

“In the structure of expenses of the Fund in 2013-2015, the cost of labor amounted to more than 8.9 billion rubles, which is 13.7% of the total amount of expenditures made at the expense of subsidies from the Federal budget,” reports the chamber.

On research activity during this same time, money spent two times less. Despite the fact that SKOLKOVO was created to support research and turn them into commercial projects, not in order to pay generous serving researchers staff.

However we found the staff to research a priority.

“The average monthly salary of employees of the Fund and its subsidiaries in 2013-2015 significantly exceeded the mean monthly values of this index in Moscow and the Russian Federation as a whole.

In 2015 the average monthly salary in the Fund was $ 468,4 thousand RUB, 13.8 times higher than that in the economy of the Russian Federation (33,98 thousand RUB) and 5.3 times the average monthly salary in Moscow (88,62 thousand RUB in December 2015).

A similar situation has developed and in subsidiaries of the Fund. In TFC, the average salary was 245,6 thousand rubles in Technopark — 240,3 thousand.”

In addition to the Russians in “SKOLKOVO” are foreigners. In addition to wages them with the king’s generosity paid additional compensation.

A citizen of Israel, the General Director of the ODPS (this is the “daughter” that was carrying out construction in SKOLKOVO) Mr. Lumelsky received, for example, to rent an apartment for 300 thousand per month. He and his family at the expense of the Federal budget four times in the month to fly overseas. The whole family Lumelsky paid medical and dental insurance for the category a VIP contract with one of the leading insurance companies such insurance are hundreds of thousands of rubles a year.

“The total amount of compensation of foreign employees of ODPS in the period under review amounted to 21 million 382 thousand 900 rubles.”, — estimated by the chamber.

Profit from participation in the SKOLKOVO project goes offshore

The research for which was created and exists for “SKOLKOVO”, the interlocutors of the project.

Member of the project is Russian legal entity established solely for the purpose of research and participant status of the project.

To be a member of the project useful and beneficial because the participants are free to import everything we need for research: equipment, tools, programs, machines, accessories — anything. Customs duty and value added tax paid for them by the state.

In 2015, SKOLKOVO has been registered 1432 party, who promised to conduct research.

Upon closer examination, however, revealed that not all of them is actually Russian.

“11 out of 36 companies participating in the project received at the end of 2014, the largest revenue from the research results (more than 100 million rubles), are owned by foreign legal entities. For example, the absolute owners of LLC “Parallelz research”, “Rock Flow Dynamics”, JSC “E-engineering”, LLC “Works” are foreign legal persons registered in Cyprus, and OOO “Lingualia and Acumatica” — foreign legal entities registered in the British virgin Islands”.

Before to join the United family members of the project proceeds they had God knows what. But thanks to the benefits and preferences offered by SKOLKOVO registered in offshore zones, the company immediately began to “raise” the money is good.

“Company “E-engineering”, received in 2012 the status of the participant of the project, increased revenue from 128 thousand in 2011 to 206,9 million in 2014.

OOO “Rock Flow Dynamics” in 2011 showed revenue 79,9 million. After obtaining the status of Participant of the project (July 2011) in 2014, revenue amounted to 257,7 million rubles.”

The project participant has the right once a year to distribute the net profit among its participants, OOO. This means that the revenue they receive due to the “SKOLKOVO” floats to the offshore companies in Cyprus and the virgin Islands.

“To estimate the possible volume of output of net profit participants of the project abroad in the course of control activities was not possible”, — stated in the report of the accounting chamber.

Maybe it’s for the best.

Grants are distributed between

In addition to the tax and customs benefits, the participants of the SKOLKOVO project is still receiving research grants.

Grants are given not to all but only the most deserving.

For the 2013-2015 287 issued grants a total of 4 billion 812 million rubles, All the money taken out, of course, from the Federal budget of the country.

It distributes grants grant Fund Committee. Half its members are employees of the Fund. The other half independent experts. Their hard work paid decently. Over three years the Fund paid them more than 43 million rubles.

To objectively allocate the grants, members of the grant Committee must not be interested in obtaining them. Such a rule formulated in the documents of the Fund.

But they are interested in. And in the most serious way.

“Of the 15 members of the grant Committee, which operated in the period from 2013 to 2015, about 30% were stakeholders — or founders with significant stakes in the Charter capital, or company executives, claiming the status of a project participant (or already received it) or for a grant, and from 1188 expert stakeholders were almost 60% from their total number”.

Voting for the grants, members of the grant Committee are guided by the principle of reciprocity — “you help us, we’ll help you”.

“Analysis of the minutes of the meeting of the grants Committee on 24 June 2015 No. 71 shows that of the six questions on granting of grants in three cases, the grantees were associated with members of the grant Committee.”

In the vote on the question of grant, OOO “Camera Biay” did not participate Ya Ya Petrychkovych in connection with a potential conflict of interest. 11 of the 15 members of the grant Committee voted to give “the Camera Biay” grant in the amount of 30 million rubles.

In the vote on the question of the grant “Center of innovation Natalia Kasperskaya” did not participate N.And.Kasperskaya in connection with a potential conflict of interest. 11 members of the grant Committee voted to give her a grant in the amount of 50 million rubles.

In the vote on the question of grant, OOO Telum was not involved A. P. Kuleshov, the founder of “Telum”. Ten members of the grant Committee voted to grant him the grant in the amount of 49.6 million rubles.

Invested in the study of money does not give results

What is spent is invested into the “SKOLKOVO” public money is an important issue but not the main.

The main question would be: what do we got?

Had to advances in science and technology. How to understand, does it have a place? And if so, how can it be measured?

One of the indicators by which to judge the effectiveness of investments, the proceeds received by the companies in the SKOLKOVO project.

It remains to companies. They share, invest, you get it. While SKOLKOVO innovation center continues to be funded from the state budget. But do you record: one of the participants of the project how much money?

If the revenue they have, and big enough — so, the products of their research are purchased. But if they are bought — so scientific-technological wheel is spun, public investment work.

The revenues of participants in the chamber were therefore tested separately. And found surprises.

It turned out that 47 of the project participants who have received grants for a total amount of 1.5 billion rubles had in 2013-2015 no revenue.

OOO “Protekshen Tekhnolodzhi resech” received a grant of 25 million on content protection for mobile devices from piracy. Revenue from grant — zero. None of this “protection” buys.

The same zero result, the “SPIRIT of Navigation”. It received 28.3 million in “hybrid navigation receiver for seamless positioning and use of geoinformation services inside buildings and under the open sky”.

OOO “Ural industrial company” got 30,0 million for the establishment of a plant for cathodic protection stations of oil and gas sector. The power plant also proved to be useless.

“According to the explanation of Fund lack of revenue from startups to receive a grant, due to the fact that these startups are not brought its product to market, they will need a few years to the finished product, says the chamber. — At the same time, the absence for several years of revenue from a significant number of companies that have received grants from the Foundation totaling 1.5 billion rubles, creates risks of spending these funds without achieving economic results.”

Allocated to the study of the money did not give the results that are promised

40% (to 32.2 billion rubles) the total revenue received by all participants of the project have on the revenue of CJSC “Sberbank-Technology”. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sberbank.

Applying for a grant, “Sberbank-Technologies” promised to send it “on the establishment of a global SaaS platform for financial and payment services to create a fundamentally new model of Bank online with the possibility of providing services on behalf of the Bank, and in the format of white label”.

White label and marketing concept, when the product or service produced by one company used another company under its own brand.

Following the application, in the first quarter of 2014, “Sberbank-Technologies” was to provide white label their platform to third-party organizations. But not provided.

Probably because “Sberbank-Technology” does not display on new development. And did not register it because in accordance with the General agreement with OJSC “Sberbank of Russia” the exclusive right to all the development in full goes to “savings”.

“Thus, all of the developed technical solutions was associated exclusively with the improvement and development of services of JSC “Sberbank of Russia”, — concludes the chamber.

“Sberbank” that is unabashedly used the grant from SKOLKOVO for research to make yourself an upgrade. Updated my software and got from it a good profit.

Allocated to the study of money investing in research

Among those project participants that received the largest revenue (100 million rubles), the chamber has found six companies that have research activity is missing in the declared activities.

In addition, there were the company, the revenues of which included in the IC “SKOLKOVO” as derived from research activities, although actually it is derived not from her.

“Proceeds of LLC “of mirriko Service” was included in the achieved in 2014, the value of the index Fund in the amount of 500,2 million (for 2015 revenue this Participant was also included in the progress indicator value in the amount of 235.6 million rubles).

Upon receipt of the status of the participant of the company declares the project on development of technology of production of turbulent viscosity reducing additive for reducing hydrodynamic resistance at transporting of oil.

Study the official website of the group of companies MIRRICO showed that the products of the company — M FLOWTREAT of turbulent viscosity reducing additive, is produced and sold in accordance with the technical specifications in 2010, and the second product is depressant additive “DEWAXOL” brand 7801 — 2011.

Similar doubts about the validity of the accounting of revenue in indicator of the Fund are available for other Participants of the project”.

In short, the company obtained the status of participant of SKOLKOVO project, promising to explore what has long been researched, produced and sold.

Their revenue for what has long been sold, is fixed by the “SKOLKOVO” project to convince everyone that the project is successful, it effectively promotes scientific research. But really, this is pure fraud.

For training of one student of Skoltech, the state pays 6.5 times more than for the education of students from other universities

In addition to their own salaries and research without return “SKOLKOVO” still invests in education.

In this direction the main object — the SKOLKOVO Institute of science and technology (Skoltech). For 2013-2015, it invested almost 12 billion.

“These costs include funds provided to File in the form of a grant and funds to the Massachusetts Institute of technology (hereafter MIT) in the framework of a prisoner on 26 October 2011 a tripartite agreement on cooperation between the Fund, MIT and Skoltech”.

For 2013-2015, the Fund paid Tech 7 billion 883 million rubles. from the Federal budget subsidies.

MIT was listed 94 million 77 thousand U.S. dollars (about 4 billion RUB.).

Of 50.7 million of MTI’s expenditure on himself for Skoltech to prepare its organizational structure and financial model, business consultants, designers to create campus and other infrastructure, assistance in selection of teachers and the development of academic disciplines.

And $ 44 million from the Federal budget of the Russian Federation went on to develop the capacities of the Massachusetts Institute of technology.

How the money is spent, the audit chamber to check, of course, could not. But surely they have improved the American education system.

With the investment of budget funds in Skoltech no such certainty.

“Some of the indicators of Skoltech has not been achieved. The number of faculty Skoltech in 2015, 60 (86% of plan). The number of students 315 (90%)”.

While Skoltech receives from the Federal budget more money than the Federal universities, where he studied in times more students.

For comparison, the audit chamber cites in 2015.

Skoltech: 315 students, of which training is allocated from the Federal budget of 4 billion 798,1 million rubles.

North-Caucasus Federal University: 9903 student, from the budget allocated 2 billion 516,9 million

Crimean Federal University: 14763 student allocated 3 billion 772,5 million

Siberian Federal University: 20510 students, 4 billion 680,6 million.

Northern (Arctic) Federal University: 6437 students, 2 billion 281.15 million

Customs services in “SKOLKOVO” are 8 times more expensive than its price

“SKOLKOVO” has its own Customs Finance company (TFK), which deals with registration of everything that is imported to Russia from abroad for the needs of the innovation center.

The Federal budget expenditures on the content of TFA in 2013-2015 amounted to 137.5 million RUB.

During this time, the TFA has issued 504 of the customs Declaration.

“Thus, the cost of services for the design 1 of the Declaration at the expense of the Federal budget, given the different functions performed by TPA (accompanied by the registration of the Declaration, administrative costs, etc.) of 272.8 thousand rubles.”, — concludes the chamber.

In fact, the service for the preparation and maintenance of a single customs Declaration is from 15 to 50 thousand rubles.

The costs of the state agencies on registration of customs declarations vary in such framework, as confirmed by the single public procurement website.

SKOLKOVO innovation center pays eight times more expensive.

Well, not eighty.

The audit chamber report contains many other interesting information about how is spent in “SKOLKOVO” people’s money.

Unfortunately — or fortunately? — in the newspaper there is no place to write about everything. We selected just a few episodes. But they are enough to understand what’s going on with the people’s money — how they are treated and where directed.

Sad to admit, but the miracle in “SKOLKOVO” did not work.

The hopes for a technological breakthrough and the elimination of the backlog from the West, which were associated with the project to come true, apparently, not meant to be.

In any case, checking of the chamber is not encouraging on this score optimism.


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