The Skolkovo Foundation, in charge of developing Russia’s flagship innovation hub on the outskirts of Moscow, will cooperate with the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) and the Italian Confederation for the Promotion of Artisans and Small Businesses (Confartigianato Imprese) in exchanging their expertise and promoting innovations. The parties signed formal agreements in Moscow on May 29 as part of Skolkovo’s main yearly event, ‘Startup Village.’ The Italian Trade Agency is the government agency that promotes Italian businesses worldwide. The memorandum of understanding signed with Skolkovo will allow the parties to cooperate in such areas as R&D, IT, telecommunications, power engineering, and renewable energy. Italian ambassador to Moscow Pasquale Terracciano, who also attended the event, said that it took both parties two long years to finally reach an agreement. “We herewith promise to increase the number of innovative companies and broaden our mutual cooperation to the benefit of all,” he added. The second document signed involves Confartigianato Imprese Vicenza, one of the leading local associations of the Confartigianato Imprese in the northern province of Veneto in Italy, which is famous for its industrial expertise. The parties pin big hopes that the agreement will allow both countries to cooperate at the national and regional levels to promote innovations offered by local businesses and startups. Italy is one of Russia’s most important trade partners in Europe. Despite international sanctions imposed on Russia, it managed to increase its exports there in the recent years. About 85% of Italian imports in Russia account for machinery and equipment, fashionable goods, ready-to-cook items, and different foodstuffs.