Moscow — Occupying the cavernous spaces of a former automobile factory in Moscow's industrial zone, Technopolis has been struggling for years.
The project, a brainchild of the city government, targeted Russia's long underperforming technology sector, providing a state-assisted leg up in a forbidding, oligarch-dominated marketplace. Yet it languished while Russia was rolling in oil wealth and had no quarrel with the West.
But now, amid tightening sanctions on Russia, Technopolis is benefiting from a political fair wind and promises of Kremlin cash. It's attracting dozens of mostly hi-tech start-ups who receive reliable premises, access to government assistance, and special customs and tax privileges. In return, they are to help Russia win the "import substitution" battle by producing goods formerly sourced from the West.