In October 2011, MIT and Russia initiated a multiyear collaboration to launch the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech).

The first phase of this joint effort between MIT, Skoltech, and the Skolkovo Foundation (the MIT Skoltech Initiative) comprised a wide span of agreed activities leading to the launch and early growth of Skoltech. The second phase of the MIT-Skoltech relationship, known as the MIT Skoltech Program, began in March 2016 and is scheduled to last for three years. The program is oriented around a narrower set of collaborative activities to promote the continued development of Skoltech and the Skolkovo ecosystem.

The MIT Skoltech Program features a focused set of core research and advisory activities, including an MIT faculty advisory committee, seed research funds, and a joint annual conference. There is also the flexibility to initiate additional collaborative projects that faculty from MIT and Skoltech will work on together, building on existing strengths and mutual interest, as needed. In addition, two Centers for Research, Education, and Innovation (CREIs) that were created in the first phase will continue their collaborative research, education, and innovation work into the second phase.