We meet our client at the airport, and now after an hour's drive we arrive in Akademgorodok — a small town near Novosibirsk, the third-largest city in Russia following Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Our guest is surprised to learn that in winter Akademgorodok ressembles a huge snow-covered forest. He is also quite surprised to learn that Azoft’s headquarters are located here and that most of Azoft’ employees live nearby.
We tell our guest about a group of Soviet scientists who moved to the tayga in the 1950s to create a promised land for scientific research. The very best physicists and chemists from Moscow came to this beautiful site on the shore of the Ob Reservoir to build outstanding infrastructure and create facilities for intellectual activity. The original inhabitants of Novosibirsk, one the largest industrial centers in Siberia, very poetically called this place Golden Valley.
Photo by © SPSL SBRAS
The Institute of Hydrodynamics, the Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Institute of Mathematics and other institutions for advanced scientific research were built in the 1960s. By 1980, there were more than 30 important centers. The founders of Academgorodok quickly grasped the importantce of combining scientific work and education, so scientific institutions and Novosibirsk State University were constructed at the same time. Novosibirsk State University is now among Russia's top 10 universities.
Photo by Yuri Rodionov
Driving through the campus among tall pines and spruces, we explain to our guest that the majority of Azoft's employees lived here while studying at the university. Here they can walk everywhere and do not need transportation.
Photo by Alexey Fursenko
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the first private companies were opened on the base of mathematics and engineering research institutes here. In the 1990s, the IT boom began in Akademgorodok, specializing for the market outside Russia.
High-quality education, intense scientific research, and a proven record of custom services development — all these elements combine to make Akademgorodok prosperous. There are now more than 100 IT companies in Akademgorodok, both local companies and international corporations, such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Schlumberger, which have R&D activities here.
As we arrive at Azoft's headqurters, our guest asks about the beautiful tall contemporary building here, Akadempark, a new business complex, which has became modern Akademgorodok’s symbol. There are many IT startups here, including developers of applications for mobile phones and games plus web studios, where they can find not only office space but also abundant infrastructure and a well-educated workforce — the future of Akademgorodok.
We finally arrive at Azoft’s headquarters in one of the business centers. Our guest is delighted by our short excursion to Akademgorodok. He regrets having come for just a few days to meet our team and become acquainted with Novosibirsk and Akademgorodok. We invite him to be our guest in the summer and promise to take him to the Ob Reservoir, to search for mushrooms in the forest, and meet Akedemgorodok's first settlers — cute Siberian squirrels.
You too are invited to visit us!