MOSCOW—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. and its Russian business partners are broadening their cooperation to include joint research and development activities, according to the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday in Moscow.
The partners—Rosneft Oil Co., Rostec State Corp. and Pirelli—did not disclose specifics of how the R&D cooperation would work but indicated it would encompass synthetic rubber, reinforcing materials and fillers such as carbon black, all developed in compliance with Pirelli's technical standards.
The memorandum was signed by Igor Sechin, president and chairman of Rosneft, Marco Tronchetti Provera, chairman and CEO of Pirelli, and Sergei Chemezov, general director of Rostec.
"Russia is of strategic importance to Pirelli, and this three-way operation shows our commitment to the country growing deeper," Tronchetti Provera said. "It is also an opportunity for Pirelli to take advantage of the great expertise and experience of its two Russian partners."
Pirelli and Rostec are partners in Pirelli Tyre Russia, which operates tire plants in Kirov and Voronezh, Russia. Pirelli owns 65 percent of the venture, expected to generate $350 million in sales this year.
Pirelli and Rosneft, a leading Russian oil and gas concern, are involved in a separate project to build a network of premium "PZero Platinum" tire stores at Rosneft's branded filling stations throughout Russia.
The tire maker also is considering a possible investment in synthetic rubber with Rosneft.
Chemezov said the commercialization of R&D results is one of the priorities of its cooperation with Pirelli.
"Extension of cooperation in this sphere will give the opportunity to realize the potential of research institutions that are part of Rostec and to use the knowledge of Russian scientists," Chemezov said.