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Interros business activity has been inexorably linked with philanthropy for more than twenty years. In 1999 Vladimir Potanin created his Foundation in order to make philanthropic work more effective and systematic. As one of the first Russian institutions of its kind, the Foundation brought professionalism to philanthropic projects in education and culture.

The Foundation was quick to define its number one priority — giving support to emerging leaders. Only they can lead by example, create a following, and foster an environment for positive change. The Foundation is looking for the best. Fostering leadership is key to solving systemic issues on any scale and in any domain. Money given to a leader gets invested in the leader’s own development; leaders build projects sustainably to make sure they have a post-grant life, as we call it at the Foundation.

Vladimir Potanin finances the Foundation’s operations out of his own capital to the tune of more than 300 million rubles per year.

The Vladimir Potanin Foundation

Chairman of the Board:
Larisa Zelkova
Oksana Oracheva
ul. Tverskaya 16/1
Moscow, 125009, Russia
phone: +7 495 149 3018

Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) is a unique educational institution that was founded under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee during the preparation for the 2014 Olympic Games. The University’s main goal is to train a new generation of sports managers who will work in Russia and throughout the world, and will be a part of the Olympic movement.

Interros is the only sponsor of the project. In just under three years, the company built a high-tech campus on the Sochi seashore, and made a substantive contribution to structuring academic life at the university.

The university can train up to 500 students at any given time, and up to 2000 go through the university’s various programs every year.

RIOU’s instructors are well-known Russian and international experts in sports management from leading universities in ten countries.

The Master of Sports Administration program was launched in 2013.

Interros has invested $500 million in RIOU construction, of which some $150 million came from the company’s own funds as a philanthropic contribution.

Russian International Olympic University

President: Lev Belousov
ul. Ordzhonikidze, 11,
Sochi, 354000, Russia
phone: +7 862 262 9720
fax: +7 862 262 9721

The Potanin Foundation is one of the first charitable foundations in Russia. Created in 1999 by entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin to implement large-scale humanitarian programs, it grew to have seven of them. In 2022, the Fund's endowment was formed, the income from which is used to develop and support grant programs in culture, higher education, social sports and charity throughout Russia.


On October 21, 2009, the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), an independent non-profit organization of secondary professional education was established. The university was founded by the Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee and the Interros Group.

Interros invested $500 million in the construction of the RIOU.

The core of RIOU’s curriculum and activities are aimed at training qualified personnel in the field of sports management for the Russian and the world’s sports industry, the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

The RIOU is the main custodian of the 2014 Games Archive and ensures the preservation of the archives and heritage of the Sochi Olympics by creating the necessary framework for conducting research in the field of the Olympic movement and sports.

The Russian International Olympic University is a landmark project – a symbol of the Olympic heritage. Its graduates are in demand in the Russian and world’s Olympic and Paralympic movements, state and municipal governments, sports federations and clubs, sports media, companies in production of sports goods, and in sports marketing.


In February 2013, Vladimir Potanin became the first Russian entrepreneur to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, an international philanthropic initiative.