The open call format allows the university to find and support the best projects in order to meet the goals outlined in its 2030 Development Strategy, established as part of the national program Priority 2030. The contest is held once every year. Last year, 36 projects were chosen as the winners. For more information on the previous year’s open call, you can check out our story here.

This year, the open call has five tracks:

  • ITMO.Impact;

  • Development of ITMO’s Frontier Laboratories;

  • PI Group: Scientific Hyperjump;

  • Highly-Personalized Education;

  • Well-Being.

These tracks correspond with ITMO’s four strategic projects, with the second and third tracks both being a part of the Scientific Breakthrough project..

The application period lasted three weeks. This year, the applicants worked closely with the coordinators of ITMO’s strategic projects to make sure that their submissions would build on the results of the previous year’s contest. It is believed that this continuity will result in better and more effective technical solutions.

The contest was open to every ITMO student, graduate, or staff member, as well as students and faculty of other universities, ITMO’s current and future industrial partners, and representatives of other organizations. In total, there were 58 submissions, with 13 of them by teams comprising students only and 8 by external organizations. The ITMO.Impact category was by far the most popular with 32 applications. Meanwhile, the Development of ITMO’s Frontier Laboratories track received three, PI Group: Scientific Hyperjump received six, Highly-Personalized Education got ten, and Well-Being – seven.

All of the submissions had to meet two key requirements: firstly, they must be compliant with the goals and objectives of ITMO’s 2030 Development Strategy, and secondly, they must be completed within a timeframe of three years. Biannual project reviews will be held to determine if subsequent funding should be provided.

Apart from funding the projects, ITMO University offers the winners access to its expertise, human resources, infrastructure, and partners. There is no strict limit on the funding one might expect at the time of application, but applicants have to substantiate the funding they apply for with planned tasks, events, and, most importantly, the expected results of the project. The key principle is that the project’s budget has to correspond to its results.

What lies ahead

The next stage of the contest involves expert assessment of the submissions. Each project will be evaluated by at least three experts selected from among ITMO staff, third-party specialists, and members of the Development Strategy Coordination Council.

News about the contest can be found on the official website of ITMO’s 2030 Development Strategy. A full list of projects that pass the initial review will be published there on February 13. The subsequent expert assessment of the projects will continue until March 10.

By March 13, the participants will learn which submissions are to move on to open project defenses. The defenses will take place on March 20-24 during sessions of the Development Strategy Coordination Council. The final list of winners will be published on March 27.