The Students Contribute to the City (Студенты - городу) contest has been conducted for the 15th time already. The goal of the event is to involve St. Petersburg's youth in the city's administrative processes, use their “fresh minds” to develop new solutions for pressing problems and give the students an opportunity to write practice-oriented theses. Each year, about 300 students participate in the contest, yet only about a 3rd of them reach the finals. Each award winner gets a prize of 8,000 rubles.

"We see that every year, more and more projects reach the finals. All of them are practice-oriented, as they were developed on the order of the city's administration. About 30-40% are introduced into real practice; those are mostly projects that are both relevant and affordable - unfortunately, one can create a great project but there still won't be enough money to introduce it. We encourage the students to focus on solving the pressing problems of our city, mostly in the field of education and social and utility infrastructure. Thus, our goal is to improve the communication between St. Petersburg's government and citizens," commented Vice-Governor Vladimir Kirillov.

Vladimir Kirillov

This year, four graduates of ITMO's Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations received awards. Ariz Akhmetov analyzed the processes related to conclusion of land lease contracts. The contest's participant had created a model of this process, developed an algorithm of the respective operations and proposed his recommendations on how the process can be improved. What's more, his model can be used as a template when optimizing other processes.

"My recommendations can help decrease the time spent on the getting the contract done to 20 days instead of 30. The number of procedures necessary to complete it is decreased from 26 to 16," explains the project's author.

Valeria Kirillova, Yana Goncharuk, Ariz Akhmetov and Nikita Bodeiko

Another graduate, Nikita Bodeiko, developed a model of a system for motivating employees of a governmental body deemed to promote client-oriented approach. The research's goal was to analyze the existing motivation systems and develop recommendations on improving them. The student noted that in order to attain better productivity on a limited budget, one should focus on methods of non-financial motivation. Also, there's a need to increase the number of employees, as the workload now is too high, as well as automatize particular parts of the work process.

Yana Goncharuk from the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations studied the influence of the development of railroad transport on St. Petersburg economy. The young specialist noted that the launching of the high-speed Sapsan trains has had a positive effect, as it served as a great driver for the development of business. Also, according to the statistics by Russian Railways, the passenger flow on its routes is always high. The Master's student herself is from Tver, so she often uses Sapsans and sees how many people use them to get to work every day.

Yana Goncharuk

"It's been two years already since I started working at an organization that does transport planning. As part of my Master's thesis, I would recommend for the St. Petersburg's administration to conduct a large scale research on the use of railway transport in the city and the Leningrad region. After gathering the data, it will be necessary to conduct transport modeling in accordance to the demand on passenger transportation. The model will show how the creation of particular routes will affect the passenger flow, as well as help calculate its effect on the economy," shared Yana Goncharuk.

Valeria Kirillova researched how imports phase-out affects the city economy in what has to do with transport.  She analyzed the expenses of such state unitary enterprises as Passazhiravtotrans (the city's buses), Gorelectrotrans (trams and trolley buses) and St. Petersburg's subway on purchasing rolling stock and corresponding equipment. The former student concluded that the enterprises have to create a consortium for the purposes of buying certain equipment. Also, the city's officials should pay closer attention to domestic equipment.

Award winner's diploma

The projects by ITMO's students were also praised by Rector Vladimir Vasilyev. He underlined that thanks to the contest, the students can get expert assessment of their ideas, as well as work on particular cases of the existing problems.

"I took a look at the projects; surely, there is still a lot to do on a higher, non-student level. Yet, what's most important is that the students understood the customer's tasks and completed them. They succeeded in getting results - i.e. creating specific recommendations," underlined Vladimir Vasilyev.