By combining ITMO University’s research competence with Acronis’s industrial expertise, the partners intend to create and introduce effective mechanisms for the integration of science and high tech production.

As a first step, ITMO University and Acronis plan to concentrate on teaching students in the following areas: big data storage and processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, information security technology and active monitoring of information systems and processes.

An immediate practical result of this cooperation will be the establishment of a student laboratory at ITMO University in 2017, where teams can work together on research projects. This will give impetus to the training of a new generation of highly qualified personnel for the IT industry.

"Learning how to work with Big Data, including the use of artificial intelligence in this area is one of the most pressing challenges for the IT industry of the future, and industry leaders from the academic and industrial sector are well aware. Combining our efforts will allow us to more effectively solve specific practical problems, to test the industrial hypothesis and, crucially, to involve university students in finding these solutions, as they begin to identify within their chosen professions," - explained Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO University’s rector.

Sergey Belousov, the CEO and founder of Acronis believes that the development of the IT industry in Russia is extremely important.

"This is one of the reasons we have been supporting science and education in our country for so long and see it is our mission. Without quality education, without excellent specialists, neither the industry nor the country as a whole will be able to progress effectively. And as ITMO is one of the best universities in the country, I am confident that our cooperation will be not only mutually rewarding, but also help the country to progress," he says.

Acronis sets the standard for hybrid cloud data protection through its backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions. Powered by the Acronis AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, complete and affordable data protection of all files, applications and operating systems across any environment—virtual, physical, cloud and mobile. Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of over 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses in over 145 countries. With more than 100 patents, Acronis products have been named best product of the year, and cover a range of features, including migration, cloning and replication. Today, Acronis solutions are available worldwide through a global network of service providers, distributors and cloud resellers.