The ceremony’s participants, among whom were also Alexander Belsky, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, Andrey Nazarov, the CEO of ITMO Highpark JSC, and Alexey Borodin, the first deputy general director of Politekhstroy JSC, marked the key features of ITMO Highpark – frontier research, people-oriented science, academic freedom, and business thinking – on a digital touch panel, which, alongside the message, laid a symbolic foundation for the innovation center. 

ITMO Highpark’s first construction stage is slated to be completed in 2025. It will include the main academic building, several dormitories, and a power distribution center; the buildings’ total area will be 66,500 square meters. The main academic building of ITMO Highpark, with an area of 32,800 square meters – designed to accommodate 1,600 people – will encompass an ensemble of nine buildings under one disc-shaped roof. Apart from offices and lecture rooms, the building will house coworking spaces, a fablab for express prototyping of new devices, a digital library, a food court, book and souvenir shops, as well as carsharing and kicksharing parking areas. The first two dormitories will have an area of 33,000 square meters and will include primarily one- and two-bedroom apartments for 1,100 students. 

“ITMO Highpark will be a massive, highly modern campus and research center designed to accommodate 6,000 students and around 12,000 employees. There is a powerful scientific potential here – a synthesis of education, science, and industry that will drive innovation into manufacturing,” notes Alexander Beglov, the Governor of St. Petersburg. 

ITMO Highpark will primarily be used by students of Master's and PhD programs with a focus on applied studies and their commercialization. Students and researchers will study and work side by side with representatives of small and large businesses, which will reside in the center’s techno valley. The facility is expected to receive a formal status as an innovative science and technology center with concessions for high-tech businesses. ITMO Highpark will also host the Technology Transfer Center, which will include a business incubator and an accelerator that will help early-stage projects go from an idea to an MVP. The business-oriented facilities will be built last. 

“At ITMO Highpark, we will run applied studies and produce world-class technologies and services, as well as strengthen our country’s technological sovereignty, which won’t be possible if we’re not a step ahead of imports substitution. Yesterday, the members of the Academic Council had a meeting here during which we agreed that the upcoming academic year will mark not only the start of the construction itself but also the beginning of training of teams and startups that will work at the new center in the future. Here at ITMO Highpark, personalities, minds, and values will mix and combine to pave the way for new knowledge and entrepreneurial products. High-tech entrepreneurship is the core of ITMO Highpark,” comments Vladimir Vasilyev, Rector of ITMO University. 

Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Photo by Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

The first phase of construction is being carried out by the company Politekhstroy, which has already set up an area for equipment and workers (200 workers and over 60 units of machinery), constructed a headquarters, and set up utilities on the site of the future buildings. At the moment, the contractor is excavating pits, laying concrete foundations, working on cast-in-situ structures and temporary roads, and conducting pile tests. 

ITMO Highpark is a world-class research and educational center currently under construction in the south of St. Petersburg, in the satellite city Yuzhny. The complex will include a campus for the university’s Master’s and PhD students, a techno valley, and a business park for tech enterprises. The construction is carried out in partnership with the Russian Government and the Government of St. Petersburg as part of the national program Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation.