The Ecology of Big City International Forum aims to promote green technologies in Russia that help to preserve natural resources, enhance environmental security, and improve the quality of life for the people in large cities. As per tradition, it shares the site with the Baltic Sea Day International Environmental Forum where representatives of the Baltic states discuss options for cross-border cooperation in the field of eco-development and sustainable economy.
The forum brings together the largest companies in the sector, reputable market experts, representatives of government authorities, specialized associations, and municipalities, as well as ecologists, lecturers, and students of specialized institutions.
Representatives of ITMO’s School of Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems Daria Mironova, deputy head for projects and commercialization at the School, and Elizaveta Pomazkova, an engineer at the School, have presented the Business in biotechnology and circular economy project (ВВС1) at the Ecology of Big City forum. Operating since 2019, the project is implemented by ITMO University jointly with Mikkeli Development Miksei Ltd (Finland), Environmental Partnership Association (Russia), and XAMK University (Finland). Its aim is to establish cooperation between science and business in the field of biotechnology and circular economy.
The project is funded by the EU, Russia, and Finland within the 2014-2020 South-East Finland – Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Program.
The stand of the project drew the attention of scientists, entrepreneurs, and authorities. The project manager Daria Mironova notes that even Denis Belyaev, chairman of the Committee for Nature Management, Environmental Protection and Environmental Safety of St. Petersburg, visited the stand’s exposition.
“The project includes two key tracks: from science to business and from business to science. The first one implies the presentation of scientific breakthroughs to industrial partners through competitions of ideas and startups, while the second focuses on the participation of students and young scientists in solving urgent problems of the industry. One of our goals at the forum was to get to know business people and their problems,” says Daria Mironova, head of ITMO’s Marketing Research Office.
Over the years, several educational events and contests were held within the project. In November 2019, students could take part in an interuniversity competition for research and innovation projects. The selected projects went through an acceleration program. The finalists of the competition presented their work to international experts and industry representatives in October 2020. There was also a discussion held as part of the IX International Scientific and Technical Conference "Low-temperature and food technologies in the 21st century" with the participation of the EcoSairila development platform (Mikkeli), the Bushe company (St. Petersburg), and ITMO Highpark (St. Petersburg).
“EcoSairila is an innovative cluster and industrial platform involved in blue (water treatment) and green (waste recycling) economy. Our Finnish partners are interested in the Russian market and are now working on effective tools for attracting residents. ITMO students are engaged in the development of roadmaps for the EcoSairila platform within the course Foresight Technologies in Innovative Development Forecasting read by Daria Mironova. This course for students at ITMO’s Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations featured a series of webinars by the Miksei company engaged in the city’s development, for instance, the design and promotion of the EcoSairila platform,” says Elizaveta Pomazkova, an engineer at ITMO’s School of Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems.
Daria Mironova introduced the project Pskov power station as the center of ecotechnologies and industrial symbiosis in Russia in the section “The Baltic Industrial Symbiosis project for SDG implementation in the Baltic Sea region” of the Baltic Sea Day International Forum.
“ITMO University and the administration of Pskov Oblast take an active part in its implementation. The project is focused on the creation of a unique industrial facility corresponding to the principles of sustainable development in the North-Western region of Russia – in Dedovichi village, where the power station is located. The project’s unique feature is making it possible to produce secondary thermal power that can be used not only for the heating of objects in the Pskov Oblast but also for the implementation of various business projects, such as agro-industrial or commercial fishing facilities, recycling initiatives, data processing centers, etc.,” explains Daria Mironova.
Learn more about the project in this ITMO.NEWS article.