How to help an innovation find its customer, and bring together investors and inventors? This is the domain of sales management professionals involved in the promotion of hi-tech products. It is for these specialists that ITMO University’s National Center for Cognitive Technologies has launched this contest. 

“Our center’s operation is supported by a consortium uniting research organizations, universities and companies that often are leaders in their fields,” says Aleksandra Polyanichko, head of the center’s Consulting and Dissemination Bureau. “Thanks to this cooperation, we manage to create products and services that maximally correspond to the market’s current needs. And we want our platform solutions, which provide the foundation for the creation and teaching of applied artificial intelligence systems, to become more popular. That’s why we’re interested in the unique outlook of sales management professionals, in unconventional solutions and approaches, and it’s with that in mind that we’re organizing this contest for commercializers.”

Conditions for participating

ITMO University’s National Center for Cognitive Technologies
ITMO University’s National Center for Cognitive Technologies

Those wanting to participate have to submit their application until June 1. Application is open to everyone from marketing and sales management specialists to business analysts and teams specializing in promoting hi-tech solutions on the market. In their application, candidates need to talk about themselves, their education and work experience. 

“Everyone interested can apply,” explains Aleksandra Polyanichko. “The requirements aren’t strict: participants only have to have a specialized education or relevant work experience in the field of marketing or management. In other words, participation is open both to those who have a diploma in one of these fields, and those who don’t have any specialized education but work in the field of IT.”

Those participants who pass the initial selection will have to choose one or several of the Center’s technological solutions, analyze them and then develop a comprehensive program for their commercialization. In the course of their work, they can consult the heads of the center’s research units. In a month, they will have to present a document that will measure up to 20 pages and describe a commercialization model they consider the most effective based on the current situation on the market and the investment appeal of each of the platforms. 

The competition’s finals

ITMO University’s National Center for Cognitive Technologies
ITMO University’s National Center for Cognitive Technologies

Participants will have to present their completed projects to the judges until June 30. Out of all plans submitted, three to seven will be chosen. Their authors will pass through to the finals, where they’ll have to give a presentation before the audience consisting of ITMO University staff, members of the supervisory committee, and representatives of the center’s industrial partners. 

The author of the winning project will be given a money prize of 100,000 rubles, while those in the second and third places will get 50,000 and 20,000 rubles respectively. Apart from that, all participants whose projects will interest the judges might get a collaboration offer.

“The aspect that I think is even more important that money prizes is the opportunity for further collaboration. Its formats may differ and will depend on whether it is an individual participant or a team. In any case, I see this as a great opportunity to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence in Russia and carve your own niche in one of the most promising markets of the 21st century,” concludes Aleksandra Polyanichko.