As part of this agreement, the partners will implement joint educational and research projects: educational programs, professional training for the company’s staff, internships for Bachelor’s and Master’s students of the Faculty of Energy and Ecotechnology (GreenTech), as well as R&D projects in the fields of refrigeration systems, ecology, life support systems, smart materials, and nanoengineering. During the meeting, they also discussed the creation of a joint R&D center within the framework of GreenTech where the Faculty’s students and staff will develop solutions for tasks provided by the company.

Apart from Igor Baranov, the delegation included Ekaterina Tambulatova, the dean of GreenTech; Daria Mironova, the School’s vice head for project activity and commercialization; Andrey Nikitin, vice dean for research; and Sergei Muraveinikov, an associate professor at GreenTech. Briskly founder Gleb Kharitonov delivered a tour of the facility and showed them its assembly line, technological department, and the laboratory where some of GreenTech’s graduates already work.

Only six weeks after buying the plant, Gleb Kharitonov and his team succeeded in launching a highly efficient production line, having implemented innovative approaches to lean manufacturing. The plant was bought for the purpose of launching the company’s own production of “micromarkets” – smart refrigerated vending machines. Before that, Briskly bought refrigerators from several manufacturers, including Linnafrost, and equipped them with smart modules of their own design. Now, the whole production cycle occurs at a single facility in Vyborg, which will increase the product’s margin, reduce the supply time, and increase the sales volume. In addition to the micromarkets, the company plans to refit autonomous coffee machines and produce additional equipment at their plant. At the same time about 50% of its capacity will continue to be used to manufacture refrigeration equipment.

GreenTech has a lot of experience in working with industrial partners. For example, in spring 2020, its team successfully completed the testing of an innovative pharmacy refrigerator that was then given to the North-Western Center of Evidence-Based Medicine. The collaboration with Briskly will help initiate research in new promising fields and give students an opportunity to work on the enterprise’s ambitious projects as part of their internships. As for Briskly, collaborating with ITMO will offer fresh new ideas, qualified personnel, and technologies that will further boost the facility’s efficiency.

* Briskly founder Gleb Kharitonov was nominated for the Forbes ranking of the 30 most promising Russians under the age of 30 in the Entrepreneurs category. Founded in 2018, Briskly produces equipment and software for grocery stores that offer self-checkout services. The company also developed the B-Pay app, which can be used to scan and pay for products while shopping. In October 2020, Briskly raised $2 million with which it intends to open two full-format stores in Moscow and enter the international market. In 2021, the company bought a plant in Vyborg where it will produce smart refrigerators of its own design.