For students, working at the SAP Next-Gen Lab implies different types of innovative activities — from workshops on design mindset and hackatons to working on group and individual projects. SAP Next-Gen Lab will not only allow ITMO's students and staff to find more about cutting-edge technologies and concepts of elaborating new business models, but also commercialize their own breakthrough ideas and inventions, and launch their own startups using the SAP Marketplace — a unique set of applications based on the SAP platform.

Launching the SAP Next-Gen Lab is part of the agreement on supporting innovative projects that was signed in 2015. The goal of this agreement was to bring ITMO's projects into SAP's programs and commercialize the university's IT projects.

The SAP Laboratory will become a key element of the "Convergent Innovations Center" that will be opened by the end of the year on the base of ITMO's business incubator. Among other units of the Center will be the Internet of Things, Establishment Architecture, Computational Design and Audio-Visual Arts laboratories.

"Studying real business processes, solving pressing problems of the industry, developing business models — that will be only a small, but an essential part of the practical experience our students will get from participating in the SAP Next-Gen Lab, the new trend of our innovative eco-system's development", comments Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO's Rector.

According to the agreement with SAP, ITMO's students and staff will also gain access to 600 SAP's educational courses on 12 innovative subjects. These courses can be used as basis for lectures; they are also available on open MOOC platforms openSAP and openHPI. What's more, participation in the alliance's projects will give ITMO's students the opportunity to get skills in solving world-class industrial tasks, as well as opportunities for collaboration with leading experts in modern IT, which includes research, internships, and development of new intellectual solutions.

"As ITMO's graduate, I'm glad to see the progress in SAP's and ITMO's collaboration. We are planning to show the students all of SAP's solutions, including our new innovative SAP HANA platform for working with Big Data. Through collaborating with ITMO, we expect to work out new solutions that we'll be able to use in SAP's projects, both in Russia and abroad", notes Dmitry Shepelyavy, vice-CEO for SAP CIS.