ITMO University Expands Partnership in Technology Entrepreneurship with Krasnoyarsk Krai

Yesterday, on May 31, ITMO University was visited by a delegation headed by Viktor Tolokonsky, governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai. During a meeting with the university’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev, the parties agreed to the creation of collaborative projects in the field of technology entrepreneurship aimed at systematic development of innovation infrastructure in the region. In June, ITMO University and the Krai administration plan to develop a roadmap for their future relationship.

The collaboration will be conducted according to a roadmap for development of partnership between Krasnoyarsk Krai and St. Petersburg for the next three years. Yesterday the governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko and head of Krasnoyarsk Krai Viktor Tolokonsky signed an agreement regarding the two regions’ partnership in the fields of trade, economy, transportation, construction, technology, science and social and cultural relationships.

During a meeting with ITMO University’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev the region’s representatives discussed the perspectives for cooperation for the purpose of creating an innovations ecosystem in Krasnoyarsk Krai – including the creation of high-tech companies with help of universities. As emphasized by Natalia Ryazantseva, deputy head of administration of Krasnoyarsk Krai, ITMO University possesses unique experience in cultivation of technology entrepreneurship in Russia. According to her, it is such competencies that need to be developed in higher education facilities of the region – the Siberian Federal University and the Siberian State Aerospace University.

Oleg Malsagov, Vladimir Vasilyev, Nina Yanykina and Elena Gavrilova 

“It’s very important to us that our universities play a crucial part in generating a critical mass of tech companies for the new technology markets. Besides ideas, content and people, what we need for that is the right approach to cultivating start-ups and projects, involving talented young people, which include those who join acceleration programs. I think ITMO University has a great track record with all these things. Together with Rector Vladimir Vasilyev we’ve agreed that we’ll steer our collaborative projects towards these goals. Our task will be to create an equally effective technological environment, the main purpose of which is generating start-ups and forming a critical mass of tech companies in the fields of high-efficiency processing of natural resources, new materials, communications, navigation and geophysics,” – comments Ms. Ryazantseva.

There are currently 50 small innovative enterprises working under the umbrella of ITMO University; over a half of them are already successfully integrating the projects and innovations they developed thanks to ITMO’s support. A business incubator functions at the university since 2012 and was named last year’s top university business incubator in Russia by UBI Global. Over the course of its existence more than 2000 applications were reviewed and more than 150 teams graduated from acceleration programs.

Natalia Ryazantseva, deputy head of administration of Krasnoyarsk Krai

Since 2013 the university has expanded its activity to outside of St. Petersburg and is now sharing its best methods with other regions, noted Nina Yanykina, head of ITMO University’s Project Management and Innovation Department. For example, such a relationship was formed with the accelerator Startup Samara (now YellowRockets). ITMO University has remained its chief partner since it was launched and has helped set up the innovation system in that region. Today YellowRockets has managed to raise 600 million rubles for startups, release several world-renowned projects and expand their activities far outside the Samara Oblast.

According to Ms. Yanykina, ITMO is ready to share its know-how with their colleagues from Krasnoyarsk. Earlier on, the university has implemented a number of entrepreneurship development initiatives in the Krasnoyarsk Krai. For one, the university’s experts have trained a group of representatives from the Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) in matters of project management and administration. But now the parties will move on to a more systematized partnership and completion of even bigger tasks, she underlined.

Viktor Tolokonsky, governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai

“After meeting today with the governor, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly and the administration of the Krai, we’ve come to understand we all have a common goal: the development of a high-tech, innovative economy. We understand that technology entrepreneurship is an important tool in development of such an economy. We also agree that universities should become drivers of regional growth. And since each of us is already working towards this purpose, we will surely unite our efforts to maximize the effectiveness with which we will solve the tasks currently faced by the Krai. We will be very glad to share our knowledge in innovative system development and change management in which ITMO University has a lot of experience,” – says Nina Yanykina.

The next stage in the collaboration between ITMO University and the administration of Krasnoyarsk Krai will be the creation of a roadmap. The document is expected to be drafted in June.

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