Patent consulting and road maps

IP Exchange was launched on the base of ITMO’s Center for the Support of Technology and Innovations. Within the first year of its work, its team consulted over 50 projects developed by students of various ITMO faculties. This way, the authors of innovative projects could learn about the prospects of their projects, the development of the associated markets, issues associated with protection of their intellectual property, and development strategies.

“We often hold such consultations in the format of an interview so that teams would understand the potential difficulties that they might encounter with regard to the specifics of their projects. We discuss their business models and give recommendations on intellectual property rights protection, as well as advise them to consider those market niches that we deem more open. Sometimes, the things we discuss go beyond the field of intellectual property and into the issues associated with government regulations and various permits. Simply put, we aim to form some informational landscape around the project so that its authors wouldn’t exist in a vacuum but understand their possibilities and limits,” comments Andrei Nikolaev, head of the IP Management Strategy program who initiated the center.

Andrei Nikolaev (on the left). Credit:

Andrei Nikolaev (on the left). Credit:

Based on such interviews, the center’s team selected ten projects from various fields: food- and biotech, digital and VR technologies, printed electronics and so on. The IP Exchange team will help these projects come up with strategies for managing intellectual property, conduct patent studies, and develop roadmaps for their projects’ development. The end result will be getting the complete set of documents for a patent application.

In September, the center will open its doors to all university students. For that purpose, there will be a special service developed with the help of the IP LAB student club that will be launched as part of ITMO.STUDENTS.

“This will help us gather statistical data for the university and keep a record of all of the university’s projects. What’s more, our Master’s students from the IP Management Strategy program will get an opportunity to work with real cases on a level that few young specialists in the field of intellectual property can boast of,” says Andrei Nikolaev.

IP Exchange will also hold the IP Pre Masters summer school on August 9-22. At the event, leading experts in the field of intellectual property will speak about protecting one’s rights on music, games, and other intellectual property items, as well as deliver workshops. You will be able to watch the recordings of the sessions here (in Russian).

Assembly of EAEU Young Inventors

The center’s specialists also help with promoting the projects they supervise. For example, all of the ten projects that IP Exchange is currently working with took part in the International Assembly of EAEU Young Inventors that took place in Veliky Novgorod in May. The ION Track project by Evgenia Panova, a student at the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations,  made it to the list of the exhibition’s top projects and was praised by Saule Tlevlesova, head of the Eurasian Patent Organization.

“The Assembly’s key task is to create an exhibition space for the best Eurasian projects, organize a platform for experience exchange, and develop specific recommendations for international support of promising projects. As of today, we are aiming to facilitate the processes associated with getting Eurasian patents, i.e. patents that work in all of the eight countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. Participants of such a major event as the Assembly can get support, including funding, for registering their intellectual property. By the way, members of our center acted as invited experts to assess participants’ reports at this event,” explains Andrei Nikolaev.

Winners of the Assembly of EAEU Young Inventors. Credit: :

Winners of the Assembly of EAEU Young Inventors. Credit:

Success stories

One of the projects that was supervised by IP Exchange was ION Track. It was developed by a large team consisting of students from the Faculty of Technological Management and Innovations as well as chemists and process engineers who were responsible for the product and technical issues.

The project has to do with a sensor system for biochemical express tests for essential elements: potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and chlorine. The tests are non-invasive: they use saliva as a biological material, and the system itself consists of disposable plates and a special app. When  saliva is put on the plate, it assumes a specific color. After uploading an image of the plate to the app, users can get information on the presence of a specific element in their body.

As of now, the project is being tested at the N.I. Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies. For these trial, the team developed special plates for calcium and potassium tests only, for people with an elevated level of these two elements.

ITMO student Zorikto Sapkeev participated in the IP Exchange with a business thesis on the production of customized footwear:

“The project needed a strategy for entering the Russian market. I got useful consultations in the field of intellectual property on the potential ways for the project’s development, and recommendations on specific patenting means. During our work on the project, we developed a prototype of the trademark and studied the already existing patent and whether it’s ok to use it in the local market. Our mentor Vladislav Somonov initiated lots of ideas for the project, as well as helped us with improving our business thesis, for which I really want to thank him and the entire IP Exchange team.”

ITMO graduate Anastasia Stolbovaya came to IP Exchange with a project on the development of personalized food supplements:

“At first, we focused on the 3D food printing technology, but later we decided to make use of a different technology: spherification. In the course of our work with IP Exchange, we developed a strategy for managing our project’s intellectual property. We analysed patents that have to do with 3D printing in the food industry, and patents that have to do with spherification, as well as the opportunities for getting a trademark certificate for the option we proposed. What’s more, I got useful recommendations not only in the field of intellectual property but also concerning specific issues of project development.”