Press about RVC

"People able to risk are required"

Source: Izvestia

Director of Russian venture company is talking about training of new engineering staff, hi-tech in the field of clothes and nutrition and about using unmanned cars in Russian winter

By 2035, 300 thousand engineers able to solve absolutely new technological tasks will appear in Russia. Aleksey Povalko, CEO of Russian Venture Company, told about this and about breakthrough National Technology Initiative (NTI) projects in his interview with "Izvestia".

NTI Olympic games organized by Russian Venture Company has recently finished. What role is assigned to RVC by the Government in search of the talented young people?

RVC is a project office of the National Technology Initiative. Absolutely new markets are formed before our eyes: unmanned transport, personal medicine, neuro-technologies, "plants of the future". There are separate products, but no markets themselves exist yet. If you start searching for new ideas, invest resources, not only finds, then in five-ten years we will get unique companies with the products that no one has. And this is they who will rule the roost on these markets.

Qualified staff is required for such breakthrough. That is why RVC participates in the projects related to search for talented people for technological development requirements, to the educational technologies. NTI Olympiad is one of them. It is an instrument for search and support of the talented children. It stands out of the classic Olympiads due to the project character. Scholars are joined in the teams and work on the solution of the real engineer tasks. For example, they assemble micro satellite or develop control system for bionic arm artificial limb.

In this cycle, we received 20 thousand applications from the scholars from all over the country - twice more than last year. Our task is to get up and running stable mechanism to search for children that will grow up in talented engineers.

How many such engineers should appear?

The more, the better. When SIA (Strategic initiative agency. — «Izvestia» ) estimated National Technology Initiative strategy, the "lower threshold" was announced. It is 300 thousand engineers that are able to search for solutions for the absolutely new technological tasks.

Should we become leaders on these new markets?

In 2035, we should get a significant share on them. And according to our calculations, capacity of each such new market is not less than $ 100 billion.

Do you work only with the scholars?

RVC implements educational programs on very different levels. We have our own academic department in MFTU. It is engaged in training of the analysts for the venture market and managers of the complicated technological projects. We expect that the academic department will become a base for distribution of the network model used to train the specialists in the other universities.

There is also technological entrepreneurship program developed together with ITMO and MSU. We plan to replicate this course in the technical universities. By 2020, about 10 thousand students should pass it.

In order to overcome the technological barriers, people able to risk and suggest solutions beyond the habitual boundaries are required.

What interesting projects are developed within the framework of NTI roadmaps?

We’ve directly supported, totally, about 30 projects. And minimum half of them has significant market perspectives.

For example, "Digital model of the typical region" from Geoscan team. Complicated name, but the essence is very simple: automated mapping and geodesic marking of the territory based on unmanned shooting. This company can make flat photo be three-dimensional, automatically assemble separate photos and give robust 3D model of the region as the output. Information can be used to discover cadastral errors and violations. Now Geoscan develops digital models of the territories under the order received from the authorities of Tatarstan and Novgorod region.

AgroNTI shows good results. This is an experimental venue for new agricultural technologies in Belgorod region. Last year, 20 thousand ha of the fields were monitored with the help of unmanned aircrafts in this region. High-precision maps were developed, quality of seeding was controlled. The received economy effect is estimated at 35 million roubles. Now extension of the monitored areas up to 100 thousand ha is discussed, regional agro-holdings get involved in the system.

Traditionally, there are a lot of successful developments in the field of neuroethologies. For example, there is a project that creates a line of assistant devices with neuro control. They help the patients after injuries or some diseases, people with disabilities.

This year, they plan to start sales of a neuro headset to control electric wheelchairs, exoskeleton, infrastructure of the "smart" hospital spot. Price of the base set, according to preliminary estimations, is about 25 thousand roubles. The device reads brain signals and transforms them into the control signals. It can be demanded not only in Russia, but on the global market as well.

What is the NTI financing volume?

About 7 billion roubles is budgetted for this year for the support of NTI projects including financing of the Fund for support of innovation.

Are there enough qualified developer teams to adopt this budget?

It’s a good question. We have more than enough of those wishing to adopt the budget. And there are few projects of breakthrough, platform character. In this case, we face a problem of lack of personnel. We have different instruments to search for the companies, we interact with them, convince to become involved in work related to development of the National Technology Initiative. The State is ready to undertake risks of the firms and projects.

In 2017, RVC became an operator of the competition related to creation of the NTI competence centers on the venues of universities and organizations. It is expected that such centers will be one of the sources of new solutions at the conjunction of NTI markets and digital economy. This is block chain, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, internet of things, machine learning.

Research will be carried out in cooperation with the companies leading in the relevant industries. It is necessary to create consortiums engaging large business and fundamental science. It will accelerate commercialization of the centers developments and make it possible to launch new products on the markets faster.

Could you please tell about unapproved roadmaps — Fashnet, Foodnet and Safenet.

They exist as a concept. New technologies in the field of fashion and consumer goods industry develop quite swiftly. Imagine that your clothes has built-in indicators that constantly monitor your health. Or let's have a look at a dress that transforms according to your figure. New materials and absolutely unexpected re-cycling methods appear. In general, this industry is the one with big market perspectives.

Foodnet projects can considerably change quality of life. If a diet is developed especially for you, it can add about 5 years to your life. It doesn't mean dogmatic "today you eat protein, tomorrow — carbs". This is all about balanced food, but personalized as well as medicine.

Safenet roadmap implies development of security systems. Smart home can easily become a gas chamber, if broken by a misfeaser. Or he can pass your information to the interested persons. One more example: n the nearest future, unmanned cars will exchange information about the route. Safety of the entire transport network will depend on how secure these data exchange channels will be. These issues should be solved by the Safenet technologies.

Concepts of these roadmaps should be approved by the inter department task forces, after that they will be considered by the Council for economy modernization and innovation development under the President of Russia.

Created by: Maria Nedyuk

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