Novgorod Oblast is about to launch NTI projects for application of neurotechnologies to medicine


NTI’s factory of pilot projects in the Novgorod Oblast has been replenished with five new projects related to assistive neurotechnologies and support of talents. The relevant agreement was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum by Andrey Nikitin, the Governor of the Region, and Alexander Povalko, the CEO at RVC.

The first group of assistive neurotechnologies projects relate to patient rehabilitation. It is assumed that advanced developments can be used to restore impaired motor functions in patients. Pursuant to the agreement, the Novgorod Clinical Center for Medical Rehabilitation, which received financial support under NTI's road map, will be testing Neurobotics simulators and devices, among which are a hand exoskeleton to rehabilitate patients after a stroke and neuro injury, an electric stimulator of functional muscles, a hybrid wireless neuro-headset with an eye tracker and augmented reality glasses, a neuro-controllable motorized wheelchair. All devices will be available for use by patients of the center under mandatory medical insurance program provided that the patient’s diagnosis allows the use of such device and that the patient filled the appropriate consent form.

The projects of the second group are concerned with search and development of talents for the National Technological Initiative. As part of the agreement, the Novgorod Region will take an active part in the NTI’s National Engineering Olympiad, which has been conducted by RVC, ASI and major technical universities and corporations since 2015. Schoolchildren are teamed up to solve realistic engineering problems related to ‘markets for the future’: unmanned vehicles, big data and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, small space ships, biotechnology, etc.

This year Yaroslav the Wise Novgorod State University will be committed to creating a site where regional high school students can prepare and apply for multi-sector NTI Olympiad, which awards the winner with 100 points in Uniform State Exams on core subjects and allows the bearer of these points to enter top Russian universities.

‘Novgorod region can boast a unique pilot site to test-run NTI developments in practice and implement them in real life cycle of companies. We will be able to observe not only technical and functional characteristics of the product, but also organizational environment, administrative and regulatory barriers that need to be removed if the technology is to be successfully scaled. The test results will allow us to understand if it is possible to replicate uses of latest neuro-assistive devices in rehabilitation medicine at the federal level,’ said Alexander Povalko, RVC’s CEO.

‘To better implement the projects of the National Technological Initiative and the Digital Economy program, we have established in the university a Factory of NTI pilot projects, which has never been done in Russia before. Now companies from all over Russia have been given the opportunity to begin implementing advanced technologies. Mostly, we are talking about products and services that significantly improve quality of life and make businesses more comfortable to run. They are not just fine words, in less than a year the Factory has successfully tested 12 projects. The infrastructure is also supported by the Quantorium, and the digital school 36. Talents and knowledge are planted already in the 5th grade. If we want a child to know what to do with their lives using whatever resources and opportunities they have, we must start from school. Digital economy is not about software, it is people, and we are committed to proving it, said Andrei Nikitin, the governor of the Novgorod region.

The agreement to develop NTI projects in the Novgorod region was signed on October 17, 2017. The projects are pilot tested by a working group which consists of members of the NTI’s Project Office, the Administration and public authorities of the Novgorod Region, Novgorod State University, companies participating in NTI road maps and technological entrepreneurs. The working group developed a list of NTI projects that will be pilot-tested for specific needs of the region. At the moment, 12 NTI projects are being pilot-tested, and three projects have already been successfully completed.


About RVC

RVC JSC is a governmental fund of funds, the Institute of Development of the Russia's venture investment industry. The main objectives of RVC JSC: promote creation of Russia's own venture capital industry and execute functions of the Project Office of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The authorized capital of RVC JSC is more than 30 billion roubles. One hundred per cent of the RVC capital is owned by the Russian Federation represented by the Federal Agency for Management of State Property of the Russian Federation (Rosimushchestvo). The total number of funds formed by RVC JSC has reached 26, their total size is 35.7 billion roubles. The share of RVC JSC is 22.7 billion rubles. The number of innovative companies approved for investment by RVC funds has reached 223. The total amount of monetary funds approved for investment is 18.2 billion roubles.

Factory of NTI pilot projects

The Factory is based on the concept that integrated implementation of digital economy projects and NTI technologies can have a powerful synergistic effect on the region. This technology is meant to quick-start projects, to run them with efficiency and replicate them later in home region and across the nation. The Factory produces solutions, technologies, developments, companies and entrepreneurs that proved to be successful in the Novgorod region and are ready for replication in Russia and abroad.

The factory selects, approves and implements high-tech projects, products and services of NTI and digital economy which are able to improve life conditions, healthcare, education, physical environment, which can make public administration more efficient, which can create an ecosystem for innovative digital-based economy. The pilot projects have support whenever there is a technical, administrative, legal or any other issue to be resolved so that the project implementation is as much effective as possible. The project is being implemented pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of the Novgorod Region and the RVC.

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