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Experts Discuss Support Tools for Technology Projects in Education

27.06.2019

On June 26, RVC held the business breakfast “Support for Educational Technologies in Digital Economy” which was attended by representatives of federal executive authorities, principals of universities, scientific agencies and venture investors. Experts discussed the tools to support educational startups and to promote promising educational technologies.

When opening the business breakfast, CEO of RVC Alexander Povalko noted that the prospects for the operation oft he venture foundation being established by RVC jointly with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development is one of the key topics under discussion:

“The total size of the Foundation is RUB 7 billion. The Foundation will become a professional tool for investments and development of the companies in educational technologies at different stages of their development.”

“It is perfectly understandable how the markets for educational services will evolve. With regard to the education, we need a new content. The State will sign an agreement with the Foundation’s management company for ten years. Its parameters — investments, returns, timing — are more than comfortable for management companies”, said Ilya Torosov, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Dmitry Peskov, Russian President’s Special Representative for Digital and Technology Development, noted that an important Foundation’s task is to transfer foreign educational technologies currently not available in Russia.

“The next objective is to learn to substitute governmental educational costs with public investments. And only those people capable of making investments in a professional and quality manner should be dealing with that. The third objective is export of educational technology from Russia. Education should be transformed into the branch of economy. That is to say, it should learn to earn money. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the global companies with capitalization exceeding a trillion of dollars would operate in education in 10 years,” he said.

The representatives of federal executive authorities in education who attended the event told about the steps taken by the state to help the industry integrate advanced technologies faster and more efficiently.

“The general education should be reoriented and become child-centered. The State creates not only the opportunity for an educational content developer (no matter who or what it might be) to get support but also establishes a distribution system for such content to reach the end user — a pupil, a tutor, or a parent. At the beginning, this content should be validated and verified for lack of plagiary and malware, but the need for such checks will lapse over time”, believes Marina Rakova, Deputy Russian Minister of Education.

“We are talking about the digital economy more and more often. And the economy of the tangible production sector should be supplemented with the intangible, first of all, digital segment, where we operate when we create educational projects and programs. We should offer new and modern approaches to training students, and the educational system management will benefit from that greatly”, stated Marina Borovskaya, Deputy Russian Minister for Science and Higher Education.

Anatoly Alexandrov, rector at N.E. Bauman Moscow State Technical University, noted that partnerships between universities and high tech companies offering innovative content are the key prerequisites for the development of the educational market.

“To address the objectives in education we should join forces of those engaged in the existing educational process and people working on creation of new, promising areas. Let us take as an example Mail.ru, a company that has set up a technopark on the premises of our University. We are working together with Mail.ru in this field and train our students for the digital economy in which they will live and make a career. These practices should be multiplied to make them available to everybody. If we succeed, the project success will be guaranteed”, he believes.

In the opinion of Mikhail Kozhevnikov, President of the Prosveschenie Publishers, education “stands on three pillars”:

“The first one is infrastructure that should meet those educational technologies we want to use. The second one is the people, tutors and teachers who use these technologies. The third one is the educational content that is so endless and limitless that the problem is how to build it and adjust to the training result we want to get”, commented the expert.

At the end of the business breakfast, Alexey Basov, Deputy CEO and Investment Director at RVC, conducted a detailed presentation of the parameters of the venture foundation being created to support promising educational technologies in digital economy.

“We are creating the tool that is brand new for Russia and for the venture market. By using conventional market approaches, we are planning to transform a very inactive and conservative market largely affected by state regulation. The Foundation will have a very broad mandate in terms of where it will be able to invest. We need to create pressure on market because so far we do not have a sufficient number of educational projects”, he noted.

On June 26, 2019, a procedure to select the managing partner for the venture foundation to support promising educational technological in digital economy has been launched. Management companies are invited to apply for participation at the latest on August 1, 2019. The winner will be determined in September 2019.



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