Ural Federal University: Platform for Interaction Between Universities and Corporations to Appear in the Country

At Innoprom-2022, a panel discussion “The Intellectual Potential of Universities for the Development of Russian Industry” was held. It was moderated by Aleksandr Fertman, Director for Science, Technology and Education at the Skolkovo Foundation. The participants discussed how to increase the efficiency of interaction between the real economy and universities.

“The Ministry of Science and Education is more and more actively engaged in technology transfer and issues of interaction between corporations and universities. We have been talking about a science-business link for a long time, but there is still no such thing, because there is not enough infrastructure for this. The platform of university entrepreneurship could fill the gaps,” said Oleg Churilov, Director of the Department for Development of Technological Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation.

The federal project “Platform of University Technological Entrepreneurship” is aimed at the maximum involvement of students and employees of universities in technological entrepreneurship, creation of startups and projects. By 2030, it is planned to hold a number of large-scale events with the involvement of leading development institutes. The key element will be the creation of startup studios, through which the university will be able to enter into long-term legal relations with an industrial partner and create startups together with it.

In addition, the discussion brought up the issue of potential obstacles in the use of students’ and postgraduates’ competencies in industry and the economy.

“Obstacles are gaps in legislation that do not allow universities to properly use the results of research and create intellectual property. Many universities are afraid to do this due to difficulties with commercialization. An important step to solve this problem is the creation of technology transfer centers, the transfer center is formed in our university. The main thing is to change the standard of what refers to the results of intellectual activity. This will not happen without a request from the government,” said Victor Koksharov, Rector of UrFU.

Outlining the needs of business, Mikhail Popov, the representative of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Vice President of TMK PJSC, confirmed that technical specialists are in demand and needed, but there is a lack of engineers who would be constructors, technologists and entrepreneurs.

“UrFU is an example of how a higher education institution can adapt scientific programs to government initiatives. This includes Ural Interregional Research and Scientific Center, Priority 2030, and Advanced Engineering Schools,” Popov said.

According to Andrey Misyura, General Director of Scientific and Production Association of Automatics named after academician N.A.Semikhatov, it is important to develop networking nowadays. He identified Ural Interregional Research and Education Center as a good example.

Artyom Shadrin, General Director of the National Qualifications Development Agency, spoke about the necessity of increasing the actualization rate of educational programs and professional standards and emphasized the importance of the “Personnel for the Digital Economy” national project. According to Artyom Shadrin, universities are capable not only of conducting research, but also of carrying out project-based training, including engineering training. The speaker, like other discussants, also noted the importance of technology commercialization, patenting, creating university technology transfer centers and university entrepreneurship.