PM Medvedev Pledges that “Skoltech will be a Top International University”. But What Happened Before and After at SUV2014?

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets and greets Skoltech president Ed Crawley and students

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev meets and greets Skoltech president Ed Crawley and students

“Dmitry Anatolyevich, haven’t you forgotten something?” the crowd surrounding the Russian Prime Minister, ready to leave the Skoltech students and leadership he had just met, turned their heads. It is not everyday that a graduate student calls upon Dmitry Medvedev to halt to a stop. “We have a gift for you. Would you like to take it?” Medvedev grinned, his security detail relaxed. The photographers shuffled back to the little table where students Aidana Nurzhanova and Nikita Rodichenko were waiting for the Prime Minister of Russia with a goody bag.

Inside it nestled a quadrocpoter, a four-propeller drone, designed and custom built by the Student Engineering Club. Another handshake, one more smile for the cameras and the entourage departed once more.

“That went quite well,” Skoltech’s president Ed Crawley observed, “we are having a good day.” But when Medvedev spoke with the media the rector’s day got even better.

PM Medvedev receives a quadrocopter built by the Skoltech Student Engineering Club. Image courtesy RIA-Novosty

PM Medvedev receives a quadrocopter built by the Skoltech Student Engineering Club. Image courtesy RIA-Novosty

Skoltech will be a major scientific center, a top university which draws foreign researchers and specialists”, the Prime Minister declared from the main stage at Startup Village, “I thank the international scientists who have come to Russia to help build the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology”. His remarks were carried by Russian news agencies and broadcast on prime time TV news, then went viral – shared, retweeted, and posted to social networks.

And yet Skoltech’s day at Startup Village 2014 was not only about VIP guests. Entrepreneurs and professors met at the 4th Innovation Program Conference, organized by the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; students competed with guests at a drones tournament (with a 12 year old pilot called Kyrill becoming an overnight sensation); Skoltech leadership participated in panels and discussions; and a young Russian physicist spoke to the audience through a robot – after learning she had won Science Drive 2014 and will spend the next year working in Manchester with Nobel laureate Andre Geim.

Here are are the pictures that sum up one of the busiest days Skoltech had this year.

Watching the flyover. Somewhere in this picture hovers a drone

Watching the flyover. Somewhere in this picture hovers a drone

A round of applause to round it up. PM Medvedev and deputy PM Dvorkovich (left)

A round of applause to round it up. PM Medvedev and deputy PM Dvorkovich (left)

Drones participating in the competition had to fly through hoops and hover above obstacles

Drones participating in the competition had to fly through hoops and hover above obstacles

Nikita Rodichenko and his self built, self designed quadrocopter

Nikita Rodichenko and his self designed, self built quadrocopter

Keeping something so small and so fast in the air isn't so easy. The gusty wind didn't help

Keeping something so small and so fast up in the air is challenging. The gusty wind didn’t make life easier for these young pilots. But they managed

Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov, Skoltech President Ed Crawley and professor Konstantin Severinov at Innovation Program Conference

Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov, Skoltech President Ed Crawley (upper left corner) and professor Konstantin Severinov (bottom) at the Innovation Program Conference

 

Professor Konstantin Severinov speaking at the Innovation Program Conference

Professor Konstantin Severinov speaking at the Innovation Program Conference

 

Keeping posted at the Innovation Program Conference

Keeping posted during the Innovation Program Conference

Russian Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov and Alexei Sitnikov, Skoltech VP of Institutional and Resource Development walking past copter arena

Russian Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov and Alexei Sitnikov, Skoltech VP of Institutional and Resource Development walking past copter arena

Science Drive winner announced. Anastasia Tyurnina will work with Nobel laureate Andre Geim in the UK

Science Drive winner announced by Dean of Faculty Natalia Berloff. Anastasia Tyurnina (examining tube on the giant screen behind) will work with Nobel laureate Andre Geim in the UK

Inside this strange-looking robot hides Anastasia Tyurnina, winner of science drive 2014. In fact it's just the organizers' way to broadcast her voice, as she spoke over Skype from France.

Inside this robot hides Anastasia Tyurnina, winner of Science Drive 2014. It was the organizers’ way to make her part of the celebration, as she spoke over Skype from France.

Lilya Boyko, Skoltech Director of Communications, thanks volunteers

Lilya Boyko, Skoltech Director of Communications, thanks volunteers

* The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech educates global leaders in innovation, advance scientific knowledge, and foster new technologies to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Applying international research and educational models, the university integrates the best Russian scientific traditions with twenty-first century entrepreneurship and innovation.

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