The “Innovation Ecosystem of Universities: towards effective solutions” conference was held on March 17 in Saint-Petersburg. It was organized by the Russian Venture Capital Association with the partnership of Skoltech. The event was held within the industrial fair “Smart Place Industrial” in the form of panel discussion and was moderated by the Deputy General Director of Russian Venture Company – Evgeny Kuznetsov. Igor Seleznev, Director for Research Programs and Technology Transfer, and Dmitry Pebalk, Manager of Skoltech Innovation Program participated in the conference with their talks.
The panel discussion covered a number of questions such as cooperation of universities between each other and with private and government companies, transfer of staff and competences from business to industry and back. Participants of the discussion were representatives from leading Russian universities as well as managers of institutes of development and innovation business, who briefly characterized existing barriers preventing effective interaction between sides.
At the end of the event was organized work meeting of initiative group of International Proof of Concept Centers Association (IPOCA). Within the separate topic, Igor Seleznev and Dmitry Pebalk introduced participants with the methodology of Proof of Concept realized in Skoltech Translational Research and Innovation Program. Rustam Kagirov – Specialist of Skoltech Innovation Program and coordinator of IPOCA gave a talk about plans for 2016. During the meeting new members of IPOCA were introduced and participants agreed to have an event on April 22-23 in Innopolis University which will bring together projects in IT and Robotics from leading Russian universities. Invited to the event industrial companies and institutes of development will evaluate the projects and give their feedback on further its development, share their contacts and, possibly, discuss potential collaboration.
“The event was very interesting for Skoltech from several standpoints”, said Dmitry Pebalk after the conference, “First, its organizers excluded usual format of a conference speeches and requested all participants to present their real life cases demonstrating challenges and opportunities of innovation activities in university context. Thus, it was a great chance to both talk about our own experience and learn about best practices from others. Second, It was great to get acquainted with new like-minded people from various regions of Russia who might become Skoltech partners for future innovation projects. Finally, we got better picture of coming meetings and activities till the end of this year that could be interesting for our institute community and especially those members who are looking to make impact with their research work and new scientific developments”.