The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has played an important role in Skoltech’s development as a world-class center for applied research, education and innovation. Today and tomorrow, the relationship marks another milestone with the third annual joint conference that focuses on the two institutes’ peer-to-peer collaboration.
From Skoltech’s establishment in 2011, MIT has provided guidance and expertise that helped operationalize the institute during its initial years, as well as attract talented faculty and establish the academic tracks that exist today.
As Keith Stevenson, Skoltech’s Associate Provost and Dean of Research, explained: “MIT remains a key partner and continues to develop and strong relationships with Skoltech. This latest conference highlights scientific research projects and collaboration between the two.”
Keith Stevenson: “The third annual MIT-Skoltech conference is structured predominately around 19 funded projects that support peer-to-peer, faculty-to-faculty research relationships.”
On its first day today, the conference is co-localized with Open Innovations – a Skolkovo Foundation initiative – and features a series of talks on the education of a new generation of students: the so-called digital natives, who have grown up with today’s technology as part of their everyday lives. Together with Open Innovations, the conference features examples of curricula modernization to address the evolving needs and expectations of this new generation.
Tomorrow, the event will continue as solely a Skoltech-MIT scientific conference, primarily oriented to emerging domains where Skoltech is developing breakthrough research and innovation through its academic tracks in energy, life sciences and biomedicine, computational and data science, as well as photonics and quantum materials. The conference will feature four parallel “streams” that highlight the collaboration between MIT and Skoltech, and it will be held in Skoltech’s new campus – the first such event held at this purpose-built facility.
One example of leading-edge research to be discussed during the conference is the emerging area of large-scale energy storage. Skoltech and MIT have an innovative project involving lithium redox flow batteries, with the focus on raising both the power and energy density in storage technology for renewable energy resources.
As highlighted by the MIT and Skoltech conference, their relationship has evolved in phases. The first began with Skoltech’s creation and MIT’s involvement in building capacity, hiring faculty, and helping to define its research tracks. The current phase – which concludes at the end of 2019, and has seen the relationship mature as Skoltech became more independent – has a particular focus on peer-to-peer research projects involving the two institutes’ faculty.
Preliminary discussions already are underway how the relationship will progress during the third phase, from 2020 onward.