Professor Zeljko Tekic’s course, Ideas to Impact, aims to help master’s students understand the obstacles when it comes to commercializing technological advances at the strategic and operational levels. The course draws students from across the Institute’s scientific and technical disciplines, while providing the right environment for creative work and the development of ideas. They engage in a real-life technology-based innovation challenge and go through an intensive and hands-on experience similar to that of a startup.
When one of Skoltech’s startups, Karfidov Lab, donated one million Rubles to the Skoltech Endowment, the condition was that the income it generated would go towards an annual student project award. In other words, a student working on a promising project would win a cash prize as an encouragement to pursue it further. Yesterday we saw the result when 150,000 rubles went to Guillaume Debaille, a Skoltech student who developed a device that produces customized filament for 3D printing as his Ideas to Impact project. Dmitry Vasiliev, the co-founder of Karfidov Lab, pointed to the fact that this is a rare thing in Russia; that is, students generally do not get cash prizes for a university project. Yet, here we are!
“Dmitry Vasiliev presenting a prize to the winner of the prototype competition was a special occasion, because the prize is from the proceeds of the company’s contribution to Skoltech. It is a unique example of Skoltech alumni supporting the endowment, the revenues from which aim to support student projects.” – Alexei Sitnikov, Vice-President for Community Development and Communications.
“Universities around the world get much of their income through private contributions in the form of investment funds or trust capital funds. When Alexei Karfidov and I planned to donate to the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, one of our conditions was that Skoltech uses the fund income to organize an annual award for the best student project. It has worked out and it will encourage the student to continue the project.” – Dmitry Vasiliev, co-founder of Karfidov Lab.
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