FIEP Helps Bring High Technology to Russian Enterprises
Scientists think it up, and businesses implement it. It is a simple formula, but not so easy to be applied in life. As you know, all high-tech hardware needs brains to work with it. The speed of scientific and technological progress is already such that skills in many sectors of the economy require constant updating, roughly every 2-3 years.
The demand for highly qualified professionals is also growing, thus intensifying this problem. According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, one in two employers worldwide cannot find an employee with the necessary qualifications for an open position. In Russia, only 17% of the specialists have high qualifications, 48% have medium qualifications, and 35% have low qualifications. In total, there are 1.3 bln people in the world in a “skills gap”, according to research by the consulting company. However, one of the most important global problems is the gap between the education provided by universities and technical colleges and the requirements of the real economy.
The RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, established in 2010, aims to bridge this gap and build bridges between theory and practice in order to transfer high technology into production. It commissions educational programs from universities, which aim not only to raise the qualifications of specialists but also to train students. These programs are based on the best international practices in the application of advanced technologies in production and are developed with the participation of leading specialist research organizations.
In 10 years, this format of interaction has proved its viability. One example is Severstal, which, among others, produces raw materials for powder metallurgy and additive technologies. The corporation is keen to expand this promising field, but to do so it needs a professional workforce capable of developing new materials that best meet customers’ needs.
Using the methodology developed by the Fund, the A.A.Baikov Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science (IMET of the RAS) has created a retraining program in the field of technologies for the synthesis of metallic one- and multi-component powders.
The training lasts 500 hours and is aimed at design engineers in metal powder synthesis technology and manufacturing engineers in powder products. Using state-of-the-art mathematical modelling techniques, they will be trained to create materials with given properties. About half of the time is devoted to the lecture course and the other half to research and development work.
“The results of the research will not be ‘shelved’ but will be commercially developed by Severstal,” Alexander Anokhin, Deputy Director for Scientific Work at the IMET of the RAS, is confident. “We plan to establish an engineering university to train researchers, developers, technologists, designers, and programmers who will create new products and technologies. The Fund, thanks to its proprietary methodology, makes it possible to reduce the time and financial resources required to retrain a company’s engineering staff, which ensures that scientific and technological challenges are addressed proactively, thereby actually guaranteeing the high competitiveness of the business area or the company as a whole in the long term.”
According to Alexander Anokhin, the university plans to take a sector-specific approach to developing new educational programs and aligning them with the end-to-end chain of creating innovative products, i.e., from raw materials to the final product. For example, there is already a great need to develop new industry programs in the field of modern non-ferrous and rare metal technologies, as well as the production of magnetic materials for their use as one of the elements of wind turbines in the alternative energy area.
Another example is the Vyatka State University, which has been working with the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs since 2013, having developed and implemented several in-depth training courses for specialists from the industry.
Some of them are related to biopharmaceuticals and are aimed at retraining employees for high-tech production at the NANOLEK plant, which is part of RUSNANO.
A special feature of the programs is that, through them, a scientific theory is reinforced by practice. For example, as part of a program related to the development and production of immunobiological drugs, the institute has created interactive simulators using virtual reality technology that replicate production processes as realistically as possible, but in digital format.
Thanks to cooperation with the Fund and the real economy, the Vyatka State University has begun training bachelors and masters in a new promising field: pharmaceutical biotechnology.
The university’s cooperation with the Fund is not limited to this area.
Since 2014, the Fund has supported several skills development programs: manufacturing of nanocomposites based on elastomers, production of tire materials using nanotechnology, and production of agrochemicals with nanopolymer coating.
“About 300 specialists and students have been trained in these programs,” said Sergey Fomin, the Vyatka State University’s Vice-Rector for International Activities. “This year has seen the launch of an educational program related to the production of new, unique materials, fluoropolymers. Before, there was no training at all in the country for specialists in this field.”
Many breakthrough technologies capable of revolutionizing both industry and our lives are still on their way to the real economy, this is the so-called deep tech. However, professionals with skills of the future, or future skills, need to be trained now. This is what the RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs promotes, offering future and current professionals a wide range of career opportunities, ensuring that they are in high demand.
In the ten years of its operation, the Fund has implemented more than 200 educational programs and trained more than 94,000 specialists, students, and teachers. 219 companies from 40 Russian regions initiated the development of the programs. During this time, 80 higher education institutions and scientific organizations have become partners. “As practice shows, almost one-third of the businesses come back to us to do new educational projects. For us, this is an indicator that the Fund is successfully providing education for business,” said Stanislav Nisimov, Director of the Fund’s Department of Educational Programs and Professional Qualifications.
The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211-FZ “On reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.” The Fund aims to develop the innovative infrastructure in the sphere of nanotechnology and implement the educational and infrastructure programs already started by RUSNANO.
The supreme collegial management body of the Fund is the Supervisory Board. Under the Fund’s Charter, the competence of the Supervisory Council, in particular, includes the issues of determining the priority directions of the Fund’s activity, as well as its strategy and budget. The Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Board, the collegial management body, is the Chairman of the Board of Management Company RUSNANO LLC Sergey Kulikov.
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NANOLEK is a modern and rapidly growing Russian biopharmaceutical company with its own high-quality full-cycle production lines that meet GMP standards. It specialises in the domestic production of innovative medicines developed by itself or by foreign partners that it has recruited, with a focus on preventative medicine and the treatment of illnesses of significant social concern. The company is now one of Russia’s leading producers of paediatric vaccines.
NANOLEK’s diversified product portfolio covers a number of clinical categories, including vaccines and HIV and oncology drugs. The company has unrivalled experience in the transfer of technologies through partnerships with leading world pharmaceutical companies (Merck, Sanofi, Novartis, Egis, Aspen, Celltrion, Riemser and others).
RUSNANO has been an investor in NANOLEK since the company was founded in 2011.
For more information please visit at the website www.nanolek.ru/en