Anatoly Chubais Has Held the Fifth Defense of Master’s Degree Projects of the Technology Entrepreneurship Interuniversity Program

30 April 2020

On April 29, 2020, the defense of the project proposals of students of the Interuniversity Master’s Degree Program for training high-tech engineers took place in a remote form. The certification commission was headed by Anatoly Chubais, the Chairman of the RUSNANO’s Executive Board and the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, Head of the Department of Technology Entrepreneurship at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). 

In addition to the natural science part of the master’s thesis defended by everyone in their university, the graduates of the Interuniversity Program, uniting the MIPT, NRNU MEPhI, and NUST MISIS, additionally offer a business model and an assessment of the commercial potential of the project, implemented based on one of the partner companies of the program. They can be not only RUSNANO design companies but also other high-tech enterprises.

According to the tradition, Anatoly Chubais reminded that those were not the students who chose the projects. Both the topic of the master’s thesis in the scientific part and the commercial project, as well as the possible scenarios of its development, were set by the leaders of the companies. In this regard, the student’s work should be assessed not by the project profitability and prospects, but by the level of understanding achieved, and the quality of the analysis.

This year, the defense took place for the fifth time. Four projects received a positive assessment.

Veronika Rocheva, the student of the Department of Technology Entrepreneurship at the MIPT, collaborating with LabTech, presented the project to create express laboratories for the detection of vegetable fats in the milk. Dairy producers and their customers, as well as retail chains, are interested in constant quality control of incoming raw materials. The LabTech development allows making a large number of tests with the sensitivity of specialized laboratories. In particular, they can detect less than 1% of vegetable fats in the milk. High-quality milk falsification screening is achieved through spectrophotometric analysis using the sampling method developed by LabTech. The commercial model involves renting hardware with software.

Ilya Parakhnevich, CEO of DIALTECH, was partly an exception to the rule of assigning a topic to a student by the partner company of the Interuniversity Program. He set a goal for himself by defending a diploma on the project of his own company, engaged in the development of dialogue robots. This market is booming, and by 2024 it is expected to grow about four times compared to 2019, to $16 bln—in the world, and up to $640 mln in Russia. The company creates dialogue robots based on the analytical processing of real-world conversations of call-center employees in medical clinics, banks, industry, and development sectors. For a large company, the development of a robot from scratch makes it easy to scale the experience on smaller customers. Anatoly Chubais praised the project level, noting not only the student’s deep understanding of the subject, but also the combination of a technology entrepreneur and an investor in one person. He said he hoped it would produce “explosive results in business”.

Boris Matveyev, the MIPT student who has been working for Puls Zhizni (Pulse of Life) for two years, has defended the project of the market launch of an analytical platform for early screening of cardiovascular diseases. The platform developers are confident that the connection of customized ordinary tonometers to the cloud resources of the MedBrother platform will allow analyzing both the extreme points of blood pressure and the entire trajectory thereof. This information will help to warn the patient about the risk of some exacerbation and give advice to consult a doctor for a more detailed examination. Anatoly Chubais called the idea chosen by the startup “bright and seductive,” and it implied going on the information flows created by the existing devices and, by adding their algorithm, significantly expanding the range of products for the user. However, the project has many internal traps, which he wished the student engaged on degree thesis would overcome before the market launch of the product.

Marina Stolpovskaya is developing the technology of spraying thin films of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) for Mapper, the RUSNANO’s portfolio company. Replacing aluminium with aluminium oxide in the production of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) could make the production process faster and cheaper, opening up new markets for the company. The film sprayed in the experiments may already be used as a sacrificial layer, but further research is required to create a functional layer. The members of the certification committee wished success in this R&D work and future business projects. 

In addition to Anatoly Chubais, the certification committee included Yuri Udaltsov, Deputy Chairman of the RUSNANO Management Company, Chairman of the Council of the Interuniversity Program, Andrey Danilin, Deputy Head of the Educational and Methodological Department of the NUST MISiS, Sergey Maruyev, Head of the Department of System Analysis and Informatics of the Institute of Economics, Mathematics, and Information Technologies of the RANEPA, Alexander Khelvas, Director for Development of the Center for Open Systems and High Technologies, and Vyacheslav Chikin, Deputy Head of the Department of Technological Entrepreneurship at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Entrepreneurship, Scientific Director of the MIPT Interuniversity Program.

In May, new recruitment for the 2020—2022 study cycle starts. The information on admission to the Interuniversity Master’s Degree Program is available at http://www.techpred.ru

Reference

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.