On 18th March, Voronezh State University held a press conference under the auspices of the information agency Interfaks dedicated to cooperation between VSU and enterprises belonging to the real economic sector. Among the participants of the event were the Rector of the university Dmitriy Endovitskyy, the Science and Innovation Director of the OJSC Aviaavromatika named after V.V. Tarasov Larisa Borisoglebskaya, Design Manager of CJSC Voronezh Factory of Semiconductor Devices – Micron Yuriy Fomenko and a member of VSU board of trustees, and the Head of Chemical Tecknopark (Dow Olefinverbund GmbH Leiter ValuePark, Germany) Klaus-Dieter Heinze.
The press conference concluded the University-based presentation session that was held today for enterprises.
The first person to speak to the Media representatives was Dmitriy Endovitskyy:
'We have developed an innovative form of cooperation between the University and businesses aimed at seeking joint approaches to personnel training and projects implementation. And it did not happen by accident. There is a wall separating business and the higher education system. And we tried to break down the wall by means of organising presentation sessions for enterprises' representatives. The meeting today was dedicated to engineering, radioelectronics and microelectronics. We have shown our partners the university's potential within the field as well as our scientific equipment. The results include a signed agreement and businesses' representatives interest in various fields. We should continue developing the contacts and we are ready to collaborate'.
Larisa Borisoglebskaya has set a number of possible forms of cooperation:
'We would like to continue our cooperation with VSU that goes back to 2008. Today we have brought a specified task order, asking our colleagues to help create a new composite material. We also got interested in unmanned drones that were presented today by the Faculty of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics. We have also found development of the diagnostic and prognosis systems for crafts' technical properties determination very interesting. Additionally, this system should be related to the pilot's diagnostics. We have seen that VSU has such projects and they can also be used in our cooperation. What's more, it should be mentioned that we have signed an agreement on cooperation between VSU and OJSC Aviaavromatika named after V.V. Tarasov'.
Yuriy Fomenko told us about the partnership between the University and CJSC Voronezh Factory of Semiconductor Devices – Micron, joint projects and cooperation possibilities related to graduates' training.
'We have a lot of VSU graduates among our employees. Today when we were discussing the issue of specialists training we have come up with an agreement stipulating that the students of the third year and older will have practical classes at our enterprise so that after graduating from the university they have more competences necessary for their future career'.
Klaus-Dieter Heinze emphasised the importance of the meeting for strengthening cooperation between universities and businesses.
Then the participants of the press conference answered questions from the Media representatives.
'We have heard about the decrease in funding of universities. Dmitriy Aleksandrovich, can you tell us in what way it will influence VSU, its scientific work, and the number of state-financed students?’
Dmitriy Endovitskyy: 'It should be mentioned that what is happening is the consequence of the economic crisis. There is 10% decrease in state financing, with exclusion of such items as "salary" and "scholarship". Under such conditions we have to pay more attention to the commercialisation of our innovative projects and cooperate with businesses. And that is what we are doing. In such way we can compensate for the decrease in state funding. At the meeting of the VSU board of trustees we are going to present an Information Technologies Centre project that was approved by the governor of Voronezh Region Aleksei Gordeyev'.
'What enterprises of Voronezh region are you planning to strengthen cooperation with? Will layoffs and spending optimisation at enterprises influence your plans?’
Dmitriy Endovitskyy: 'We will consider the comments and advice we received today at the presentation session, and we are planning to have another meeting with representatives of the engineering industry. We are planning to be actively involved in cooperation with engineering enterprises of Borisoglebsk, we have started and got a license for bachelor's programmes in engineering. In late March we are going to have a meeting with employers in Rossosh: representatives of one of the largest chemical enterprises in the region OJSC Minudobrenia and Podgorenskiy cement factory. Not all enterprises have layoffs. Decrease in investment and research budgets is a more frequent occasion. But it is not going to influence our cooperation plans in any way.'
'What problems do enterprises experience when cooperating with universities?'
Yuriy Fomenko: 'The only difficulty is the process of adaptation of the scientific results gained by the university scientists in our manufacturing process. At the same time the people doing research should be aware of the problems the enterprises are experiencing. Another problem is a salary competition where we are losing. However, the situation is improving and we have more and more young employees'.
Larisa Borisoglebskaya: 'Cooperation between enterprises and universities has two aspects: educational and scientific. The educational aspect is concerned with fundamental departments. We have already founded 3 departments of this kind at our enterprise. We would like to consider the possibility of creating a joint department with VSU specialising in composite materials research'.
'What is the most immediate result that you expect from cooperation with VSU?'
Yuriy Fomenko: 'We have planned a number of stages. In 2015 we are planning to finish the High Voltage Power Semiconductor Devices Stabilisation Technology project. Then we will start manufacturing and supplying the products to the market. In the field of microelectronics it usually takes at least 18 months to move from the idea stage to the task order and test sample testing'.
Larisa Borisoglebskaya: 'This process will take even more time at our enterprise because it belongs to the defence industry and our products undergo an additional checkup'.
'Who owns intellectual property rights for the developments?'
Yuriy Fomenko: 'The status of the results of scientific and technological activity is stipulated in contracts and is subject to very strict regulations'.
'How many people are there in a project team? Are there any students? Do they get salary?'
Dmitriy Endovitskyy: All VSU projects involve young scholars: postgraduate students, master degree students and even bachelor's degree students. Projects at the Faculty of Chemistry are a very good example of this. I am not worried about the university's future as we have young employees who chose to work here'.