On 12 May, the final presentation session of the VSU Innovation projects competition 2014–2015 was held at the new Building of the Faculty of Economics.
The competition started in September 2014. The jury considered 49 projects. During the whole period, VSU administration also organised various business workshops and master-classes inviting well-known specialists such as Tamara Naidyonova, Irina Gorelova (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises of the Voronezh Region), a famous mentor Yuri Segal, a well-known business advisor Nikolai Badulin (Tomsk, Russia), and Gleb Tertyichny (Foundation for Developing Internet Initiatives, Novosibirsk, Russia). The purpose was to encourage students' and researchers' entrepreneurial activity at VSU. There were also workshops and tutorials for the competition participants organised by the lecturers of the Department of Economics and Organisations Management – Yury Tereschevsky, Lyudmila Podoimo, Galina Golikova, Galina Menyailo, and Ekaterina Isayeva. Of the 49 participants, 15 were selected to present their projects at the Final.
– VSU researchers are now actively taking part in various international conferences and workshops and their projects enjoy great interest among specialists in Germany, the USA, and China, etc. “The competition is a vital stage on the way to implementing innovative projects” – said VSU rector Dmitry Endovitsky at the opening ceremony.
The jury of the competition included the deans of the VSU faculties, as well as representatives of state institutions and business community. Tatiana Sanina, the business administration director at the Department of oleochemical business at OAO Efko, handed out the awards, promotional gifts and souvenirs to the winners.
The jury were pleased to see the high scientific level of the projects. Many of the participants were made collaboration offers from the sponsors of the competition.
– “The competition helps to encourage students' and researchers' entrepreneurial activity at VSU. Working on the projects, the participants had an opportunity to learn more about business-planning, developing economic models, and various presentation techniques. All this helped them to make good presentations of their projects at the Final, and consider the prospects of collaboration with industrial enterprises, development institutions and social institutions” – said Tatiana Davydenko, the Chairperson of the jury, Vice-Rector for Innovations and Technology Commercialization.
– “There were many good projects, but we had to select the top 12. Another three projects were selected by Efko. There are no losers in this competition. Together with our partners we will keep working with interesting projects, even if they didn't make it to the Final for some reason. The competition was held just for the second time, but the results are already there – it is a platform where we can find the most promising start-up projects that can be implemented together with VSU. The competition is thus a whole system for technology commercialization, starting with the idea and continuing to its successful implementation. The best projects are then presented to the top managers of large corporations who show the greatest interest in innovative projects at VSU. It is important to develop projects not just in science and technology, but also in the social sphere” – said Alexander Khvan, Dr. habil. in Technical Sciences, Head of the VSU innovative business incubator.
The VSU Department of Innovation and Business will help the winners of the competition to comply with intellectual property applications, open small innovation businesses, and sign license agreements with companies interested in commercialization of the results of intellectual activity.
Presentations of the best projects can be found at the VSU Innovation Portal.