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27.02.2020 18:21

A contemporary approach to innovations

An interview with Oleg Kozaderov, DSc in Chemistry, Vice Rector for Research and Innovations at Voronezh State University.

“What is going on in Russia today in terms of innovations?”

“According to experts from the Global Innovation Index, Russia belongs to a group of countries with a high rate of innovative activity. There is a huge demand for innovations in the country, especially in the area of technologies. We need to develop technological entrepreneurship and in this field and there is still a lot to be done.”

“Do you agree with the following statement “Russians are good inventors but poor innovators?” Why is that Russia, unlike Europe and America, doesn’t demonstrate any impressive results on the innovation market?”

“I can’t agree with it, because there are a lot of Russian inventions which have stimulated the development of science and technology. radio, television, the incandescent light bulb, aeroplane, electrical motor... Yes, innovators not only invent, but also introduce new things. Not every idea in Russia has been applied practically. However, our technologies are often implemented overseas. We have to create conditions which will allow the “idea-technology-prototype-production” cycle to function at the level of start-ups. Then, the companies that are ready to take risks will have a chance to become successful innovative companies in Russia.”

“What do you, as a scientist, consider important for the development of scientific competencies?”

“I believe it is important to understand how timely is the task you are solving, how high is the price of a mistake, and to do your best to acquire a wider range of knowledge and skills in the given area.”

“What are the development prospects for intellectual property in the Voronezh region in 2020?”

“The issue regarding the strategy of the development of intellectual property in the Voronezh region is a topic all by itself. It will influence the path of growth. Among the key factors of intellectual property development are shaping and improving the legal and regulatory framework at the regional level, the development of mechanisms which will allow achieving goals and solving tasks in the area of intellectual property, and the formation of a pool of qualified specialists. The development of the support infrastructure for the area is also very important.”

“Which areas of the innovative development do you consider of priority?”

“The digitising and development of new data processing technologies, creation of smart transport and telecommunication systems, advanced material science, sustainable energy, ecologically-friendly agricultural and water enterprises, personalised medicine and hi-tech public health services, and countermeasures to hazards. Most of these priorities are included in the programme of activities of the new research centre in the Voronezh region which is planned to be created within the national project “Science”.”

“Environmental problems, diseases have always stimulated innovative activities aimed at fighting global problems. In your opinion, what are the threats for 2020?”

“I don’t think I will say anything new if I mention health, environment, and energy conservation as the most pressing issues today.”

“VSU innovation preaccelerator “The League of Innovations” is aimed at developing inventor skills among Voronezh schoolchildren. How do young innovators realise their potential?”

Schoolchildren can test themselves in the competition for the best project within the preaccelerator. Regardless of the results we offer the participants to continue their work in university laboratories with the help of supervisors. This helps them delve deeper in the scientific foundations of chemistry, physics, biology, informatics, and other sciences and to adjust the methods which they use to solve problems in their projects. A young innovator can take part in a number of competitions for the best innovative project, including the regional contest, the Innovation cup, and to be assessed by experts. Finally, the university’s connections with industrial enterprises help innovators to find business partners who could be interested in their project.”

“Can educational projects in the area of innovations encourage young researchers to develop new technologies?”

“The introduction of innovations into education will contribute to the solution of problems of the business community. Among the pressing issues are training and retraining programmes for fast developing enterprises which develop new technologies and equipment. And this is also true for the Voronezh region. The enterprises often suffer from a shortage of personnel due to the inadequate training of graduates and the need to quickly retrain their employees. I am sure that the ideas of young innovators would be very useful.”

“How can VSU students realise their research potential?”

“Students have a number of complementary opportunities to realise their intellectual potential. First of all, this is conducting a research project within their specialisation as a part of the educational process. Students are encouraged to choose the problems they want to study themselves. They can also complete practical training at one of the university’s partner enterprises. What’s more, they can implement their projects with the support of grants and agreements with industrial partners.

Written by: Anastasia Nedomovnaya  
Photo: VSU Press Service  


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