Excellence Centers Build Bridges Between Science and Manufacturing


Nowadays the development of technological facilities is one of top-priority tasks in Russia. Thus Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, at the Science and Education Council meeting gave an order to develop initiatives on organizing new excellence centers.

Such centers are widespread all over the world. Headed by skilled specialists and equipped with modern facilities and resources these organizations develop pioneering products and technologies as well as provide their industrial implementation. Serving as key contributors to state economic development excellence centers focus on research and practical activities connected with innovations. They can be based on universities, R&D centers and industrial labs or developed from the ground up.

For instance, German excellence centers deal with research projects that increase competitiveness of the local technologies in the global industrial arena; Finnish centers are based on associations of the largest labs. Usually a government selects the most promising centers on a competitive basis and invests in them.

According to Nina Yanykina, head of Project Management and Innovation Department, to organize these centers in Russia it is necessary to fuse together efforts of universities and organizations that aspire to become excellence centers.

“It is obviously that activities connected with cooperation of research institutions need to be supported. Furthermore the modern Russian r&d centers have to be upgraded. In the resent years some transformations have resulted in new innovative development programs for government entities and universities. Thus the following initiatives was launched: supporting of engineering service market, development of new small innovative enterprises and establishing of interaction between universities and companies,” noted the expert.

Dmitry Khan, analyst of Sci-Techhe Foresight Department, noted that development of new Russian excellence centers is impeded by the lack of facilities, limited opportunities of the markets and the non-flexible technological infrastructure. The expert supposes that such institutions as parent organizations and consortiums should serve as excellence centers.  

Apart from that Nina Yanykina underlined that the activities connected with increasing of production efficiency was very relevant then.

“Usually the misunderstanding between business and industrial representatives is the main thing, which hinders the implementation of new technologies into the market. However there are some positive trends such as a federal accelerator GenerationS, which includes 150 organizations interested in new business solutions and modern technologies developed by small innovative enterprises and startups,” said Ms. Yanykina.

Previously Dmitry Levanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, laid special emphasis on university-based practices and their influence on sci-tech development of the country.

“Giving the main priority to tech leadership ITMO University launched several promising projects connected with quantum communications, cyber physical systems, programming area, Big data and others,” noted Mr. Khan.