The National Technology Initiative (NTI) is a comprehensive long-term program aimed at the creation of fundamentally new markets and the creation of conditions for Russia to become a global technology leader by 2035. Implementation of the NTI is one of the priorities of Russia’s state policy.

NTI Management System

Performance Results of the NTI Project Office in 2017:

  • Roadmaps for the NTI TechNet and Club Movement were approved;
  • 21 NTI projects were approved by the Interdepartmental Working Group Under the Presidium of the Council for Economic Modernization and Innovative Development of Russia (IWG);
  • Roadmaps for NTI implementation were developed in seven regions of Russia;
  • Seven working groups were set up to improve legislation and remove administrative barriers, and seven normative roadmaps were submitted for approval;
  • NTI University 20.35 was established;
  • Six NTI centers of excellence based at universities and scientific organizations were selected;
  • NTI technology contests were launched by RVC, the Skolkovo Foundation and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI);
  • NTI Contest: the annual high school student team tech competitions for the 2017-18 academic year was launched in partnership with leading Russian universities;
  • Cybathletics competitions were supported in cooperation with Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade;
  • RVC became a general partner for Russia’s first Goldberg Cup.
  • NTI projects were presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Innoprom 2017 international trade fair.

It’s worth noting that the project office is now supporting more in-depth expert evaluations of NTI projects. As a result of this work, projects are more mature than they were two or three years ago. In 2017, RVC carried out a great deal of work that, while not immediately visible, ensured the uninterrupted financing of NTI projects. RVC is performing its functions as the NTI project office in an efficient and effective manner. One of the most important results of this activity was the establishment of three venture capital market with Skolkovo. A development strategy was adopted that takes into account the numerous difficulties we faced in previous years.

Dmitry Peskov, Director of the Young Professionals division of ASI

Financial Support for NTI Projects

RVC supports selection and implementation of NTI projects and develops a system for their life-cycle management. Priority is given to platform projects that develop their own ecosystem and promote the creation of new market niches, to start-ups and innovative business projects by reputable companies capable of forming global products for a global market and to execute pilot projects that comply with NTI's roadmaps.

21 NTI Projects Approved by the IWG for State Support in 2017
Project Roadmap Purpose of the project
Robotized passenger transportation AutoNet Creation of technologies for unmanned passenger transport
Engineering tenders and competitions MariNet Development of a system for educational and competitive programs for the creation of innovative solutions in the shipbuilding industry
MPAC-3D (Multipurpose Hardware-Software Complex) MariNet Development of a 3D system for geophysical mapping of the seabed
Digital model of the Republic of Tatarstan AeroNet Development and pilot implementation of a cloud-based 4D geoinformation platform in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Mentoring at Kvantorium technoparks Club Movement Creation of an innovative educational space for children interested in technical and natural sciences based at Kvantorium children’s technoparks.
Remote monitoring of certain chronic non-communicable diseases HealthNet Introduction of remote medical services for supervision of chronic patients using personal telemedicine devices and artificial intelligence systems
Model for an unmanned aircraft capable of performing long-duration and long-distance flights AeroNet Creation of a system for aerial monitoring of extended infrastructure in the Arctic and other regions using unmanned aircraft with a takeoff mass of more than 7 tons.
Universal unmanned platform with a high cargo-carrying capacity AeroNet Development of a universal multirotor-type unmanned aerial vertical take-off and landing platform with a payload of over 100 kg; implementation of pilot projects in the area of cargo transportation and aerial chemical works in agriculture and forestry
NTI University 20.35 Club Movement Design and approval of the NTI University model
NTI Contest Club Movement Holding the 2017-2018 NTI National Engineering Competition for schoolchildren
NTI Venture Fund Total portfolio Venture support for the growth of NTI companies
Living Breath HealthNet Creation of a medical and technological platform for personal treatment and health management
Economic neurobarometer NeuroNet Development and organization of production of mini neuromarketing laboratories
NeuroEar NeuroNet Creation of machine hearing algorithms for artificial intelligence
IoEN Architecture EnergyNet Creation of a network for the exchange of electrical power and the development of software and hardware for modeling options for energy systems management
HealBe HealthNet Development of a portable device for weight control
EXOATLET BAMBINI NeuroNet Development of a new method for neurorehabilitation using an exoskeleton for small patients, including children and teenagers
Energy Content EnergyNet Creation of a solid-state storage power plant to reduce energy rates
ATOM Small telecommunications space satellite platform AeroNet Development of a small telecommunications space satellite platform to support the operation of multipurpose communication satellites
Sevastopolenergo Digital Regional Electricity Grid EnergyNet Creation of a modern business model and standards for the operation of a network energy company based on a new technological model
Driver Activity Support System NeuroNet Creation of a comprehensive system of transport safety controlled by artificial intelligence to prevent accidents due to loss of concentration by drivers or by violations of traffic rules

Development of NTI Roadmaps

NTI roadmaps outline the conditions necessary for the creation and development of technologies, products and services that will enable Russian companies to take priority positions in new markets. In 2017, two new roadmaps were approved: TechNet and Club Movement. In total, eight NTI roadmaps had been approved by the end of 2017.

Key Projects

In 2017, RVC continued to implement projects to involve talented young people in innovative activities, including in the area of the NTI. The following educational projects were implemented as part of the Club Movement roadmap: the NTI Contest, NTI University 20.35 and Mentoring Based at Kvantorium Children’s Technoparks. In addition, seven competitions in the Umnik-NTI program were held in cooperation with the Innovation Promotion Foundation.

So as not to slow down, but to accelerate during the next ten to fifteen years, NTI is laying the foundation for working with talented young people, developing the Club Movement roadmap since 2015. Our key task is to establish an association of talented, technology-focused schoolchildren and students, to create an environment where children will be able to demonstrate their abilities and fulfill their potential. The most difficult thing is not to get children to take part in a technology competition once, but to establish a development pattern for them: children’s technopark–summer school–NTI Contest–NTI University. Our resources are sufficient to support an association of tens of thousands of schoolchildren with similar experiences and dreams, and the target of the roadmap is to create an association that includes up to 500,000 talented young people by 2025. We have already achieved serious results. In 2017-18, the third NTI Contest was held, a team engineering competition for schoolchildren from eighth to eleventh grades in 17 fields corresponding to the NTI’s key areas of activity. Since 2016, the NTI Contest has been on the List of Competitions for Schoolchildren. Winners in nine fields will receive perfect state examination scores to enter universities in 2018-19. In other fields, leading universities take individual achievements into account in portfolios. More than 37,000 people have taken part in the Competition during the three years that it has been held. We have great plans for 2018: the launch of a national network of project placements for young engineers called Practical Training of the Future, the national WORK festival for technology enthusiasts and the creation of the Talent digital platform, which will allow schoolchildren from groups with a shared login to use all services for group members and to create a digital portfolio that they can use for acceptance into University 20.35. The Mentor Academy, a joint project run by Skolkovo Open University and the Circle Movement, has been providing mentoring since 2017 to help schoolchildren with their technology projects. Some 12,000 mentors have taken part in the project, which has involved five mentoring sessions in Skolkovo, Sochi, Tatarstan and Yekaterinburg, as well as two more online courses.

Dmitry Zemtsov, co-director of the NTI Club Movement,
Pro-rector for Development at Far Eastern Federal University.

NTI Technological Competitions: “First Element – Earth” and “First Element – Air”

Mission

The removal by Russian developers and equipment manufacturers of global technological barriers in the field of hydrogen fuel cells, which will allow high-tech companies from Russia to become leaders in this field in the global market in the future.

Purpose

The development of an efficient alternative to traditional fuel for various means of transport.

Task

To develop and demonstrate the operation of energy plants based on hydrogen fuel cells for small unmanned aircraft and for ground transport with technical parameters that are better than those of similar innovations elsewhere in the global market.


“Winter City” NTI Technology Competition

Mission

The removal of global technological barriers in the operation of autonomous vehicles in unfavorable weather conditions

Purpose

Development of technologies for safe automatic driving of unmanned ground vehicles under Russian climatic and road conditions.

Task

To develop software and hardware (high-capacity sensors, on-board computers, driving mechanisms) to operate driverless vehicles during winter and at difference times of the day considering the possible lack of road markings and low visibility on the roadway, with the achievement of a level of driving safety comparable to the level of the average driver.

NTI Centers of Excellence

The NTI centers of excellence integrate the capabilities of universities, scientific organizations and business to promote comprehensive research and to develop high-tech products for new markets.


Tasks of the NTI Centers of Excellence

  • Translation of the results of basic science into engineering applications. Interdisciplinary research programs ensure the translation of scientific results and ideas, through applied research and development, into specific technologies to benefit particular industrial partners;

  • Technology transfer through cooperation with industrial partners. NTI centers of excellence form a constant link between academia (universities and scientific organizations) and industrial partners (industrial organizations, high-tech service companies, IT leaders, medical institutions in the biomedical area, and state customers, etc.);

  • Training of leaders in the development of new technologies through the implementation of educational programs. NTI centers of excellence develop and implement educational programs in the field of engineering. Students studying in these programs participate in the centers’ research activities by working directly on projects in teams that include representatives of industrial partners.

The need to eliminate the gap between science, education and industry has been frequently discussed in recent years. Various theoretical models have been offered as a solution: the Triple Helix, University 4.0, etc.
The establishment of NTI centers of excellence at universities allows us to take an extremely important practical step in this direction, and this is promoted by a number of system-forming differences characteristic of NTI centers: consolidation of universities, high-tech corporations and companies, small and medium-sized enterprises at the level of national champions into a single consortium, implementation of joint scientific and technical projects concentrated on global markets of the future, the focus of educational programs on training leaders in the area of cross-cutting technologies. Thus, NTI centers might become a bridge over the valley where projects die, establishing the missing link between all participants in the chain from the development to the release of advanced technologies in the global market.

Alexey Borovkov, Pro-rector for Prospective Projects, SPbPU

Improvement of the NTI’s Regulations

In 2017, amendments were made to legislative initiatives to eliminate administrative barriers preventing the efficient implementation of roadmaps.

Work with NTI Regions

In 2017, RVC and ASI, in cooperation with regional administrations, promoted the NTI agenda at the level of the Russian Federation’s constituent entities. For example, a number of development institutions and regional authorities developed their own NTI roadmaps. In addition, the regional agenda included the implementation of the digital economy in the Russian Federation’s state program.


NTI Pilot Projects Implemented in the Novgorod Region

1. Typical Region Digital Model (AeroNet)

Unmanned aerial photographic equipment, photogrammetric software and software for the visualization and analysis of aerial photography data.

2. SleepAlert Driver Activity Support System (NeuroNet)

A neurointerface to monitor a driver’s awareness while driving.

3. Young Neuromodel Designer Neuromodeling Set (NeuroNet)

An educational construction set for the study of human bioneurosignals (muscle activity, pulse, skin resistance and brain activity).

4. Remote Monitoring of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases (HealthNet)

A combination of personal telemedicine devices, medical decision support systems and a data analysis service for continuous supervision, monitoring and remote notification of the relevant physician about a patient’s condition, as well as the remote prescription of medications by a physician.

5. Digital Regional Electricity Grid (EnergyNet)

A scalable business model fora network company that surpasses similar companies in the United States, Europe and Asia by at least 25% in terms of aggregate technical and economic indicators.

6. UAS Training Construction Set (AeroNet)

A module construction set for an unmanned aviation system, educational stands and a training methodology for teaching at schools, colleges, Centers for Youth Innovation Creativity and centers for children's continuing education.

The Novgorod Region, besides its beneficial geographic location, has a developed telecommunications infrastructure that includes federal communication channels, a regional fiber-optic network, practically full coverage of Veliky Novgorod with high-speed Internet and the presence of a regional university with well-developed information and communication technologies. Training personnel for the digital economy is of particular importance for us. Talent and knowledge are formed early, while studying at school. Early professional orientation and mastering basic skills in the NTI’s cross-cutting digital technologies is being supported by the development of a technical network at Kvantorium in Novgorod that about 1,500 children are currently taking part in. The opening of a new digital school in Veliky Novgorod in 2017 was a success. Most of its working processes are based on information systems. The children can work on high-tech equipment in new school laboratories based on the Internet of Things, aeronet, neuronet, robototechnics, geoinformatics. The whole education process is focused on the development of skills in children that will be in demand in new technological markets. In 2017, our task was to lay the foundation for movement towards the digital economy. To promote the efficiency of NTI projects and of our digital economy program, we set up Russia’s first piloting factory for NTI projects on the basis of our university. Companies from various regions were able to test their technologies. In many cases, reference is made to products and services that significantly improved quality of life and the ease of conducting business. These are not just nice words: 12 projects have been tested at the piloting factory in less than a year. The first large project was the development, using unmanned aerial photography, of a 3D digital model of Veliky Novgorod in two districts of the region. Use of this accurate model significantly improves the quality and speed of land control; monitoring of the environmental situation, forests, natural resources; and creates the basis for tourism development. This enables us to receive economic benefits, such as an increase in our tax base of 10% by establishing order throughout the entire territory. A pilot project for dispatching energy resources demonstrated that expenses for communal services can be reduced by 15%. At the moment, we are planning to share this successful experience with all state institutions. Our work has attracted the attention of an increasing number of IT companies in the Novgorod Region, hoping to quickly test their products in the real economy, under the favorable production conditions of the piloting factory and without bureaucratic barriers. This year, we are planning to launch another 20 new projects to solve urgent problems in healthcare, education, communal services and safety.

Andrey Nikitin, Governor of the Novgorod Region.

Goldberg Cup

In 2017, RVC acted as the general partner for the Goldberg Cup, Russia’s first competitions for the development of Goldberg machines. The competitions among student teams were held within the framework of the World Festival of Youth and Students. A Goldberg machine is a composite construction made from ordinary materials that are used in an unusual manner. They are built in such a way as to create a chain of actions on the basis of the domino effect so as to perform a simple task, e.g., switching on a lamp or launching a firecracker. Each action follows the previous one in the chain without stopping; their diversity and spectacular finales depend solely on the engineer’s imagination.

Eleven teams from six Russian regions were finalists in the 2017 Goldberg Cup. Their unusual mechanisms comprised not only an engineering design and a set of components, but also a project on a particular theme. The winners received a prize of RUB 50,000 and a trip to the Fab14 International Conference in France in 2018. This forum brings together over a thousand participants every year from various countries who share their experience, develop cooperation and establish associations at the local and global levels on digital production, innovation and technologies.

Cybathletics

In 2017, Moscow hosted the Russian Cybathletics Championship, a competition for disabled individuals, who use various technologies to perform household operations. The event was organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, RVC, ASI and the Skolkovo Foundation.

Cybathletics is a Russian follow-up to the Cybathlon international competition. Participants move along a course while using technologies to perform household operations. The course for cybathletes includes elements that simulate tasks faced by disabled individuals in their everyday lives. Starting this year, the course will include a new element, i.e., a computerized race controlled by brain signals.

Eighty participants from 37 cities and 20 regions of Russia took part in the competition. Fifteen teams and participants from Moscow and the Moscow Region, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo were selected as the winners or runners-up in such disciplines as Tibial Prosthesis, Hip Prosthesis, Arm Prosthesis, Electric Wheelchairs and Neurorace.

Russia’s first Cybathletics was held in Moscow on June 15, 2017, within the framework of the Integration 2017 exhibition. Twenty-three people from seven regions of Russia took part in the competition. There is a similar worldwide competition called Cybathlon, an international competition for people using high-tech assistance devices. The competition was held for the first time in Zurich in 2016. The Russian team was represented by five teams at Cybathlon, with support from RVC, ASI and Skolkovo.

The competition in Russia was initiated by a graduate of the GenerationS startup accelerator of Motorika, a company that is developing upper limb prostheses.