The NTI Contest is a unique format of engineering contests for students in grades 7–11. Since 2015, the contest has been organized by RVC, the NTI Club Movement and ASI in partnership with leading engineering universities and technology companies.
In the 2018/2019 academic year, more than 38 thousand Russian schoolchildren from 430 Russian cities took part in the NTI Contest. Competitions are held in 19 specializations (driverless vehicles, intelligent energy, small space technology, neuro- and biotechnology, robotics, etc.) that correspond to the sectoral priorities of the National Technology Initiative. The winners of 13 of the 19 specializations receive 100 points on their uniform state exams in physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science or geography when they enter leading engineering universities.
This seasoncompetitions in various specializations are being organized at sites in 10 cities. Finals are held in a hackathon format: participants must find the best solution to a technological problem, for example, an optimal data processing algorithm or the technology for obtaining material with specified properties. The tasks for the schoolchildren have traditionally been assigned by representatives of engineering universities and technology companies: NTI Contest partners include the Rusnano Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programmes, Aeroflot, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, MTS, ITMO University, the Moscow Aviation Institute, Far Eastern Federal University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Innopolis University, Moscow Polytechnic University, Tomsk Polytechnic University and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.
The Club Movement is the NTI’s main long-term bet. It is the current generation of club members that will provide Russia with technological leadership in a globalized world. The goal for 2019 is to engage 100,000 talented individuals in the Club Movement. In 2018, the NTI Contest reached a milestone: some 38,349 schoolchildren from 85 regions registered for the qualifying round, which was more than the total for all previous years combined! the Mentor Academy project is developing at a steady pace: 12 schools have already been held with 1,500 participants, and more than 12,000 people have completed the first online courses. They launched a series of project schools called ‘Practices of the Future’, where children and adults develop projects together in current areas of NTI interest. We have big plans for 2019: the RUKAMI project will get under way – outstanding festivals will be held in 10 cities around the country to popularize technological creativity. We are preparing to launch a digital platform called ‘Talent’, with the help of which Club Movement members will be able to create their own personal development trajectories. The purpose of the Club Movement is to make the Russian community of technology enthusiasts a magnet for talented individuals from around the world, thus bringing them closer to large international projects.Dmitry Zemtsov, leader of the NTI Club Movement working group
In September 2018, the NTI Lessons initiative was launched at 1,800 Russian schools in 412 cities. The lessons are designed for students in grades 8-11. The programme includes materials that explain to high school students what the National Technology Initiative is, the challenges it faces and the types of experts who will be required by NTI markets.
Six lesson scenarios have been developed that correspond to the following NTI areas: human beings, information, infrastructure, technology, production and the environment. In the area of human beings, for example, schoolchildren can learn about bionic technologies, genome editing and preventive medicine. In the area of information, they can learn about blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. In technology lessons, teachers talk about the development of driverless vehicles and machine vision. Teachers will be able to choose and offer students tasks similar to those solved by students in different NTI Contest specializations. Innovation engineers, businesspeople and young inventors help teachers deliver lessons by means of short interviews that are included in the lesson materials.
NTI University 20.35
NTI University 20.35 was established in November 2017. This is the first university in Russia that provides for professional development in the digital economy. The university is focused on training company leaders, NTI participants and specialists working in new global markets.
The university’s objectives up until 2025:
- Training specialists for the implementation of NTI road maps (15,000 people)
- Training teams of chief data officers for regional and federal authorities (30,000 people)
NTI University 20.35 is a new format of education, where the modules that a student needs are individually assembled in various educational institutions with the strongest courses. It is this approach that allows us to call the university a network project. The new format enables us to concentrate the best developments from institutions, universities, the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, corporate academies, production facilities and even individual specialists in one platform. The programme takes into account students’ current skill level when suggesting the optimal selection of courses. Both full-time and part-time training are available.
NTI University 20.35 launched full-scale educational operations in 2018: it conducted an intensive two-week course and prepared and launched courses and educational modules for participants in NTI markets and for civil servants
- About 100 trainees participated in the first edition for NeuroNet
- In the second edition, 35 teams were trained for NeuroNet
- More than 1,000 people took part in the Island 10-21 workshop
The Island 10–21 workshop was the best event of the year. This is the most complex, but also the most important event in terms of contacts between talented young individuals and NTI participants.
Instead of a diploma for graduating from NTI University 20.35, a digital competency profile (DCP) will be created that reflects actual achievements. The creation of a competency profile as a new form of validation of learning outcomes is incorporated into the Digital Economy programme. It is expected that, by 2020, 20% of students will be using a DCP, and there will be more than 300 thousand graduates of the vocational education system per year with basic digital economy skills.
RVC has provided expert and analytical support for the formation of NTI University 20.35, including:
- creating a regulatory framework for university activities;
- fine-tuning of the educational process, in terms of both content and organization (transition from vertical teaching formats to horizontal ones, solidifying the formats for work involving cooperation between students).
Specialized department of RVC at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, called Management of Technology Projects
RVC specialized department of Technology Management has been in operation at the Faculty of Innovation and High Technology in MIPT since 2011.
Over the past eight years, the department has been training specialists capable of managing R&D projects, creating and promoting new products and technologies and launching their own high-tech businesses. The department offers master’s programmes for students of bachelor’s and specialized programmes in engineering or computer, technical and natural sciences; the programmes also enable students to supplement their studies with business training. The main companies looking to hire department graduates are venture funds and technology companies. The department’s graduates become analysts, investment managers at venture funds, technology brokers, heads of services in high-tech companies and create their own innovative enterprises.
Since 2012, the Department has been running a Master’s Programme in Venture Investments and Technology Entrepreneurship, which has established itself as an effective source of talent for the venture capital market. During their studies, students learn skills that they can apply in the fields of management, economics and finance, and they discover how to turn a scientific idea into a technology, how to turn a technology into a product, and how to turn that product into something that can be marketed. During their studies, students take part in internships in venture capital funds, technology start-ups and companies focused on innovation both in Russia and abroad. Graduates of the master’s programme work in venture funds and technology companies, implement and develop technological innovations, and establish and play key roles in technological start-ups.
In 2018, the department launched a new Master’s Programme in Project Management in the Field of Artificial Intelligence Technologies at MIPT to meet the NTI’s objectives in the field of artificial intelligence. The programme is implemented in conjunction with the Department of Intelligent Systems at MIPT and the NTI laboratories at MIPT (the Laboratory for Neural Systems and Deep Learning (iPavlov project) and the MIPT-Sberbank Laboratory for Applied Research). The programme is designed for graduates with undergraduate technical specializations who have an idea for a product or a ready-made business project that can be implemented using technologies based on iPavlov, an open platform for developing conversational artificial intelligence, and MIPT-Sberbank technologies. In the process of learning under the guidance of scientific leaders, students can create their own start-up, i.e., develop a product and prepare it for commercialization. In 2018, international internships were organized for RVC students at the venture funds MindRock Capital (USA), Pix Vine Capital (Singapore) and IncuVest Pte Ltd (Singapore). At the moment, there are a total of 114 students who are either enrolled in, or have graduated from, the two master’s programmes run by the RVC department: Venture Investments and Technological Entrepreneurship and Project Management in the Field of Artificial Intelligence Technologies. In the near future, the RVC department plans to further expand its range of educational programmes with the aim of creating a network model educational programmes, including those aimed at fulfilling the NTI’s objectives.
“Innovative Economics and Technological Entrepreneurship” interuniversity training course
In the 2018 academic year, a course called “Innovative Economics and Technological Entrepreneurship” appeared in Russian universities that was developed by RVC in cooperation with ITMO University and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The course is designed for students and can be included as a compulsory or optional discipline. The educational programme is based on the elements of project training according to the Lean LaunchPad methodology, which was developed by a technology entrepreneur and lecturer at Stanford University, Steve Blank, and the course assumes that, if necessary, each university can adapt it to the specific features of a particular industry.
The course fulfils one of the most important objectives of modern engineering education: the development, among students of natural sciences and technical specializations, of entrepreneurial thinking, which is essential for graduates to meet the requirements of the current labour market.
The course is practical in nature. As part of the programme, students learn the process of developing high-tech products or services, organizing technology transfer activities and licensing, creating start-ups and implementing commercial R&D, mastering techniques for building a project team and developing an action plan to bring their product to market.
Licensing agreements on the introduction of the course into the curriculum have been concluded with 44 Russian universities, and two training sessions have been held for university lecturers who are conducting the training course. One hundred eight teachers from leading engineering universities have taken part in the training. The number of universities conducting the course is expected to reach 100 by 2020, and about 50 thousand students will be trained.
A lot of people still think that it’s impossible to teach entrepreneurship. And if it is possible, that it’s something frivolous and that it can’t be part of one’s main programme at university. As a development institution, we are convinced that training in technology entrepreneurship is one of the most serious challenges facing the higher education system. Moreover, not only should there be technology entrepreneurship courses at the most advanced universities, but they should be widely available. These are the objectives we have set for ourselves: that, by 2020, tens of thousands of students will take our course every year.Aleksey Gusev, Director for Innovative Ecosystem Development RVC