The National Intellectual Development Foundation, an organization that supports research projects implemented by students and young scientists, was established in 2012. Having teamed up with the National Intellectual Reserve Center at Moscow State University, they launched the Innopraktika brand in 2013. Innopraktika is a non-governmental development institution with a mission to promote Russia’s national human capital by creating favorable conditions for development of new technologies and products. Natalya Popova, First Deputy Director General of Innopraktika, talks about the most important and interesting projects implemented by the company in collaboration with leading Russian research centers and corporations, as well as new areas of activity and goals, in an interview below. Since December 2019, she has also held the post of public ombudsman protecting the rights of leading high-tech companies.
— Innopraktika is active in many areas. Could you please tell us about the most significant ones?
— Innopraktika, indeed, works in several areas simultaneously, including R&D projects, technology brokerage, intellectual property management, analytical research, digital projects in education and sports, human capital development programs, and support for development projects.
In 2019, Innopraktika expanded its activities, gradually building up competencies in new areas. In particular, we implemented agricultural and environmental biotechnology projects. In 2019, a project was launched to study the biotechnology market in Russia and facilitate the restart of support mechanisms for agricultural and environmental biotechnology.
— What are the main challenges facing Innopraktika?
— The company acts as a mediator between representatives of science, business and government: we build communications, identify and analyze the businesses’ needs for innovation and offer effective solutions. Innopraktika implements various projects as part of its main mission – to promote growth of national human capital, help build the links for the innovation chain and interconnections between them.
— What were the most significant and interesting projects the company implemented?
— We value all the projects we support. It is important that they all fit with our wider mission of promoting the development of innovations and growth of national human capital in Russia.
Innopraktika carries out analytical, consulting, R&D and development projects. In 2019, Innopraktika organized a contest of educational projects and the EdTech accelerator (ED2 Accelerator); SEASONS tech acceleration program to support and develop Russian innovative projects in light industry; Formula IT and Formula Oil and Gas acceleration programs, and others. Moreover, Innopraktika supported educational projects whose support will continue in 2020, including a distance-learning school of new tech competences that focuses on creating new mechanisms to support children studying mathematics, science and technology as well as help them when they apply to universities. Another project is Kibershkola aimed at creating on-campus cybersecurity classes for high school students and freshmen at Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics.
— Tell us more about the company’s research activity?
— Innopraktika specialists conduct analytical research, prepare science and technology digests, including comparative analysis of latest R&D projects, high-tech markets and reviews of competence centers. In addition, the company has an extensive and informative database of scientific competence centers in Russia and projects they offer. This allows promptly building project teams involving undergraduate and postgraduate students, and young professionals working for Russia’s leading research institutions and engineering companies.
As an example, Russian scientists working on a project by the Arctic Science Center (part of Rosneft’s corporate R&D center) and Innopraktika, a project based at Moscow State University’s Faculty of Biology, developed a unique biological product for cleaning the shoreline of northern seas possibly affected by oil spills. For Rosatom State Corporation’s project to develop efficient extraction systems for separating americium and curium in a nuclear fuel cycle, Innopraktika picked out a unique team of scientists that are working on new highly efficient technologies for spent nuclear fuel treatment and disposal.
As part of Rosneft Oil Company’s targeted innovative project titled “Conditioning of associated petroleum gas (APG) using microporous membranes with pertraction and capillary”, Innopraktika and Moscow State University developed a technology and a prototype installation for conditioning APG using pertraction and capillary condensation on microporous membranes.
In addition, Innopraktika and the Arctic Research Center (part of the Rosneft Corporate Research and Project Complex) have issued the Collection of Maps of the Russian Arctic. Together with Transneft, the project named “Ultrasound Devices to Protect Heaters from Scale Buildup on Oil Pipelines”.
— Russia is now facing the task of conquering the global technology space; how is Innopraktika contributing to this? What support can the leading high-tech companies count on after the ombudsman to protect their rights appears in Russia?
— Innopraktika focuses its efforts on the development and building efficient communications between all participants in the innovation process, as well as on introducing best practices of interaction between business, research community and personnel in providing a comprehensive approach to efficient project management. Thus, in November 2017, Innopraktika joined the program to support small and medium-sized businesses, implemented by MSP Corporation. The Innopraktika working group provides expert support to the program.
In 2018, Innopraktika conducted a research of small and medium-size businesses that are engaged in innovations and high technology.
In July 2019, Innopraktika provided legal and expert services to the founders of the Association of Fast-Growing Technology Companies. It comprises ‘national champions’ – companies that take part in the priority projects of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. Using the results of their research of small and medium-sized technology companies engaged in innovations and high-tech, Innopraktika experts realized that these companies need their rights to be protected. In order to implement these tasks efficiently, Innopraktika and the expert center of the commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights and their colleagues from the Higher School of Economics’ Institute of Innovation Management initiated the creation of the institute of the public ombudsman to protect the rights of leading high-tech companies.
The ombudsman will be appointed under the Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights to protect the rights of the national champions and members of the Association.
By Olga Blinova