A system of support for innovative activities will be established at KFU.
The Innovative Development Division will consist of the Innovative Cooperation Office, the Centre of Technological Audit and Expertise, the Innovation Accelerator, and the Small Enterprises Support and Consulting Office.
The Innovative Cooperation Office (ICO) is tasked with coordinating the use of the University’s lab equipment.
Vice-Rector for Innovation Andrey Artemyev explains, «The ICO will accumulate all the info about the equipment owned by the University. All equipment activities will be monitored online and displayed in the office. Thus a visitor from any company will have an opportunity to book the equipment for lab tests, to manufacture a prototype, a component or a small series of components». Of course, the system is aimed at loading the equipment to the fullest and maximizing its output.
All innovative activities and results will be included in one registry. This must help in searching for investors and industrial partners for the University’s own small companies.
The Centre for Technological Audit and Expertise is tasked with helping the researchers to pull their work out of the 'theoretical limbo' – which is sometimes the case within the academic environment. The Centre will create thematic innovation portfolios concomitant with the priority areas of the economic development of Tatarstan. Those are machine manufacturing, medicine and pharmaceutics, oil extraction and refining, petrochemistry, IT, biotech, and agriculture. Further down the road the portfolios will be regularly reviewed by the enterprises, and their fate will be decided.
What about the personnel? Dr. Artemyev elaborates, «Life shows that rarely can a scientist become a successful innovative entrepreneur. The Innovation Accelerator is aimed at resolving precisely this by educating project teams of researchers and entrepreneurs on how to create an innovative startup. This will be a full-cycle programme – from an idea to a complete business plan».
The Small Enterprises Support and Consulting Office will provide accounting, law, and management services.
Only existing personnel is being transferred to the new division, so no additional expense is needed. The division will hopefully become sustainable through providing commercial services.
Last but not least, Thomson Reuters agreed to become a partner in the project. A remote workstation will be available to the staff with full access to the company’s online resources – intellectual property databases, industrial news, etc.