The meeting on April 17th was initiated by Rector Ilshat Gafurov.
The main point on the agenda was to witness how the work on Decree 218 and Decree 220 projects was going. These two were issued by the Russian government to create opportunities for the leading universities. The idea, as Rector Gafurov said, was to provide them with equipment and technology to facilitate further sustainability after decrees will be discontinued. “The University is a single organism, and we have to work based on mutual complementarity. Everything that can be done internally must be done internally”, said he.
Director of the Institute of Chemistry Vladimir Galkin said there have been three grants financed by Decree 218, and two of them are completed.
First to report was Professor Alexander Lamberov who helms projects in catalyst production.
The first of them to modernize production processes at a partner facility – in this case NKNK. As Dr. Lamberov said, the team managed to minimize temperature fluctuations in catalyst layer during production. 12 upgraded reactors are currently working at NKNK, a joint lab was established, and a master program at KFU introduced. A new cargo container-based testing installation was placed at the factory. In essence, this is a mobile production facility used to attract potential customers. The economic effect from this project has amounted to 300 million rubles a year.
The second project resulted in opening «Catalyzprom», a catalyst plant with 1 billion rubles of investment. NKNK is now working on the further modernization of this facility. The goal is to become fully self-sufficient in catalysts.
Another project concerns silicon materials – a topic pretty rare to meet in Russia. The work is supervised by Dr. Dmitry Yakhvarov. He commented, «This year we are working on the grant's second stage – patent clearance analysis. We aim at getting materials produced with the presence of platinum catalysts based on silicon primers».
The expected result is the establishment of five different silicon rubber production lines in Tatarstan. The facility is Kazan Silicon Rubber Plant. The Plant has been financing this research, 21 million rubles worth of equipment has been bought, and 8 more million are expected to be spent. The group plans to finally get away from platinum in silicon rubber production because of its price. The grant’s full size is 130 million rubles, and it’s distributed across two years.
Professor Boris Solomonov was the last to take floor and spoke about his Decree 220 grant. Unlike Decree 218, this one is aimed at attracting top foreign talent to Russian universities. This grant was received in autumn 2016, and the new lab (the first of its kind in Russia) will be headed by Christoph Schick, an expert in ultrafast calorimetry. The project will be distributed among five different groups.
In conclusion Rector Gafurov told the audience, “I called for this meeting for a reason. We have to strictly control what’s left at the University after projects are completed. I have a request for everybody – please gather more often for such brainstorm sessions. We have to create new directions here at the Institute of Chemistry. There is no need to be afraid of something that we do not yet know. We have to dispatch young people to study at other institutions. I see that our current state of affairs is not bad. But we must not stop here”.