On March 31, 2021, the winners of the 2020/2021 Grant Competition of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation for Master's Degree Teachers were announced. According to the results of the competition, 150 teachers from 59 universities were selected as winners, including three teachers from Kazan Federal University (KFU): Evgeni Magid (Institute of Information Technologies and Intelligent Systems), Irina Malganova (Institute of Management, Economics and Finance) and Elena Rybkina (Institute of Management, Economics and Finance).
The Head of the Laboratory of intelligent robotic systems (LIRS) Professor Evgeni Magid, who became a competition winner for the second time, told us in details about the competition and about his application for the Grant Competition:
"Today, the production and service industries related to robotics continue to develop rapidly and are requiring more and more professional specialists, who work in mobile robotics and has experience in modeling, developing and programming mobile robots. To provide the Russian economy with qualified personnel, a new effective study system and new programs of courses are required. Earlier, in 2018, as part of the RobIO-Mag project, a master's program in robotics was developed based on the experience of leading universities with the full support of the leadership of KFU and the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. An analysis of master's programs in robotics in leading foreign universities has shown that all of them necessarily provide students with 1-5 courses related to the tasks of route planning and mobile robots navigation.
In the new project "Navigation of mobile robotic systems" I plan to thoroughly analyze the foreign analogues of the course and develop a new course that will be taught in English and characterized with the right balance between the important tasks of studying theoretical methods and algorithms, their modeling and validation of the knowledge gained in programming control systems of real mobile robots in practical and laboratory classes. The uniqueness of the course will include a carefully selected balance between theory, practice and knowledge testing with the modern equipment available in our laboratory".
More than 700 applications were submitted for the grant competition. This year, the Foundation supported 50 more applications than last year, which, according to the General Director of the Potanin Foundation Oksana Oracheva, will allow to develop and implement more innovative solutions that are necessary for the further development of higher education.
Among the winning applications, a wide range of disciplines is represented, the most popular of which are: economics (11 supported applications), linguistics and philology (11), computer science and information security (9), mathematics (9), law (8), management (8), physics (8). Robotics (3) as a "rare" field is becoming more common and is beginning to be more actively encountered in the competition agenda. The winners of the competition will receive a grant of up to 500.000 rubles, which must be implemented within 12 months.
The Vladimir Potanin Foundation is one of the first private foundations in modern-day Russia. It was established in 1999 by entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin to implement large-scale programs in the field of education, culture and the development of philanthropy. The Foundation develops a culture of charity, bringing together active professionals, who participate in solving socially significant issues and achieve sustainable social changes. The Foundation promotes new opportunities for new ideas and the creation of conditions for their implementation.
Professor Evgeni Magid shared his opinion about the Foundation:
"The Vladimir Potanin Foundation is one of the best Russian grant funds, with one of the highest quality expertise in the country. It is not about the applicant's personal connections, but it’s success in scientific and pedagogical activities, the quality of the application itself and the prospects for implementing the project. I, who have lived abroad for 20 years and observed a wide variety of grant funds to support science and education, both public and private, am very happy to see that in Russia there are such businessmen as Vladimir Potanin, who constantly invest significant resources in the development of high-quality education in their country, in its future – our wonderful youth".