Volga | Technology & innovation

KomTech-2014 Innovation Week: building a bridge from science to business

2 Jun '14
The Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) hosted on May 28-30 its second innovation week under the KomTech-2014 umbrella series of events. UNN’s Technology Commercialization Center (TCC) led the effort.

The event was aimed at helping local start-up innovators and entrepreneurs, which are especially focused on various high technology segments supported by UNN, to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, work out winning strategies to promote the commercialization of their projects, and obtain the knowledge and skills to implement their efforts.

The program brought together government officials, representatives of key academic institutions from Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg, scientists, as well as experts from a range of sizable international companies.

The week began on May 28 with a series of master-classes led by UNN TCC’s new team of patent attorneys and legal advisors. The master-classes covered an array of issues helping the audiences understand how to protect IP, what rights a patent gives to its holder, how to draft a patent application, and what possible ways are to monetize one’s IP.

The pivotal event of the Week was the roundtable titled “Business Dialog: Science, Enterprise, State” which was held on May 29. The roundtable featured government officials and opinion leaders from the local scientific and business communities. Kendrick White, the UNN Vice Rector for Innovation, served as the moderator.

In his opening speech, UNN Rector Yevgeny Chuprunov underscored that he could call UNN “a good innovative university”:

Innovation, as we all know, is the use of new knowledge. The entire activity at our university is about mining for new knowledge and offering services based on this knowledge. We teach our students only what’s new.”

Talking about the setup of UNN’s new Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship, UNN First Vice Rector Alexander Grudzinsky pointed out that “there’s a huge distance between an idea and a marketed product”:
“To invent something is one thing; to sell the idea to customers, making them believe that they need this particular product badly, is quite another. Everybody used to think that to understand that, one should be born to become an entrepreneur. We have realized recently that one can be taught entrepreneurship. And we set this as a priority.

Kendrick White presented the new Technology Commercialization Center. “TCC is a new venue on which to interact with business. The Center draws upon international best practices and is aimed at assessing the commercial viability of innovation projects. TCC is a bridge between science and business,” he said.

Nikolai Nikonov, the Deputy Minister for Industrial and Innovation Policy of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Government, outlined the key focal points regional academia should set its eyes on in the near future:
Innovation activity is a focus. We view it through the prism of intellectual property, and this has become an aspect of paramount importance following Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. We’re pursuing an ambitious goal of doubling the manufacture of innovation products between 2015 and 2020, and our universities provide the primary driver of this effort.”

The event came to a close on May 30 with a master-class on business education. Paul Thurman, a clinical professor and lecturer leading professional development and non-degree executive education programs at Columbia University, was the key speaker. Mr. Thurman talked about strategies and approaches to patenting at universities.

For more information about the event please contact Alyona Ryabinina at +7 (831) 4345911 or a.ryabinina@tcc.unn.ru
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