Deputy Vladimir Kononov Praises Innovative Development of Ulyanovsk Region

A conference was held at Ulyanovsk State Technical University (UlSTU) on 25 March. The participants discussed invention activities to be carried out during the Year of Science and Technology.

“Every time I come to the region, I can see how the city and the region are changing, how production facilities are developing, and how universities are improving. I would like to emphasize that the region is among the leaders in terms of automotive and aircraft industries. And this is a great achievement of the regional government and the people working here. Together with tech entrepreneurs, I will use my experience in working with technology and innovations to help them. The Year of Science and Technology announced by the President aims to make a breakthrough in this sphere,” said Vladimir Kononov.

When opening the conference, Governor Sergey Morozov emphasized that the number of applications for inventions increased by 46% in 2020. This is the result of systemic work carried out in the region. Three hundred and eighty-four patents for inventions and one hundred and ninety-six patents for utility models were issued. In addition, the region took the fifth place in the ranking among federal subjects of the Russian Federation on the highest coefficient of inventive activity (including utility models).

“I gave the task to prepare a decree and create a commission that will work on scientific and technological development of the region. Today we discussed this topic in detail with Vladimir Kononov, a member of the State Duma and the Russian State Duma's Science and Education Committee. I also think that we should introduce a special regional commission. It will consist of experts and scientists who will introduce the latest developments into our daily life. We intentionally create favorable conditions for development of innovative and technical creativity of adults and children. First, the region has created all infrastructure necessary for training of young inventors. Secondly, a unique multifunctional Intellectual Property Center continues working at the Agency for Technological Development. Thirdly, an innovative voucher, which is a tool for financial support of inventive teams and technology companies, has been available for more than two years now. Lastly, the region has been holding a competition for the best invention and rationalization proposal for several years. The Best Children's Invention nomination was introduced for the first time this year. People aged from 14 to 18 can start submitting application today,” said Sergey Morozov.

During the conference, participants reviewed federal and regional aspects of the Year of Science and Technology, which was announced by President Vladimir Putin in 2021. They also talked about children's inventions, the role of universities and enterprises in innovation activities, and participation of Ulyanovsk regional office of the All-Russian Society of Inventors and Rationalizers (VOIR) in the thematic year.

In 2019, the Ulyanovsk region held the Year of Inventions and Innovative Technologies ahead of the current year's theme. Before it, the region became Capital of Invention by winning a competition held by the All-Russian Society of Inventors and Rationalizers in 2019. The number of innovative, inventive and patent activities increased, and the region accelerated its technological development. More than 200 specialized events were held. Particular attention was paid to a series of competitions that focused on scientific, technological and innovative creativity of children and young people. The region places great emphasis on promotion of inventive and innovative activities, as well as involvement of children and youth in them. Other important spheres include strategic initiatives and development of national and regional intellectual property markets.

During the Year of Science and Technology, the Ulyanovsk region is going to hold more than 180 significant events; namely, competitions, research and training conferences (including All-Russian and international ones), skills competitions, exhibitions, fairs, academic lectures, master classes, and panel discussions. Forums and festivals will be of particular importance. Universities, colleges and technology-based enterprises will be the main participants and initiators of the events.

Marina Alekseeva, First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Ulyanovsk Region, said that the Ulyanovsk Region is interested in innovative development. Today, this is the main factor that determines how attractive the region is for investors. “We actively cooperate with federal experts in such spheres. And this would be impossible if our colleagues did not see the region as a promising one. Our potential, first of all, relies on people, including the vast number of youths. In 2020 alone, the region received 384 patents in various fields and registered 306 trademarks. This is a great achievement. At the same time, we created comfortable infrastructure for innovative development. It includes "Tochki kipeniya", a specialized Agency for Technological Development, and the Centre for Development of Nuclear Innovation Cluster in Dimitrovgrad. The Innovation Assistance Fund, which representative office has been working here for more than 20 years, plays an important role in the region's innovation ecosystem. The number of high-tech enterprises has significantly increased in the region during this period,” said Marina Alekseeva.

An exhibition of Ulyanovsk region's inventors and rationalizers was working during the conference. It featured unique exhibits such as grain dryers, varieties of winter wheat, diatomaceous fertilizers, bacteriophage agents, zeolite-based feed supplements, a multifunctional robot working on vehicle chassis, a radio-controlled hydrogen-based model, and research results of human brain and heart biological signals. Visitors could also examine a scout robot from the Kvantorium Children's Technopark (Dimitrovgrad), NEOKVANT air recerculators, a VR simulator of a nuclear production site, as well as Kvantorium's mobile technopark based on a GAZon Next truck.

During the conference, a ceremony was held to award winners of the All-Russian contest "Engineer of the Year" and the programme "UMNIK" created by the Fund for Assistance to Small Enterprises in the Scientific and Technological Sphere.