Innopolis: the new hub of Russian robotics

A national Centre of Competence of the National Technology Initiative program in the field of robotics and mechatronics will start working on the basis of Innopolis University. The new centre will focus on R&D in medicine, industry, aerial and ground-based unmanned vehicles.

Innopolis: the new hub of Russian robotics

The Russian IT university has won a tender competition on creation and development of a centre of competence for an open-ended technology in robotics and mechatronics. Supervised by Innopolis University, the consortium of the centre includes 16 leading Russian universities, 5 applied academic institutions, 7 foreign partners from France, China, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway, and 16 industrial partners. In particular, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, ITMO University, Higher School of Economics, Far Eastern Federal University, Institute for Information Transmission Problems and Institute of Machines Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sberbank, Gazprom, Aeroflot, IMT Atlantique (France) and Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (China).

The centre will focus on the development of industrial and collaborative robotics, creation of new robotic solutions for medicine and rehabilitation, home, agriculture. Besides, it will contribute to the development of antropomorphic and walking robots, unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. In May 2018, the Centre of Competence at Innopolis University will start working on new projects, in particular: Innovative models of electric cars with modules of partial autonomy and intelligent driver assistance systems; autonomous modular hybrid vehicles with land-and-air travel modes; robotic solutions for construction of buildings and infrastructure; high-tech prostheses for the rehabilitation of upper and lower extremities; tactile sensing technology in medicine, industry and human-robot interaction, etc.

The national Centre of Competence will have 4 new laboratories: Industrial Robotics (opening in May 2018), Autonomous Vehicles (opening in September 2018), Mechatronics and Control Prototyping (opening in February 2019), Special Robotics covering different areas of robotics i.e. mobile, service, medical, aerospace, agricultural, cognitive and social robotics (opening in May 2019). The project also provides for opening a Сentre for Сontrol of R&D Results, release of a scientific journal focused on robotic issues and creation of an information resource that outlines competences, R&D and education activities of the consortium members.

In the field of education, the centre will introduce programmes in robotics and mechatronics on the basis of technologies of virtual, augmented and mixed reality, including educational programs for Bachelor, Master and PhD students, creating an online platform, youth conferences, schools of science, workshops, hackathons and competitions.

A month earlier, Innopolis University delivered a report оon successful trials of a delivery drone in conditions of below-freezing temperature and limited visibility.

According to Alexandr Klimchik, Head of the Centre for Robotics Development at Innopolis University, "Our victory in this competition proves that Innopolis is the Russian robotics hub and our programs and research results are among the best in the country. The opening of the center will help us to return highly qualified specialists and create an advanced robotics school able to introduce its research results in educational programs of partner universities and domestic industrial companies. We will have new projects that will shape the image of Innopolis University in the Russian and international market of research and educational programs."

Iskander Bariev, Vice-Rector, Head of Project and Science and Research Activities of Innopolis University: "The competition was held by the Russian Venture Company, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. We have successfully passed the main and additional selections competing with opponents i.e. leading Russian universities and scientific institutions, including Kazan Federal University, Tomsk State University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, MIET National Research University of Electronic Technology, Russian State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics. When adopting decision in favour of Innopolis University, the tender commission marked a high demand for project results to be implemented by working groups and companies of the National Technology Initiative as part of the programme on creation and development of the centre of competencies".

According to results of the primary and secondary selection, it was chosen 14 centres of competencies in the following areas: transfer of electrical energy and distributed intelligent systems, machine learning and cognitive technology, quantum communication, wireless connectivity and the Internet of Things,  components of robotics and mechatronics, big data storage and analysis, sensing and distributed registers.


The Centre of Competence of the National Technology Initiative program is an engineering and educational consortium focused on training highly qualified engineers in terms of using new technologies and doing research in order to combine research and production and introduce products to the global market. The main objectives of these centers are to disseminate fundamental research results to engineering applications, facilitate technology transfer through cooperation with industrial partners, train leaders in development of new technologies through the implementation of educational programs.

National Technology Initiative is a long-term complex programme on creation of favourable environment to ensure the leadership of Russian companies in the new high-tech markets that will determine the structure of the global economy in the next 15-20 years. Implementation of the National Technology Initiative is one of the key tasks set by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on December 4, 2014, in his Address to the Federal Assembly.

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