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Nizhny Novgorod’s top university announces month-long Youth Innovation Festival

20 Oct '14
The Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN), one of the largest universities in Russia’s mid-Volga area, is holding between November 18 and December 12, 2014 Nizhny’s first festival of youth innovation called “InnoFest.”

Russian Venture Company (RVC), one of this country’s key development drivers and the national fund of funds for innovation, provides support as General Partner.

One of the Festival’s Strategic Partners is Intel Corporation. Intel is a world leader in computing innovation; it designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Another Strategic Partner is the national FASIE Fund (known internationally and the Bortnik Fund) supporting small innovation start-ups across Russia’s regions.

InnoFest has a Corporate Partner as well. It’s MTS, a leading Russian telecom operator and retailer, one of this country’s Big Three of the telecommunications majors.

The event is aimed at assisting in the development of a youth innovation environment, encouraging transferable skills and activities, seeking out and supporting advanced ideas by the scientific youth, and fostering social and research integration within academia.

Designed as an event of regional significance, InnoFest is bringing together more than 1,000 young scientists from among university students and postgraduates, as well as research fellows representing the region’s research institutes. High-level government officials and business people from both the domestic and international entrepreneurial communities are also expected.

InnoFest is offering its visitors a rich variety of programs. One of the main events will be a regional competition show of innovation projects called “The Territory of Youth Innovation,” which will introduce participants to a range of new university-originating technologies in IT, biomedicine and pharmacology, new materials and hardware systems. A panel of experts representing potential investors is invited to evaluate the projects.

The Festival is hosting a regional leg of the U.M.N.I.K. federal start-up support program, during which the young best and brightest and their tech ideas will compete for grants from Russia’s FASIE.

The Science in Focus regional exhibition will present to the vast audiences a collection of photographs of unique scientific inventions, including those made by young Nizhny Novgorod scientists.

Another highlight of the Festival is Innograd 3.0: Generation, an educational business game which will also offer young teams a chance to challenge one another in developing business projects.

On top of that, regional teams will also vie for excellence at KITE, another business game which encourages brainstorming and is expected to bring about project ideas to be assessed by experts later on in a time-tested elevator pitch format which UNN has branded as “PitchNITE.”

For a whole month, a series of business-focused educational events will also be held in the formats of roundtable discussions, master-classes, training sessions, foresight sessions, workshops, seminars and one-on-one consultations, all designed to help young scientists develop practical competencies in business modeling, IP protection, financial modeling, marketing, PR and promotion, the art of presenting ideas, HR, etc.

Last but not at all the least, the Festival will culminate on December 12 in a Square Table discussion of the problems and prospects of regional innovation development, called “Government.Science.Business.Youth.” The event is expected to foster interaction between the key players from among the entrepreneurial community, academia and government agencies in building a local innovation ecosystem.

For more detailed information about the Festival, and to discuss sponsorship-level participation in this sizable event, please contact the UNN Technology Commercialization Center at +7 (831) 434-59-11 or e mail: events@tcc.unn.ru.
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