“Securing the World-class Level of Scientific Research and Development Projects in the Fields of IT and Photonics”

Implementation of SI.1 is aimed at developing the University’s main competitive advantage, which is its unique scientific research and educational profile in line with its development of the cutting-edge technologies of the XXI century (see Part and includes:

·        highest priority given to R&D, and to the educational and innovations arising from this priority;

·        concentrating the main resources of the university on the main scientific research competencies – IT and Photonic technologies – with the goal of achieving world-class results in these specific research and technology niches;

·        diversifying scientific research into the fields new for the University (Medicine, Biology, Urban studies, Design)

·        reaching the same volume of scientific publications, citations & number of internationally registered patents, etc. as international universities

To ensure the highest quality of scientific research activity and achieve the new target model, ITMO University is undertaking the approach based on creating the status of International Research Centers (IRCs) through an open competition. The labs are under the joint leadership of Russian and those foreign scientists who have a high publication record and citation rate and with experience in high-tech industries. This approach allows for rapid achievement of our target indicators; increasing awareness of the University’s brand in the international scientific research community; and ensures the sustainability of the new model through the development of the research teams. Our IRCs are the new “growth hot-spots” and the new hubs for attracting talent and resources.

The implementation of SI.1 is carried out in three stages:

Stage 1:  2013-2014 - Intensification of international research in IT and Photonics technology, creating the right organizational conditions for a sharp increase in the numerical indicators for research outputs.

Key results of the first stage:

·        The creation of 49 IRCs; development of competition mechanisms for their creation, development of reporting and performance analysis.

·        The development of a system for international open recruitment competitions as part of the “ITMO Fellowship and Professorship” program. Two competitions with over 90 participants were held and 12 finalists were recommended for hire by ITMO University.

·        Two of ITMO University’s own journals have submitted their request to be included into the Scopus database in 2014.

·        In 2014, over 740 scientific research outputs were published and included in the international databases, Scopus and Web of Science (580 outputs in 2013).

·        In 2014, some 176 foreign research scientists were hired by the IRCs.

Stage 2:  2015-2016: Diversification of research into new areas for ITMO University, such as Medicine, Biology, Urban Studies and Design; considerable improvement have been achieved in the quality indicators for our research outputs (publication in peer-reviewed journals; collaboration with the leading scientific research centers; participation in large international research projects).

Stage 3: 2017- 2020: Consolidation of IRCs based on areas of research into larger entities, possibly, into networks. The final stage will include the formation of five Centers of Excellence: “Photonics and Natural Sciences,” “Smart Materials,” “Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics,” “Life Sciences,” and “IT in Economics, Social Sciences and Art.”

       Implementation of SI.1 will be carried out with the following three objectives.

 Objective 1.1. “ITMO Research”: Research in IT and Photonics under joint leadership by foreign and Russian research scientists and/or advanced scientific research organizations, through the foundation of  new IRCs.” This initiative is aimed at boosting international research through attracting foreign research scientists to joint projects and through establishing collaboration with leading scientific research organizations. The second stage will include expanding into medicine, biology, urban studies and design. For that, it is planned to create joint research units with leading Russian and foreign research and educational organizations. Special attention will be given to the regular assessment of the IRCs’ effectiveness and establishing the processes for reporting, reorganization and the closure of ineffective research centers.

Objective 1.2. “ITMO Publications”: Increasing ITMO University’s publication rate and improving the quality of the University’s ‘intellectual product’. This task requires a multi-faceted approach and can be broken down into several parts. First is the boost to publication activity from the IRLs. Second, the “ITMO Portfolio” program - which stimulates the individual publication rates of students and researchers at ITMO - will gain additional support. Third, the work to include ITMO’s research publications in international citation databases will continue. Fourth, the database of full-text research outputs by ITMO researchers will continue to grow. Fifth, the University will continue to hold large international research conferences officially recognized by the international scientific research community and organizations. Sixth, international patenting of IP will be carried out on a regular basis.

Objective 1.4. “ITMO Sustainable Research”: Ensuring the financial stability of ITMO University’s research system.” This initiative is aimed at creating and sustaining research teams and continuing large-scale international research after the completion of the 5-100 Program. This will be realized by creating a system of research matching income generation  carried out by the IRLs by increasing the number of contracts from high-tech enterprises, including international ones, and developing a system of IP commercialization (see also Part 1.3.3).

Key aspects of the second part of this SI are:

·        Establishment of a Translational Medical Institute together with the Almazov Federal Medical Research Center (see Appendix 7) and the establishment of the Institute of Design and Urban Studies in alliance with the St. Petersburg State Art Academy (see Appendix 8);

·        Participation in large international research projects, such as the program of the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (European XFEL) and Multi GNSS Asia (MGA) that promotes multi-GNSS utilization and applications in the Asia and Oceania region.

Key aspects and instruments of implementation of the SI.1 are given in the Table below:

Key Emphasis

Key Instruments

Activation of international research in IT and Photonics by broadening the spectrum of application to Medicine, Biology and Urban studies.

Open project contests, launching of the new IRCs, analysis of IRC efficiency, reorganization and closure of the less efficient ones.

Creation and organization of the Institute of Translational medicine and the Institute of Design and Urban studies.

ITMO University’s participation in large international research projects.

Intensification of international publication rate  

Development of “ITMO Portfolio” program that stimulates personal publication rate of students and researchers Organization of large international scientific research conferences

Promotion of ITMO University scientific research journals in Web of Science и Scopus

Development of open electronic database of research outputs of ITMO University staff

Access to international sciento-metric resources

Ensuring the financial sustainability of scientific research at ITMO University

Attraction of non-government funds

Research and development projects commissioned  by hi-tech companies from ITMO University 

Creation and updating of the University R&D Projects Portfolio