December 05, 2013, 11:21 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The federal government will provide support for creation and development of UrFU-based Regional Engineering Centre (REC) of Laser and Additive Technologies, since the university has won the contest conducted by the Ministry of Science and Education and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
“Support of the government and leading Ural industrial enterprises will allow us to create a top level competence centre“, says UrFU Vice-Rector for Innovations Sergey Kortov. “It is an essential tool enabling us to facilitate and accelerate the industrial transition to the new, 21st-century level, which means being able to produce complex objects (from rocket parts to household equipment, from dental prosthesis to artificial human organs) at minimum expense of materials, energy, and effort, but with maximum possibilities for intellect and creative research. We are looking forward to this serious and interesting work of adopting these technologies and their localization in Russia and Ural. This Centre will also contribute to emergence of new research areas, new fields of specialization and qualification, new types of business and new trends in design and art”.
The protocol published by the interdepartmental working group on October 18 on the website of the Ministry of Science and Education showed how fierce Russian universities had been competing for the grant. In total there were 96 project proposals from 91 Russian universities submitted to the contest. 65 projects managed to get to the second round and it was expected that there would be 5 winners. Ural Federal University entered this top-5 list sharing the 5th and 6th places with Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Furthermore, there was only a three-point difference between UrFU's score and that of the winners –the National University of Science and Technology MISIS and the National Nuclear Research University MEPHI.
Finally, the working group chose 11 projects and advised the Ministry to increase the general amount of funding. Apart from Moscow and Ekaterinburg, the list of winning cities includes Kazan, Irkutsk, St.Petersburg and Vladimir.
According to UrFU REC Development Programme, its main purpose is to catch up with the leading countries in terms of laser and additive technologies and to form a unified Russian base for their application and development in Ural region. The Programme also seeks to stimulate the development of regional world-class high-tech production. The federal investments of 50 mln rouble will be just the beginning, since the general amount of initial investment is estimated in as much as 800 mln rouble.
A number of defence enterprises along with the government of Sverdlovsk region, technological platform “Technologies of the Future” and the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have already declared their determination to become UrFU's partners in this project. Foreign companies such as transnational scientific and technical group IPG Photonics Corporation, joint Russian and British family of companies Delkam Ural – PLM Ural, British company Renishaw and Fraunhofer Research Institute also expressed their keen interest in the project. It is planned that the REC will be managed by a special joint stock company.
According to the Programme's estimates, the funding provided by the project sponsors will make it possible to develop the technology of metal laser singering. Another significant component of the project will be computer modelling. UrFU small innovative enterprises are already actively involved in developing this field, so the REC will become a good contribution to their work.
Ural Federal University was named as one of the top 15 institutes of higher education in Russia, in a contest for the award of state support designed to help the winning universities take their place among the world's elite. The following 15 universities participate in the programme:
• Far Eastern Federal University (FEFA)
• Kazan (Volga Region) State University
• The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)
• National University of Science and Technology "MISIS" (MISIS)
• National Research Tomsk State University
• Novosibirsk State University
• Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod
• National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI)
• National Research University Higher School of Economics
• National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University
• Samara State Aerospace University
• St.Petersburg State Polytechnical University
• St.Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
• Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University LETI
• Ural Federal University