8th STRIP Conference proves growth in Skoltech’s innovation activities

One of Skoltech’s stated goals is to create an environment of innovation and to interface with science, industrial commercialization and venture opportunities. One of the main tools to achieve this goal is the STRIP program,1 which held its eighth conference on November 15-16.

The Skoltech Translational Research and Innovation program bridges the gap between laboratory and marketplace, with the aim of driving innovation and entrepreneurship in Russia. It provides support for teams, assists the establishment of proof of concept and commercialization, including pre-start up identification of high potential market opportunities, intellectual property management, and, if appropriate, team development.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to the presentations of the 2015-2016 winning projects. Teams’ representatives demonstrated the result they achieved in the past year. The second day was all about the next year. 16 groups of students, researchers and professors presented their projects in-person to the reviewing panel, hoping to be selected to the program.

The presentations were held in three rounds, each of them dedicated to a different area: IT and robotics; energy, new materials and nano devices; biotech and advanced solutions including wearables. The audience was very 2much involved, and active debates rose after each presentation. The discussions revolved mostly around questions such as technical feasibility and potential for commercial success. One of the most active participants in the debates was Skoltech President Alexander P. Kuleshov.  The event was supported by invited experts from Skolkovo foundation including Nikolay Suetin, Albert Efimov, Evgeny Sheyenko, Ilia Goldt and external guests from top research and educational institutes of Moscow and Moscow region.

Dmitry Pebalk, manager of the Program, expressed his gratitude to all the participants and guests of the event. From his words, Skoltech community is showing an increasing interest to innovation activities and the number of applications has grown by 30% as compared with the previous year. Moreover, several projects raised from student-driven initiatives and now are ready for serious challenge within the STRIP selection process. Dmitry also mentioned the big potential of collaboration with Skolkovo foundation and already realized the idea to attract mentors from its community who should bring their experience to Skoltech projects and help with further commercialization.

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