A.I. Rudskoy: Our goal – concentration and focus of all resources on core areas of innovation and technological breakthroughs

Opinion leaders. April 28, 2010


Andrey Ivanovich Rudskoy

Andrey Ivanovich Rudskoy – RAS Corresponding Member, Doctor of Engineering Science, Professor. In 1981 he graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, specializing in "Pressure metal forming" and in 1993 – the Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation. In 1998 he defended his doctoral dissertation. In 2008 he was elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Since 1985 he worked as a teacher, and since 2001 – head of the department of "Plastic working of metals," SPbSPU. Since 2003 – Vice-Rector of the University. Since 2007, a scientific advisor of the "Research and Innovative Institute of Materials and Technologies", created at the SPbSPU. The scope of scientific interests of A.I. Rudskoy is the theory and technology of obtaining of nano-structured metallic materials, plastic processing of metals, powder metallurgy. He has authored over 160 scientific papers, including 9 monographs and 5 inventor's certificates. A.I. Rudskoy is member of the public academies, member of the European Union of Metallurgical Engineers, professor and consultant of the M. Planck Institute and the University of Hannover (Germany).


Everywhere, at all levels there is a discussion of what "innovation" is and how to create an innovation system. A lot of people "stuck" in the word itself, rather than on its substance... What is this – that we, Russia, need to develop?


A.I. Rudskoy: I think the most simple definition of the term – innovation – is innovative changes demanded by the market. That is, it's not just a new scientific results, constructional, technical or technological solutions but innovative changes which are useful in the real sector of the economy. Today, we, like the entire world community, are on the verge of evolutionary transition from an industrial economy to the innovative economy of knowledge. The new economy will be based on the development of competencies ("knowledge in action") and the transformation of the intellectual potential into a real force, which allows effectively implement and apply the latest achievements in science and high technology.

Knowledge that others do not have, intellectual superiority mean an important competitive advantage of tomorrow. This means that one of the key elements of the new economy will be the system of higher education. It is exactly in the leading scientific universities and the schools where new knowledge is generated and transferred during the educational process. Embodiment of that knowledge into specific results through the application of high technology – that is nowadays the main task not only of the high school, but of our entire economy.


What needs to be developed: people, infrastructure, creation of an environment (laws, advocacy) for the innovation economy? Or, maybe, put aside all this, and as once said Vaclav Havel, to "teach teachers" who will prepare the innovators?


A.I Rudskoy: People, and infrastructure, and creation of environment, all of this.... As you rightly pointed out, people – in the first place. The Russian Higher School today moves to two-level system of personnel training. With proper organization of the educational process, this system allows to achieve very good results. I must note that as a basis it is better to choose natural science or technical directions. There are many cases where engineers have successfully received a second degree and became brilliant economists, managers and lawyers, but there are practically no cases where economists and lawyers become successful engineers.

Having received a basic bachelor training, the most motivated and talented students can continue their education in Master's programs, which provides a choice of competencies, which in future will determine the professional growth and success of graduates. In our Polytechnical University, we orient the master's programs in "multiindustry sector" technologies. For example, it is technology of creating new materials, nanotechnology, information and telecommunications technology, multi-disciplinary high-tech computer technology, energy saving and environmental technology. In a sense, innovation is also on-industry sector discipline. Teaching of innovation technologies in technical colleges is advisable to carry out under the Magistrates, after a student has learned in the Bachelor the basic natural science and engineering disciplines and after the acquisition of relevant knowledge, skills and competencies.


What is your forecast for the development of innovation system? How many years are needed?


A.I. Rudskoy: Development of the national innovation system is impossible without technological breakthroughs. The basis of any innovation is new knowledge and new technological solutions. Today during the rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT), total computerization and automation, globalization, and hyper competition, constantly accelerating changes, modernization of the economy requires, first and foremost, the transition to a new technological way of creating a modern and innovative economy of knowledge.

If we talk about the vector of development of technological modernization, for the first three technological structures the basic was highly specialized knowledge on the basis of individual disciplines and the corresponding industry sector technologies. The basis of the fourth structure is multidisciplinary knowledge and multisectoral technology. The basis of the modern – the fifth technological structure – was formed by the achievements in the field of inter-and multidisciplinary knowledge, inter-and multisectoral technologies.

Currently the fifth technological structure has entered a phase of maturity. This allows us to predict the main features of the future sixth technological structure, which, while maintaining the pace of modern techno-economic development will enter a phase of distribution by 2020 and will be based on the dominance of multi-disciplinary knowledge and multisector technology – the synthesis of the ICT, multidisciplinary multisector computer modeling technologies with nanotechnology and biotechnology, which, in turn, will lead to a new level of development the metallurgy and machine building (aircraft, automotive, shipbuilding, instrument making and other industries), electronics, energy, transportation, communications, and of course medicine.


What is there in the St. Petersburg Polytechnical University, which others do not have in terms of education, science and innovation?


A.I. Rudskoy: The fundamental scientific basis of the polytechnic approach, developing in our university is multi-disciplinary research, specific to various types of large targeted research programs, because they are aimed at solving large-scale scientific and technological problems, which involves the use of interdisciplinary and multisector technologies, as well as effective cooperation of specialists from different fields of knowledge.

Multisector technologies make it possible to effectively interact for professionals from different countries, different companies and industries and, most importantly, contribute to rapid spread and penetration of new inter-and multidisciplinary expertise in new areas, to interdisciplinary transfer of advanced "invariant" technologies. Therefore, multidisciplinary knowledge and multisector high technologies are, as I said earlier, the competitive advantages of tomorrow, their widespread adoption and use will ensure the development of innovative high-tech enterprises of national economy.

That is why, in anticipation of the future, as the result of the successful implementation of innovative educational program in 2007-2008 we have created innovative scientific institutions – the Research Institute of Materials and Technology, Research Institute of Energy, Environment and Nanobiotechnology. Already in the names of institutions there are the main directions of their activities, which are certainly relevant for the development of education, science and the organization of effective interaction with high-tech sectors of the national economy. In the near future it is anticipated further development of innovation infrastructure of the SPbSPU and the creation of the Joint Science and Technology Institute by bringing together research institutes and scientific-educational centers, winning the contests of the MES. The main goal – the concentration and focus of all the intellectual, physical, financial and human resources on key areas of innovation and technological breakthroughs in order to provide advanced training of competitive specialists of the new generation, possessing key competencies of world level, to ensure timely response to scientific and technological challenges of industry and organization of the export of intellectual services.

As a vivid and effective example of a synergistic unification of resources, I would like to note the formation of a cluster of multidisciplinary multisector technologies of computer modeling and engineering, a wide range of which is presented at the Research Institute of Materials and Technologies, and which our staff has successfully applied for many years for solving complex scientific and engineering problems in virtually all industries. It is important to note that the development of these technologies throughout the world for the past 40 years, attended by over 30,000 employees of development companies with a total turnover of about $ 10 billion a year. The total complexity of developing these technologies is estimated at 500,000 man-years! Because of their extraordinary efficiency, these technologies are used by several hundreds of thousands of companies in over 80 countries worldwide. Exactly these technologies, for decades accumulating enormous "transnational" intellectual potential, allow to perform at the global level basic and applied research, science and innovation developing, most effectively organize the commercialization of applied research and export of intellectual services, significantly improve the performance of intellectual work, and ultimately – to create a globally competitive new generation products in the shortest time possible.


Implementing 217-FZ – in the first lines of the agenda. How is your university getting ready for that? What has been already done?


A.I. Rudskoy: For our high school organization of small innovative enterprises is not a new problem. At the University for many years are successfully operating 20 small innovative companies that are members of the Center of Commercialization and Technology Transfer Technopark in Lesnoye and the Innovation and Technology Centre "Foundation TVN". Following the enactment in 2009 together with SPbSPU and based on the results of intellectual activities of our employees, there were created small innovative enterprises LLC "EKOPolitehnik" and LLC "PoliSTIB", specializing in environmental technology and information security systems. Currently there are the founding documents being prepared for the creation of new innovative enterprises, which together with existing, will form a belt of small innovative enterprises.

The law, in our opinion, of course, must be improved, for example, in terms of tax benefits, delegating more rights to the universities to provide production facilities, the organization of more efficient sharing of expensive research equipment.


Will professional associations of young scientists help the development of science? What they mean for you as for a leader: a reserve of talents of science and education, an incubator of ideas, or just help in carrying out the activities?


A.I. Rudskoy: I have already noted that today, at the Polytechnic University the research is conducted on new technological basis. The results of the developments of polytechnics have demand in the industry – over past ten years the volumes of research have increased six times. In many ways the foundation of our success is the continuity of generations. All scientific and pedagogical schools of the Polytechnic University traditionally include in its membership the young staff, postgraduates and students. The university has a modern infrastructure and all the conditions for the beginning of the scientific and innovative career for undergraduates, graduates and young scientists. For the young teachers, working on dissertations there are personal bonuses set, for the promising professionals from other cities service apartments are given, overseas internships are arranged, grants awarded and conferences are held, there are excellent conditions created for the timely publication of research results in peer-reviewed journal "Science and technology digest of the SPbSPU", which is included in the List of WAC.

One of the basic principles of polytechnic training system – "the best graduates are working in the SPbSPU". Successful implementation of this principle allows to say with certainty that young scientists-polytechnics already now take an active part in shaping the new face of the Polytechnic University – Polytechnic University of a new type, modern and advanced in all aspects of a university of the XXI century. These are exactly the people who in the next decade will be able to make innovation and technological breakthroughs and do a lot of really new and much-needed to the innovative economy of knowledge.


What can you wish to young scientists?


A.I. Rudskoy: There is nothing more interesting than the creative process – research, comprehension of the truth and the natural environment, scientific innovation and technological development, especially if the results of your intellectual work and your development are of demand by the society and the economy – an innovative economy of knowledge.

So I want to wish our youth to be fully developed and receptive to everything new, best, be persistent in reaching goals, not to be afraid of difficulties encountered, overcoming of which gives satisfaction and contributes to your further development, and, of course – I want to wish good luck and significant achievements to the glory of the Russian Science!

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