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"It is important for business to be a customer of technology development"

What is now on the agenda of the working group of National Technology Initiative (NTI) Aeronet, found out with the help of its co-director, General Director of CJSC "Technology Transfer Center" Sergey Zhukov.


- Forum of strategic initiatives was held last week. What did your colleagues hear from you as participant of the discussion "New technologies - new markets?"

- I said that it was important that the business should be a customer of technology development and, accordingly, the working groups of NTI show activity in this issue and, possibly, in setting targets for applied research.

Can you explain it with an example of the working group Aeronet?

- Our working group has an actual "general", in which we are moving, trying to deal with the complex technology development. If we consider the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as the transport, a series of tasks arise, which, in turn, split into questions of technology. Processing requests for developers can be divided into several blocks. The first block is the creation of units of vertical or short takeoff and landing, which is essential to the uninhabited places or areas with degraded air field network. It is interesting, for example, to consider the integration of the airframe and power plant, which would provide the characteristics of range, airspeed, fuel consumption for unmanned aircraft systems of vertical takeoff and landing not worse than that of devices for airfield-based with standard aerodynamic configuration.

The second block is a high-speed unmanned aircraft systems of light, medium and heavy class, with flight range of 400 to 1500 kilometers (including the airfield-based). There are interesting questions of aerodynamics, propulsion devices, power generators.

The third block is freight transport and logistics systems. It can be modular systems of non-container and container delivery. Moreover, this is about different types of containers: ventilated, unventilated, standard and non-standard, with load capacities from 500 kg to 200 tons.

The technologies for these systems differ. There are new aerodynamic schemes, different ways of arrangement of the goods to transport, start with overclocker, if we talk about aerospace systems. There are component base, avionics, avionics software, all kinds of sensors, robotics. There are landing systems - hydraulic, with feed back, which can be trained, compensate for pitching, allowing landing on ships and take off with them. There are telecommunications and navigation systems, and more.

Who within your working group is the customer of technologies?

- Today we closely cooperate mainly with small and medium-sized enterprises. Among the latter, I note Kazan EDO Simonova. It is perhaps the only enterprise in the aviation industry in the country, which since the days of the USSR exclusively specialized with unmanned topics, including for defense purposes. UAS for civilian use of heavy class is being developed there now. It will be able to operate it both in the Arctics and in hot countries.

EDO Simonova is not only the customer, but also producer of tasks for scientists and technologists – for example, for Engineering center "KAI-Composit" of Kazan National Research Technological University.

There is another example: it’s a group of "Geoskan" companies that, among other activities, is engaged in mineral exploration with the help of methods of aeromonitoring. In this area it solves research problems using resourses of in-house developers only. There is aeromagnetometer in "Geoskan"of an original design. I suppose that in the next stage, when the colleagues scale the business, they will be able to attract the part of researchers from outside.

Does Aeronet interact with other working groups of NTI?

- Yes, it does. The collaboration is on with a group of Tehnet, led by Alexey Borovkov, the Vice-Rector for future projects at SPbPU. With his deputy in the group, director of innovation development NPO Saturn Dmitry Ivanov we are working on the possibilities of ordering drones or components with specific design and process parameters by "our" market participants. For example, the requirement of an additive forming of integrated structure becomes possible, when the wing becomes radio-technical "eye", or when the rib of rigidity can be an antenna. The orders for products of "north production" which can stably operate at temperatures of -40 - -60 degrees Celsius, orders for high-power systems are also possble.

What is your impression of the discussion?

- In my opinion, this discussion is a continuation of discussion of ways of interaction of market participants of the National Technology Initiative with the state. At present, there are some obstacles, but federal authorities are beginning to get interestedin  by NTI. One of the positive examples is that

Aeronet’s working group succeeded in making changes to the Air Code of the Russian Federation, which cancel the compulsory certification of civil unmanned aircrafts with a maximum take-off weight of less than 30 kilograms, as well as making other rules to facilitate business development.

Personally for me it is an example of effective collaboration of technology entrepreneurs with colleagues from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Transport Ministry and other departments, as well as with legislators.

Head of the direction "Young Professionals" of Agency for Strategic Initiatives Dmitry Peskov, among other things, spoke about the power of networking, paying attention to the following key characteristic of  NTI, as the speed of decision-making, and the speed of development. A useful exchange of views between the heads of the working groups of NTI and representatives of authorities took place. Thus, co-director of the working group Neuronet Andrey Ivashchenko emphasized the significance of patenting developments, the researchers are concerned with them far less tham with the index of Hirsch. While, in accordance with the number of patents, Russia lags far behind not only other countries, but also large foreign companies. Perhaps, the situation will be changed with the creation of IP-accelerator RVC, in which we intend to participate.


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