More than 20 regional IT companies participated in the foresight session “Digital superiority of the region: strategies, prospects, new formats” held by Altai State University

25 September 2023 Department of Information and Media Communication
Photo by Maria Dubovskaya

September 14, the foresight session “Digital superiority of the region: strategies, prospects, new formats” was held at the “Boiling Point” of Altai State University. It was devoted to the issues of interaction between government authorities, universities and the business community in the field of information technologies.

The working meeting was attended by Evgeny Zryumov, Minister of Digital Development and Communication of Altai Krai, Boris Chesnokov, President of the Altai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergey Bocharov, Rector of AltSU, Pavel Pletnev, Chairman of the AltCCI Committee on Information Technologies, Evgenia Zhdanova, First Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of AltSU, Maxim Gerasimyuk, Vice-Rector on Digital Transformation and Media Communication, managers and representatives of leading IT companies in Altai Krai, and leaders of digital transformation of AltSU.

“Altai State University is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and today we are having an off-site meeting of the information technology committee at the university platform. Our goal is to raise and discuss the most important issues of the IT industry, inviting authorities and public associations to dialogue. It is within the framework of this format that proposals are developed, which are subsequently implemented into concrete actions,” said Boris Chesnokov, welcoming the session participants.

Evgeny Zryumov, Minister of Digital Development of Altai Krai, noted the importance of holding a session at the “Boiling Point” of Altai State University:

“We have seen the success of other regions on this very platform, when people who are concerned get together, businesses collaborate with the public sector and the academic community. In order for us to share ideas and choose the best solutions for the emergence of new businesses and new scientific directions, this platform is a priority for us. We will ensure that there are always events, ideas, emotions, and the student community is included. I think that we will receive those new, sometimes extraordinary initiatives and projects from the student environment here and will suppport and nurture them. This will give rise to a lot of startups.”

Sergei Bocharov, Rector of AltSU emphasized that the university is a participant in the Priority 2030 program, the main goal of which is the transformation of universities.

“A year ago, while studying at the School of Rectors in Skolkovo, I looked at a number of cases from other universities and saw that a completely new type of school was opening in the country to train IT specialists. They have interesting principles: combining classical education with IT education of international corporations. That is, they take the educational standard and plan according to which leading companies prepare programmers, combine them, and on this basis create programs, upon completion of which graduates receive “junior” IT competence. The second point is that thanks to this, a gentleman’s agreement is reached in the region between the university and IT companies that they will not “wash out” personnel from the university during the period of study. Moreover, they agree with each other which cases they provide for training and already at this level they distribute programmers among themselves and carry out training together. This leads to the third principle: combining the resources of classical universities and IT companies. Theoretical training is minimal, the emphasis is mainly on practice in IT companies.”

The foresight session started with an open discussion on the development of IT education in Altai Krai. This topic is important both for the university and for the companies themselves. Participants talked about whether IT companies need to participate in the training of future employees, starting from school, and whether companies are ready to invest in future key employees even at the stage of their university studies. Some companies shared their experiences in this matter.

“If we talk about career guidance, the best thing we can do is plan some events so that schoolchildren come, see and get carried away. To create such an image of the profession, specifically in Altai Krai, so that people want to work here. As for investing in students, we are willing do this, we have an agreement with Altai State University. We have more and more areas that we would like to represent at the university. We want to make sure that our projects, our companies become as attractive as the programs of Sber or Yandex. An excellent example is the Digital Up school for the development of digital competencies at Altai State University,” said Nikolai Belotsky, representative of Estesis.

In the second part of the foresight session, representatives of Altai State University spoke about the system of continuous training of IT specialists for the region, promising educational and scientific projects, and new formats of interaction with industrial partners.

“Altai State University provides IT education no worse than, for example, in leading Tomsk and Novosibirsk universities. We work a lot with schoolchildren ¬– more than 10 thousand schoolchildren visited the sites of Altai State University last year. We have many basic educational programs dedicated to information technology at different levels – college, bachelor's, specialist’s, and master's. Moreover, all master's programs are developed exclusively with IT partners. We are aimed at developing accelerated digital competencies among students and teachers. We have trained more than a thousand people within the Digital Department. Altai State University is implementing various IT projects, as well as projects on unmanned aerial vehicles. Altai State University is ready to open an IT competency center on its site,” said Evgenia Zhdanova, First Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at Altai State University.

At the end of the event, Maxim Gerasimyuk, Vice-Rector for DT&M, addressed the leadership of the AltCCI with a proposal to consider the possibility of jointly creating a co-working training center that would work for the development of both the university and the IT community in the region.

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