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“The NTI Center on the basis of FEFU has a road map until 2021. By this time, not only a competitive development platform should be created there, but also a powerful open source developers' community that forms its own market standards and represents a breeding ground for the world-class IT companies from Russia. The first development of the Center—in the field of personal virtual assistants—will be presented by the center at the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2018,” said Dmitry Zemtsov.
According to him, the FEFU-based NTI Center specializes in neurotechnologies, augmented and virtual reality. It is planned to create a Russian platform for developing applications in the VR/AR area, which should make their development as simple as creating applications for phones. “Such products will expand both human perception of the virtual world, and the ways of interaction with it. We all tired of looking at the huge virtual world through the smartphone window,” said Dmitry Zemtsov.
In addition to the development and implementation of new standards, the Center will also train people, and the first steps have already been made in this direction. So, FEFU has launched a Master's Program in Virtual and Augmented Reality in the current academic year. Besides, the School of Data Economy was established at the university in 2018. “This summer the master's programs in two areas of the Center activities will be recruited on its base: Virtual and Augmented Reality Software Development (for software developer students) and Digital Arts Program, which will include game development, usability and development of user interfaces for VR and AR,” explained Dmitry Zemtsov.
Graduates of these programs will be able to work in engineering and technology companies or to open their own businesses in the technological valley created on Russky Island and in the Russky Technopark. The Center also plans to work with talented young people. In particular, the final of the NTI Olympiad in virtual and augmented reality will be held in FEFU in April.
National Technology Initiative
NTI is a long-term comprehensive program to create conditions to ensure the leadership of Russian companies in new high-tech markets that will determine the structure of the world economy in the next 15-20 years. Russian President Vladimir Putin defined NTI as one of the priorities of the state policy in his message to the Federal Assembly in December 2014. In December 2017, the Competition Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation selected six centers of competence of the National Technological Initiative (NTI) on the basis of universities and research institutions in Moscow, Moscow region, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok; it is expected that 7.8 bln rubles will be allocated for state support of NTI centers of competence only in 2017-2020. The state grants will be directed for the financial support of the establishment and development of the centers.