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9:49 AM  November 10, 2021

Space, 5G and DNA printer: Rector on TUSUR's strategy until 2030

© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийSpace, 5G and DNA printer: Rector on TUSUR's strategy until 2030

TOMSK, Nov 10 – RIA Tomsk. Participation of Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics (TUSUR) in the state program Priority 2030 for increasing the competitiveness of universities will make it possible to create in Tomsk a new microelectronics research center in the format of a "training factory". Rector Victor Rulevsky talked about the university's development strategy, what the university plans to use the 626 million rubles grant for and his vision of filling the campus under construction on the left bank in an interview with RIA Tomsk.

TUSUR in Priority

– Priority 2030 is an important and landmark project for TUSUR. Why did you decide to participate? And most importantly, why, in your opinion, did you win?

– For 15 years, the university has been trying to enter such a global program that will determine its development in the next ten years. Prior to that, TUSUR had taken part in the competitive selection of the 5-100 project – then we did not make it to the final and became participants. But we understood that we have a good reserve in the field of science and education, which can ensure our high competitiveness not only in Russia, but also in the world.

When the conditions of the new competition Priority 2030 became known, which is focused not only on the national research leadership, but also on the industry and technology leadership, TUSUR immediately determined its track. Our university was created 60 years ago precisely to develop new industries and technologies, train personnel, develop new communication and radar systems, automation elements and instrumentation base for the electronics and rocket and space industries.

I believe that we have chosen the right focus, identifying the following strategic areas for ourselves: microelectronics and next generation communication systems, IT and information security, space science and engineering, as well as an entirely new area of technical medicine. 

We are very proud to be part of Priority 2030. If you add up the funds received by Tomsk universities under this program, it turns out that five universities once attracted several billion rubles to the Tomsk region.

© РИА Томск. Таисия Воронцова
Tomsk universities that participated in the second stage of the Priority 2030 program will receive grants: TSU and TPU will each receive nearly 1 billion rubles, TUSUR will receive 626 million, SSMU will receive 342 million, and TSUAB as a candidate for the program will receive 50 million.

– Let's get back to the defence. How did it go?

– This program was very different from the previous one (we are talking about the 5-100 program – Ed.), it had a two-stage defence system. In September, the first stage took place, when the top 100 universities were selected for the basic part of the grant. Initially there were over 560 eligible universities, but only 187 applications made it through. Of these, 106 universities have already been selected.

At the first stage, the university team was supported at the defence by Lyudmila Mikhailovna Ogorodova – Deputy Governor for Scientific and Educational Complex, Kirill Germanovich Okhotkin – Deputy General Director for Research of Academician M.F. Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems and Nikita Sergeevich Garshin – Deputy Director of Micran. On behalf of the university were myself and Alexander Alexandrovich Shelupanov, President of TUSUR.

The second stage was more focused on strategic projects and new technologies, their implementation, interaction with industrial partners.

The TUSUR team was supported by Igor Nikolaevich Shaturny, Deputy Governor for Industrial Policy. He spoke about the projects that we implement together with the enterprises with the support of the administration, for example, about the first experimental 5G landfill beyond the Urals.

© с сайта администрации Томской области
Also at this stage, we were supported by the General Director of Academician M.F. Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, Nikolay Alexeyevich Testoyedov, and a representative of Micran.

At the second stage, the commission was interested in how we would ensure a high extrabudgetary component.

Our application has quite big ambitions: we assume that by 2030 the university's budget will be tripled with a share of extrabudgetary component of about 60%. We all understand that these are ambitious goals, and it is impossible without the support of industrial partners. I would like to note that TUSUR has already doubled its budget since 2010. Today, the share of TUSUR's extrabudgetary component is 45-48%.

Big University

– In their programs submitted for the Priority 2030 competition, four Tomsk universities mention joint work within the framework of the Big University. What does TUSUR plan to implement together with its colleagues?

– Yes, this is a really important strategic project for us – joint work of the Big University of Tomsk. It is aimed at balanced and harmonized interaction with universities and scientific and educational organizations in the city to create a model of the Big University of Tomsk.

I believe that it is the interaction between universities that made a big contribution to winning this program. This is a distinctive feature of our universities. Within the framework of the Big University, we are united not legally, but through scientific and educational projects. It is Tomsk that has the most Priority winning participants among non-capital cities.

© РИА Томск. Андрей Соколов
As part of the Big University strategy, TUSUR is responsible for the development of inter-university technological entrepreneurship; we are talking about creating an inter-university business incubator on the basis of the future campus. It will be an environment for generating knowledge-intensive business entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized innovative companies.

It is known that about 10 thousand hours of work are required for a team to confidently enter the market, and universities can take responsibility for the first five thousand hours. Further development of the team is possible in Tomsk Special Economic Zone. Already now there are arrangements with the administration of the Tomsk region to provide "settling in" and support for the teams after passing the inter-university student business incubator.

The second project for which TUSUR is responsible is the export of education, creating a unified strategy for attracting foreign youth and retaining them in Tomsk. Construction of the new campus imposes a responsibility on us – by 2030 we have to attract 15 thousand foreign students to the region.

To attract applicants from different countries, we, together with our colleagues from the Big University, created the website "Study in Tomsk", so far in two languages: Russian and English. This is a single site where all universities and training areas are represented, and we also plan to translate materials into eight languages, including French, German, Chinese, and others.

– Is the Big University about working together on the basis of the existing infrastructure or is it about building new laboratories?

– It means creating joint laboratories, synchronising research activities, providing access to unique equipment for experiments, and creating a common instrument base.

As I said, we are looking forward to the new campus, because it will be possible to create joint laboratories, IT centers to implement large-scale projects involving international students and leading scientists. But, of course, waiting until 2023-2024 makes no sense, and already now each university will allocate the necessary resources, sites, instrumentation base that will make it possible to implement joint projects.

The new building behind TUSUR's main building

– Speaking of facilities. What is new for TUSUR in the coming years?

– Of course, there are ongoing repairs, infrastructure development and creation of comfortable environment both on campus and in university dormitories. Renovation work is going on in the fifth dormitory (on Fyodor Lytkin, 18). Just last year the fourth dormitory (on Fyodor Lytkin, 10) was completely renovated.

In addition to this work, we have ambitious goals and tasks related to the creation and construction of a single multifunctional center for microelectronic systems. The first strategic project in our program is Next Generation Microelectronics and Communication Systems, which involves the construction of the center. This will be a training factory for training specialists in radio photonics, microelectronics, nanoelectronics, as well as the development of new technological solutions.

In essence, it will be 10 thousand square metres, equipped with the latest devices. And we hope that this equipment will be funded by the grant we won. We are planning to build the center by 2024-2025. We have chosen the backyard of the university's main building as the site for the construction. We have now received permission to demolish the dilapidated buildings in that area.

Next year we also plan to repair the wing of the IT-Cube (Lenin Ave., 46, the building belongs to TUSUR), on the right side. All dismantling work has been done there, it is about 600 square metres. We have plans for the next year to put this area in order.

© Валерий Доронин
Tomsk's first children's digital center IT Cube opened in the former Passage shopping centre in 2020. The grant for its creation was won by the Tomsk Hobby Center. More than 400 children study modern digital disciplines at the new center every year.

We can see that the IT-Cube and areas related to programming and virtual reality are in demand today. Parents are already beginning to realise how important it is to ensure that children are involved in this area from an early age and to determine their development trajectory.

© из телеграм-канала "Рулевский и ТУСУР"
Of course, we do not forget about the sports complex (In 2021 TUSUR obtained a building permit for a new sports complex on Vershinina Street, 47 – Ed.). Now we are actively negotiating with our industrial partner Micran. If everything goes well, the sports complex may appear next year, when TUSUR celebrates its 60th anniversary. As colleagues and builders promise, it is possible to erect the complex without internal equipment in nine months.

Right now we do not have our own sports ground, and, of course, this is the primary goal for us. After all, the university life does not stop at education and science, there must also be other areas: sports, creative, which bring together students and staff of the university.

We hope that by January 1, we will launch the assembly hall, which to date has been fully renovated with funds from our alumni and the support of Sberbank. It is a shining example to us and to the students that there are alumni who have achieved good results and are willing to support the university.

In addition, we have a great desire to put in order the facade of the main university building by the jubilee year. (The main building of TUSUR is a cultural monument of regional significance. – Ed.).

5G, space and implants

– What projects is TUSUR implementing today? Including with industrial partners?

– We work on the so-called "triple helix": university, business and government. And within the framework of this work, we have focused on the following areas: microelectronics and next generation communication systems, IT and information security, space science and engineering and technical medicine.

We already have a head start in the integrated science and technology program for Academician M.F. Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems. This is the development of new technologies and devices for the rocket and space industry. We plan to create new digital on-board power supply systems and "smart" coatings for small spacecraft.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
In 2021 TUSUR began to cooperate in the field of educational robotics with Rostec's subsidiary, CRI Electronics, and the industrial cluster Consortium of Robotics and Intelligent Control Systems, and plans to create children's robotics construction sets, which are not currently made in Russia.
In addition, we are actively working with Micran. Our joint project to diversify the instrumentation base and train personnel won a tender of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

We also have probably the brightest project planned with Micran. We will make the elements from which gadgets and devices are built. First and foremost, small base stations of the fifth generation of 5G. For us, the key point is the creation of a station on a domestic device base.

Moreover, the structure of the stations will be open: if today Russia does not have a certain part or chip and so far uses an imported one, then in the future any Russian company can join the project and produce a Russian analogue to replace it. As early as next year the first field tests of the station are planned.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
There are projects within the Big University as well. TSU has announced a project on engineering biology, and at least three universities are involved in this project: State University, Medical University, and us. Within this area, we are responsible for creating a genetic printer that will be used to print DNA.

I believe that such projects are extremely important. In particular, from the point of view of promoting our city and the region as a region of knowledge generation, where new technologies are created and important issues related to education, science, and innovation are solved. This will also help retain talented young people in Tomsk. And our city has its own brand thanks to students and a strong scientific and educational complex.



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