NSU Receives Grant to Create “Smart City” Artificial Intelligence Center

December 27, the Government of the Russian Federation presented the results of their competition to provide funding to create several artificial intelligence research centers. The competition mandated that each center have a clear industry focus. Novosibirsk State University is among the six winners. The NSU grant will focus on “Construction and the Urban Environment (“Smart City”). The Center will officially open in 2024, but research and organization has already begun.

Other winners of the competition include the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, St. Petersburg State University, and Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University.

NSU Rector Mikhail Fedoruk explained,

Artificial intelligence is one of the priority areas for the development of the University in relation to education and research activities. We have been working towards this for a long time and have already done a lot. We are pleased the Government thought our project was worthy of support.

The Competition required joint financing of the Center’s work by the state and university industrial partners. NSU’s primary project partners are Sberbank and Rostelecom with the Siberian Generating Company and several other enterprises and organizations also participating. The total amount of project financing over three years will exceed 900 million rubles, of which 300 million are from industrial partners. NSU developments, created in the interests of industrial partners, will be implemented and help improve not only the industrial partners products and services ecosystems, but the quality of life for residents of Novosibirsk and other regions.

Vice President and Director of the Novosibirsk Branch of Rostelecom, Nikolai Zenin, talked about the partnership,

Since 2015, Rostelecom has been implementing a program to introduce digital solutions to create “Smart Cities” throughout Russia. We are very pleased to be a partner in this project and expect significant results from it both for the Company and, ultimately, for the residents of the Region. They will receive a new quality of life as a result of the implementation of digital solutions.

NSU previously announced that it had begun to develop a new topic in the field of artificial intelligence, “Construction and the Urban Environment.” The University signed an agreement with the Novosibirsk branch of the Federal State Institution "National Medical Research Center" S.N. Fedorov "MNTK "Eye Microsurgery" to implement the Federal Project "Artificial Intelligence" as part of the "Digital Economy of the Russian Federation". The University has also agreed with Koltsovo science city to introduce hybrid artificial intelligence into the management of their urban environment.

Alexey Okunev, Director of the NSU Institute of Intelligent Robotics, explained why they chose this topic,

Currently, as part of the “Science and Universities” National Project, a new NSU world-class campus is being built that will become a pilot site for testing “smart city” solutions and technologies. It is also important to note that Novosibirsk is consistently among the leaders in relation to construction and this industry is developing dynamically and provides ample opportunities for the implementation of high-tech solutions.

Alexander Lyulko, Director of the NSU Center for Interaction with Government Authorities and Industrial Partners, summarized the planned Project results,

Artificial intelligence technologies are in great demand today, and the opening of the Center will give a powerful impetus to the development of this area at NSU. It is important that not only will research be conducted taking into account requests from real sector companies, but also highly qualified personnel will be trained who can develop and implement these technologies.