As US and Ukrainian economies collapse, technological breakthroughs sweep Russia (Part 2)


(continued from Part 1)

The “University” technological park, which was launched in the outskirts of Yekaterinburg in December, 2014 and which is worth 1.35 billion rubles, has almost a year after its opening failed to attract any residents. The leadership of the organization is searching for opportunities to colonize at least 15 companies so that more than 600 million rubles won’t have to be returned to the budget. The Technopark appeared under the Ural Federal University in 2014, and it was opened by Minister N. Nikiforov. According to the plan of the regional leadership, which contributed 1.35 billion rubles to the project, the Technopark will provide 1.5 thousand jobs by 2018. 

“University” was built near the Novosverdlovskaya thermonuclear plant. According to the date of “2GIS,” the nearest public transport stop is 1.5 km from the technopark, and there is only one route to the center of Yekaterinburg covering an area of around 28 thousand km, but it is designated for 100 companies. If by the end of the year at least 15 residents don’t appear at “university,” then the technopark, in agreement with the conditions of financing, will have to return at least 609 million rubles to the federal budget.

In principle, there won’t be long to wait until a resolution of this situation. But saying that this is how things are everywhere in the country is a mistake. 

Now on to the example of “Shvabe” which patents lenses for telescopes.

“Shvabe” Holdings (included in “Rostekh”) received a patent for the “Apochromatic lens” utility model. This new product was developed by employees of Shvabe Holdings at the Lytkarino optical glass factory, which belongs to the field of optoelectronic technology and designs lenses for amateur telescopes. The launch of the new apochromatic lens in serial production was started in 2015. Currently, this Shvabe product is used in the telescope lines of the German company APMTelescopes. The patents for the model confirm the authorship of the developers of Shvabe Holdings, the priority of the product, and the rights to its use. The invention of the “apochromatic lens” will be under state protection for 10 years. 

Severstal-metiz has mastered the production of a new kind of bar rolled with special surface treatment for the engineering industry. This was possible thanks to the launch in a calibration shop of a new folding line which guarantees high surface quality. The steel bar is used in mechanical engineering for manufacturing critical components. Therefore, the parameters for the curvature of the rolling, the surface quality, and mechanical properties must meet very high requirements. Experts of the Cherepovets site, together with the customer, determined the requirements for the metal and the production technology, and then produced a trial batch. The new kind of bar is rolled with special surface treatment and was developed within the framework of import substitution. Currently, clients are being supplied the whole production line. 

More pleasant news is coming from our auto industry. And I’m not talking about “Avtovaz.” UAZ has rushed abroad.

UAZ is going to expand the geography of export markets in 2016 for foreign countries. UAZ cars are today exported to the CIS countries including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as to car markets abroad, such as in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Mongolia, Ghana, Serbia, Czech Republic, Cuba, and Vietnam. Next year, the UAZ plans to expand the geography of supplies, primarily to far-abroad countries in Central Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The entire UAZ line is being sent to export markets, including the same set of options which are presented in Russia: the Hunter and Patriot (the pick-up model), Kargo commercial transport vehicles, and those created at the “Bukhanki” site. 

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“KamAZ” is robotizing production in the framework of the re-engineering and robotic conception program lasting until 2019, which will provide for the introduction of robots in more than 900 positions. Eleven new robots have already appeared on the modernizing welding lines for axle housing, four in the sphere of surfacing (automotive plants), and two more for draft welding gears (engine plants), and further automation will be used in upgrading high roof lines (press and stamping plants). In addition, 43 robotic departments at KamAZ (according to starting estimates) will be equipped for the project of welding a wide range of parts at press-framing factories. Also, in the next two-three years, upgrades in forging, stamping, and a large number of robotic machining departments at engine plants are planned. 

Among the real accomplishments of this company, it is possible to distinguish KAMAZ for its drone control systems, which will soon appear on general purpose roads. From 2016, trucks without drivers will be be put on the M11 toll road between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and testing will last until 2018. The agency has already spent 4 billion rubles annually on road markings for drones. A week ago, 10 billion rubles were allocated and next year another 2.2 billion rubles will be. However, the budget for all Russian technological projects is not only for “Kamaz” drones.

The exact budget for unmanned trucks will be known later when ministries present a draft roadmap with specific proposals. The agency will allocate funds for strategic initiatives. During tests, an unmanned drive will be organized for 5-10 Kamaz’s, and only the first of them will be managed by a driver, and only in difficult conditions. The remaining trucks will automatically copy the movements of the leading car. The trips on the M11 highway are just the beginning. If everything goes well, then tests will be continued on high-speed roads from Helsinki and Brest to Beijing. The agency has already begun negotiations with the Chinese and Europeans on this. 

We can only guess what will become of this project, but the fact that this is a serious leap forward is sure and undeniable. 

“Technoceramica” Holdings, a Rostekh subsidiary, has completed the acquisition of 59.33% of “PAO ElectricDriving’s” shares. As a result of the transaction, it has consolidated 84.34% of stakes in the plant and established control over the enterprise. The purchase was made for implementing the strategy of the holding company of acquiring competence in the development and production of electric vehicles, which are key to flight management systems and the creation of more electric aircraft. Today, “ElectricDrive” is the only Russian developer and manufacturer of the mechanized control system for wings and electric actuators for the majority of domestic aircraft, helicopters, and military, civilian, and transport aircraft (including the Tu-214, Tu-204SM, II-76MD-90A, MiG-29K, Su-27, and helicopters from the “Kamov” family), as well as a developer of electric gas turbine starters for the gas industry and electric motors which regulate the position of graphite rods in RBMK-type nuclear reactors. 

In addition, the company is a developer of electro-mechanical assemblies for the advanced engines of PD-14’s and MS-21’s. 

Rostekh has already established itself as a reliable state corporation, so this acquisition begs hope for a revival of the domestic fleet.

The consolidation of companies and their consolidation is all good. But there is still a problem with finding personnel to work there. But, apparently, this problem is beginning to be solved. 

RKS decided to prepare new footage for the space industry. More than 50 talented graduate students and winners of the 2016 Olympics will be studying the target programs of Russian space systems in the best universities in Russia. There are more than 50 students being trained on a contractual basis today at Russian universities in the framework of target educational programs funded by RKS….

Of course, this is far from everything that is happening in the world as a whole and in our country in particular. Every day, something happens. Problems are solved and new ones arise. New discoveries are made and new markets and technologies are opened. One can only guess what will be presented next tomorrow. 

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