How Tatarstan authorities will increase successful IT startups — RealnoeVremya.com
Lessons on cyberbullying, administrative support for IT projects, business angel trainings and competitions on TikTok – Tatarstan Zoomers will be more actively involved in the IT sphere
Tatarstan’s leading IT industry tutors continued the discussion on difficult industry issues and problems, which began at the meeting of the Finance Ministry’s board of directors at the end of last year. The highlight of the program was the speech of the director of the National Institution of Road Safety and the head of the Association for the Promotion of Digital Development of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rifkat Minnikhanov, who again criticized the situation of IT in the region, especially with the failure in terms of financing start-ups and venture capital activities, which, in fact, does not exist in Tatarstan. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
Schoolchildren in Tatarstan will be told about cyberbullying during “digitization lessons”
Head of the Ministry of Digitization of Tatarstan Ayrat Khayrullin said that the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov has already instructed to draw up a draft government decree on the Year of Digitization, which will include more a hundred industrial projects. and events. Among them are the anniversary of the Runet, the change of profile for computer education of children in the Crimea, the Programmer’s Day, the Selet International Education Forum in Bilyarsk, which will also be devoted to computer technologies. Today, according to him, almost 40,000 people work in the IT industry of Tatarstan, but this is still not enough. On the instructions of the President of Tatarstan, in 2022 a “digitization lesson” will be introduced, which will become monthly in all schools of the republic. Now the necessary “manuals” are being prepared for this, and for all ranks – from the first to the eleventh.
“The digitalization course will cover various current topics related to IT: from where to go to study to cyberbullying for example (harassment of people, mainly children, on social networks – editor’s note). But it is important for us to train teachers for this, as long as we can cover 200-300 schools with lessons at the same time,” said the head of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Tatarstan.
In addition, in order to increase the prestige of IT professions and their popularity, a photo and video contest will be organized in 2022 on the most popular sites among the Zoomer generation — Instagram and TikTok. Programmers from Tatarstan will be invited to post their selfies, “so that we know all our programmers in person”, the results will be summarized in December.
“We will also organize the presidential competition “High Five” this year, in which we want to teach 100,000 schoolchildren to program, to build teams, to be able to present computer projects. So, by the end of 2022, we could already download some computer applications developed by them,” said Ayrat Khayrullin.
Finally, Tatarstan will organize a forum of game developers, especially since, according to the minister, there are companies in Kazan that are already developing games for the main game consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. There will also be a competition among schoolchildren on the development of “nanosatellites” weighing no more than 1 kg, which are launched into orbit for 3-6 months today. To do this, the Tatarstan authorities will try to negotiate with Roscosmos and directly with the Russian cosmonauts themselves.
Ayrat Hayrullin: “This year we will also organize the presidential competition ‘High Five’, in which we want to teach 100,000 school children to program, to build teams, to be able to present computer projects”
Staff shortage of IT specialists now reaches 1 million people, according to various estimates
One of the key institutions of the Year of Digitization, which, according to the plans of the authorities of the Republic of Tatarstan, should bring Tatarstan itself into a full-fledged IT orbit, will of course be Innopolis — 23 events are planned there. But the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, Roman Shaykhutdinov, considers staff training the main thing, especially since Innopolis has become a federal platform for the implementation of several projects, mainly in as a support center for higher education and the professional training of computer teachers.
Secondly, Innopolis is committed to ensuring maximum access of schoolchildren in Tatarstan to digital content – now not all families can afford to pay for it remotely, which is unacceptable, the Deputy Prime Minister said. Thirdly, Innopolis, as a platform of the Olympic movement, will have to ensure the “effective performance” of Tatarstan schoolchildren at the digital Olympiads.
“Today, according to various estimates, the staff shortage of IT specialists reaches 1 million people,” Shaykhutdinov said, rejoicing at the same time at the statistics that 67% of parents of students in Tatarstan want to tie the future of their children to computers. industry.
Roman Shaykhudinov: “The staff shortage of IT specialists today reaches up to 1 million people, according to various estimates”
“Startups go out of business at an early stage”
Nevertheless, the problem of shortage of personnel is also evident in Tatarstan, although, according to the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan Ilsur Khadiullin, the republic annually graduates more than 4,000 specialists required in the system vocational schools and universities – “and even then there are not enough of them”. He proposed to create computer educational institutions on the basis of existing ones, especially since all schools are already equipped with internet.
In 2022, the Digital Educational Environment project will continue to be implemented to provide schools in Tatarstan with modern computer equipment. Since 2019, this national project has equipped 136 establishments (77 schools and 59 high schools and vocational high schools), 46 additional high schools and 6 vocational high schools will rebuild their bases with modern equipment in 2022. Nearly 68% of teachers will upgrade their “computer equipment” . by obtaining new laptops, for which 1 billion rubles will be allocated. In 2022, the modernization of the electronic education portal, created in 2009, will be completed, and the entire education system of the Republic of Tatarstan will completely switch to it.
“Slogans alone cannot hold young people back, you have to create conditions for them,” said skeptically director of road safety, head of the Association for the Promotion of Digital Development of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rifkat Minnikhanov . “According to global statistics, about 80% of all students want to go into entrepreneurship. While in Russia only 3%…
For the IT industry, this means supporting early-stage startups. Therefore, a “technology development strategy” is needed at the regional level, which, by the way, will be implemented in the Republic of Tatarstan during the Year of Digitization. But above all we need funding, which only a few players in the sector have in sufficient volume. For example, Kazan Federal University (KFU) received a federal grant of 1 billion rubles for digital transformation in 2021, Innopolis will receive about 100 million rubles.
“Unfortunately, investments in venture capital funds in Russia are decreasing every year. Startups end up stopping their activities at an early stage,” noted Rifkat Minnikhanov.
Rifkat Minnikhanov: “According to global statistics, around 80% of all students want to go into entrepreneurship. Whereas in Russia — only 3%…”
“We only have 37 start-ups per 1 million inhabitants in Russia!”
To reverse the trend, Tatarstan must “earn the right” to establish top engineering schools in the region. KAMAZ is preparing an application for this, it has its own engineering center and the Kazan National Technical Research University – for aircraft construction. Nevertheless, according to Minnikhanov, only the Tatarstan Investment and Venture Fund, Innopolis and Idea technopark can today ensure the strengthening of the relationships necessary with universities to “drive startups” from their creation to their completion on the market.
Today, to attract students to start-ups, there are many proposals of a very different nature at the federal level – until the introduction of the deferment project. The very fact that such ideas are “manipulated” among federal officials, according to Rifkat Minnikhanov, indicates concern about the situation on the part of the country’s leaders, who also understand the need to involve in some way or another students in the investment process. To this end, the federal government will send about 300 million rubles to Tatarstan to organize training by business angels (the latter will be recruited mainly from IVF and Idea) for students and graduates of universities of the Republic of Tatarstan.
“Unfortunately, I don’t speak in terms of reviews, the youth ministry organizes a youth forum, there are different projects, the winners are determined. But in the end, these projects do not reach the Investment and Venture Capital Fund or the Idea Technopark. We have to take every last name [of startup authors] under control and lead them to the end! We only have 37 startups for 1 million inhabitants in Russia! While to the west — about 2 thousand. We have a lot of work to do,” said the speaker.
The main problem is that in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan there is no single policy for supporting startups, Rifkat Minnikhanov believes. Although there have been successful science schools for example for drug development for decades, where students can acquire patents, become entrepreneurs and implement their projects, “but there are few of them.” The task for 2022 is to attract more students, graduates and professors there, who, in principle, “are not prohibited from doing business”.
For example, Roman Shaykhutdinov said that since its inception, Innopolis University has produced only 40 startups, and even then “of different viability rates”. He also confirmed that the construction of a “30-room robotic hotel” is continuing in Innopolis, where there will be “maximum automated and robotic processes”. Its cost is estimated at half a billion rubles, a third of which will go to “intellectual stuffing”. The hotel itself is expected to be commissioned either by the end of 2022 or even by Republic Day. But for this to work, it also needs regulations.
“We are preparing a decree of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan on the experimental legal regime of labor as early as February,” Shaykhutdinov promised.