U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts

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Recent startup acceleration program advances U.S.-Russia innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization initiatives

American Councils for International Education and Russian Startups at the University of Maryland

Russian startups discuss research and product development at the University of Maryland

The deepening of relations between the University of Maryland, the University of Nizhny Novgorod, and other Russian universities demonstrates the promise for new areas of cooperation in commercialization of technologies...

Six startups from Russia traveled to the Washington, D.C. region on April 4-17 as part of the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor (USRIC) program. The visit marks the fourth group of biotechnology startups to participate in the program since the Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) and the University of Maryland (UMD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen ties between their respective universities in the biomedical industry in 2013.

Supported by American Councils for International Education and funded by the US-Russia Foundation, USRIC connects Russian startups to universities, scientists, business development experts, industry associations, and customers in the U.S. with the goal of accelerating commercial activity of scientific projects and creating win-win economic partnerships.

"Both the United States and Russia have a long history of investment in basic research," said Dr. Dan E. Davidson, President of American Councils for International Education. “The deepening of relations between the University of Maryland, the University of Nizhny Novgorod, and other Russian universities demonstrates the promise for new areas of cooperation in commercialization of technologies relevant to regional economic interests and technological strengths in both countries.”

The Russian startups participating in the delegation included six scientific biomedical and engineering projects from the Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod and the Perm National Research Polytechnic University:

  • Radio Heart Sensor: a contactless and non-invasive system to interpret vital medical signs using microwaves
  • Deep Resolution Image: an optical scanning system and digital processor that captures sharp microscopy photographs without the need for auto-focus
  • RFIC Design Center: a regional leader in the development of radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for microelectronics
  • FerroMagnet: a producer of ferromagnetic nanomaterials for hyperthermia cancer therapy
  • Innovative Test Systems: a method to detect low concentrations and a wide variety of narcotics, metabolites, and medicines to increase the accuracy and reliability of drug tests
  • Plasma Welding: an engineer of equipment and technology for durable and precise automatic welding of nonferrous metals and alloys.

During the first half of the intensive two-week working visit, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) at the University of Maryland held customer development workshops, training sessions, and one-on-one meetings with the startups. Experts from the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering shared insight on technology development, funding opportunities, and research tools for the biotechnology startups.

American Councils arranged for the delegation meetings with U.S. academic and industry experts, including representatives from the American Welding Society, National Institute for Drug Abuse, and BioMaryland. The companies also explored research collaboration with faculty from the George Mason University Krasnow Institute of Advanced Study and the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science. Throughout the visit, U.S. investors and startups shared perspectives on intellectual property protection, market entry strategies, and key trends in biotechnology.

The visit culminated in a webinar roundtable hosted at Cisco Systems with U.S. and Russian university and regional economic development leaders discussing the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor’s role in advancing bilateral innovation partnerships. “Russia possesses a massive science, technology, engineering, and math education capability. Cisco sees a $19 trillion opportunity for connectivity in the coming years, and Russia’s educational capability will play a role in the development of this opportunity,” said Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President for Industry Solutions and Chief Globalization Officer for Cisco.

About the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor
Formed by American Councils in 2013, the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor is an initiative of the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) program, funded by the US-Russia Foundation. The University of Maryland and the University of Nizhny Novgorod are founding partners of the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor. Since 2013, the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor has provided mentorship and organized intensive working visits for over 20 startups from academic institutions, including the University of Nizhny Novgorod, Perm National Research University, Yaroslavl State University, National Mining University in St. Petersburg, and Kazan Federal University. For more information about the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor, please contact Adrian Erlinger at American Councils, visit USRIC’s website at http://www.usric.org, or follow @usric_en on Twitter for more information on current and future activities.

About American Councils
American Councils for International Education is a premier, international nonprofit creating educational opportunities that prepare individuals and institutions to succeed in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. Through academic exchanges, overseas language immersion, and educational development programs, American Councils designs and administers innovative programs that broaden individual perspectives, increase knowledge, and deepen understanding.

For 40 years, American Councils has responded to the needs of the communities where we work with hundreds of robust, international education programs that span over 70 countries, 40 languages, and are represented by over 55,000 alumni worldwide, including government leaders, top international educators, business innovators, public officials, and K-16 students.

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Angie Mareino
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