6 June 2019 — a memorandum signed at this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum will see Russia’s first national centre for industrial artificial intelligence (AI) established in the city. The document was signed by Alexander Dyukov, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft, and acting Governor of St Petersburg Alexander Belgov, together with the Rectors of the city’s leading higher technical educational institutions — the St Petersburg Polytechnic University (Polytech), the National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University), and St Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI).
The memorandum envisages joint activities in accelerating those developments in artificial intelligence able to make a tangible contribution to developing both Russia’s digital economy and real-sector industries.
The ecosystem around the new centre will bring developers from Gazprom Neft’s digital subsidiaries together with university project teams. The open model for developing new IT projects also envisages collaboration with leading scientific organisations and technology companies.
The centre will coordinate research initiatives and start-ups in using machine learning to improve the efficiency of both assets and management in extractive and manufacturing industries.
Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Management Board, commented: “St Petersburg has the ability to become the technological capital for creating and developing AI technologies for Russia’s fuel and energy industries. The city has outstanding technical schools, ready to engage with business. We see huge potential in Gazprom Neft project teams joining forces with universities to develop competitive products in artificial intelligence. And given the complexity of the tasks that modern technologies are used for in the oil and gas sector, our developments could well be rolled out to other industries.”Alexander Dyukov Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Management Board
Alexander Belgov, Acting Governor, St Petersburg, added: “We are joining forces in creating a world-class scientific and educational centre. Its appearance in St Petersburg, specifically, is down to the colossal potential our city offers in terms of science, education, industry and people. Establishing this centre will allow us to make a genuine breakthrough in developing the ‘smart economy’ and solving the challenging tasks facing the country today.”Alexander Belgov Acting Governor, St Petersburg
Gazprom Neft actively supports specialist faculties and masters’ programmes, as well as developing joint research and development laboratories, at universities in St Petersburg, with projects in operation at St Petersburg State University, LETI, ITMO, St Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (SUAI), Polytech, and St Petersburg Mining University. The new centre will bring together and consolidate best practice in engagement between scientific—educational institutions and major businesses, developing new technological partnerships.
A further major task of the centre for industrial artificial intelligence will be training specialist staff with highly developed skills and competencies at the interface between the basic sciences and programming.
Under the memorandum, Gazprom Neft, the City Administration and partnering schools will establish a project office to develop regulation and a financing model for the future centre, in June 2019.