Participants in the Youth Startup Forum in Khanty-Mansiysk Discuss Innovations in the Arctic
Russia will continue working to overcome problems in the Arctic based on the principles of pragmatism and cooperation, both on a bilateral and multilateral basis, including through the Arctic regions, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials and Ambassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Korchunov said in a welcome letter to participants in the Youth Startup Forum in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Forum took place on 9 June 2022 as part of the scheduled events of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.
“The Arctic is playing an increasingly important role in world politics and economics today. Russia accounts for almost a third of this region, which we invariably regard as a space of peace, stability, and fruitful interaction. At present, it is crucial to maintain a balance between the environmental, economic, and social aspects of human activity in the Arctic,” Korchunov said.
Yelena Shumakova, the director of the Department of Public and External Relations and Youth Policy of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra, noted the region’s extensive experience in the development of innovations. She said that young people play one of the key and defining roles in this regard. However, any startup needs a number of basic conditions, she noted.
“First of all, it’s the opportunity to interact with experts to offer something that the market needs. And our platform meets this requirement in terms the experts we have. Communication with potential customers is also important. Our region can also be interesting for testing start-ups in this regard. We have brought together almost all the subsoil users and key vertically integrated companies. We extract oil and gas, produce electricity, and are implementing major environmental projects, such as the ‘carbon landfill’. We are ready to provide platforms where you can test your developments,” she said.
Startups need to have orders to be successful, Shumakova said. “Without this, no idea will take off and develop into a sustainable, sought-after innovation. In this regard, our region is also ready to act as a consumer and to ‘ground’ the most needed and promising projects. We have a grant support system for this purpose. Now we are working on introducing a new link in the youth entrepreneurship support ecosystem – the Youth Commissioner for Startups. This will help young people to navigate through all the existing support tools as needed to make their startup a success,” she said.
The Youth Startup Forum featured an educational track for startups and a presentation of young entrepreneurs’ projects. In addition, the participants recapped the results of the ‘Practice of the Future’ project school of the Junior-IT Forum for children and youth, the results of the regional thematic programme ‘Data Campus: Technological Entrepreneurship in Information Technologies’ as well as the results of the demo-Olympiad ‘IT Projects’ section of the National Technological Olympiad.
The Youth Startup Forum was held at Yugra State University as part of an event of the Regional Coordinators Committee of the Northern Forum and the 13th International IT Forum, which were attended by representatives of BRICS and SCO countries as well as the IT sector of public, private, and educational institutions in Russia. Children and young residents from Yugra and participants in the Junior-IT project also participated in roundtables, panel sessions, and educational blocks. The organizers were the Northern Forum, the Youth Northern Forum, North-Eastern Federal University, and the Innovation Development Fund.
Promoting the potential of young people living in the Arctic is one of the priorities of the programme of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. Russia believes it is crucial to determine the life strategies of today’s young people in the Arctic and create suitable conditions for their self-fulfilment. As part of its chairmanship, Russia supports the creation and implementation of special programmes, professional championships, and training focused on the country’s northern regions.
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