St Petersburg University and Sberbank have partnered for the joint implementation of academic, research and educational projects. The document was signed by Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, and Herman Gref, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sberbank.

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Taking into account the growing shortage of IT specialists, St Petersburg University and Sber are planning to launch a staff training programme to create platform services that will help simplify the interaction of the population and business with the state. Additionally, it is planned to start a joint academic programme in pedagogy to develop a personal approach to teaching schoolchildren. Research collaboration involves the implementation of joint initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence and cognitive studies.

Moreover, with the support of Sber, St Petersburg University will have a Walk of University alumni and academics — Nobel Prize winners. According to the project, portraits of eminent scholars and scientists will decorate the railings at the central entrance to the Twelve Collegia building. They will include Ivan Pavlov, Ilya Mechnikov, Lev Landau, Leonid Kantorovich, Joseph Brodsky and others.

The agreement that we have signed today refers to education, science, technology and innovation. Sber and St Petersburg University organise their work in such a way as to help everyone receive education: from schoolchildren to university graduates who understand that it is necessary to study throughout life.

Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University

‘I am confident that with the help of Sber the quality of our non-degree and degree programmes will increase. Also, cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation will certainly help the University to gain ground,’ said Nikolay Kropachev. He added that cooperation between St Petersburg University and Sber opens up new opportunities for both organisations. He also quoted the words of Herman Gref, who, during his visit to St Petersburg University, had written in the Distinguished Visitors’ Book that the joint work of Sber and St Petersburg University would help the University become the world’s top one.

The first priority within the framework of the signed agreement is to identify areas in which our interests coincide with the University in order to make our collaboration as efficient as possible. Even now we can say that all of this is connected with innovation and the development of cutting-edge technologies.

Herman Gref, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sberbank

‘Sber has copious competencies in the field of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. And the University is one of the key elite training centres of highly qualified personnel and foundries of scientific research. This includes the areas that are of interest to us: economics, IT, mathematics, physics and biology. There are the fields where we can be beneficial to each other. Also, we propose to the University to introduce a digital platform that will become the basis for regulating administrative, academic and research processes,’ said Herman Gref, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sberbank.

Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, added that the University currently means not only academic science, but also applied research. He cited the Distributed Ledger Technologies Centre at St Petersburg University, which is engaged in the study and application of blockchain technologies, as an example. He also spoke about the work of the University engineers who had designed a series of robots for pipeline research.

After signing of the agreement, Nikolay Kropachev and Herman Gref jointly planted Serbian spruces in the Botanical Garden of St Petersburg University. The event was also attended by some of the University’s top students: Anastasiia Dedul, Sergei Lisenkov, Tatiana Priima and Kirill Serebriakov.