St Petersburg University and Schelkovo Agrohim have signed a cooperation agreement to establish a framework of cooperation at the Vuzpromexpo-2021 as part of a series of events celebrating the closing of the Year Science and Technology in Sochi. St Petersburg University is part of the consortium of the world-class research centre ‘Agrotechnologies of the Future’ opened within the framework of the national project ‘Science’.

shchyolkovo svyokla

The agreement was signed by: Anastasiia Iarmosh, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development and Partnerships at St Petersburg University; and Salis Karakotov, General Director of Schelkovo Agrohim, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The parties agreed to implement joint educational, scientific, and information projects aimed to conduct research to benefit agro-industry and improve the quality of life. All projects are set within the framework of the national project ‘Science and Universities'.

St Petersburg University as one of the seven members of the consortium of the world-class research centre 'Agrotechnologies of the Future’ conducts applied research for SouzSemSvekla. It is a joint venture between Schelkovo Agrohim and Rusagro Group and engaged in developing competitive hybrids of sugar beet.

The University experts analyse the gene expression of root crops of sugar beet lines and investigate the process of transmission of hereditary genetic information and its transformation into the final product, i.e. proteins or RNA. Sugar beet is a vital crop for the sugar industry. The gene analysis will help develop high-yielding beet lines in the future.

The world-class research centre 'Agrotechnologies of the future' was established in 2020 as part of the national project 'Science' by: St Petersburg University; Russian State Agrarian University – Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy; Federal Research Centre ‘Fundamentals of Biotechnology' of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Federal Research Centre ‘Informatics and Management' of the Russian Academy of Sciences; All-Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology; V.V. Dokuchaev Soil Science Institute; and Federal Research Centre ‘N. I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources’.

The centre is set to develop agricultural sciences. It focuses on agrobiotechnology for managing soil fertility in Russia, accelerated selection of high-yielding and resistant varieties and hybrids of plants, new digital technologies in agriculture, technologies for processing and valorisation of low-value agricultural raw materials and agricultural waste.

'Today, ensuring strong security in food and agricultural industry is among the strategic goals in the development of the Russian economy. This is what the University leading genetics are focused on through engaging into the project “Agrotechnologies of the Future”. Partnerships and collaborations are essential to ensure rapid integration of innovative solutions of our scientists. In this regard, cooperation with Schelkovo Agrohim will ensure that we will use our research results and findings in a way to benefit the technological chains of agricultural production', said Anastasiia Iarmosh, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development and Partnerships at St Petersburg University.

'Our common goal is to ensure well-being of our country and availability of agricultural products to all segments of the population. Through commitment to reach this aim, Schelkovo Agrohim is set to develop new highly efficient domestic hybrids of sugar beet seeds. The results of the state variety tests confirm that our sugar beet hybrids are on a par with imported selection in terms of crop yield and digestion. Importantly, in terms of such key indicator as resistance to diseases, they even surpass them', said Salis Karakotov, General Director of Schelkovo Agrohim, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Today, the company's hybrids, having successfully passed demonstration and production tests, have been put into production, said Roman Berdnikov, General Director of SouzSemSvekla, Candidate of Agricultural Science.