11 September 2023

Innovation Space at EEF 2023 hosted pitch sessions of gaming and export-oriented technology projects

The work of the Innovation Space, the Roscongress Foundation’s platform for working with high-tech businesses, began on 10 September at the 8th Eastern Economic Forum with two pitch sessions. The first one was devoted to the presentation of game projects and was held in a ‘roast’ format: each participant was given 5 minutes to present their game to the experts and the same amount of time to answer questions. The second pitch session brought together technological projects of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) ecosystem aimed at international co-operation.

The jury included the following experts: Kirill Kamenev, Deputy General Director for Investment Attraction, FEADC; Yury Sibirskiy, Head of Regional Development Department, Skolkovo Foundation; Petr Gabyshev, Director of Technopark “Yakutia”; Vitaly Ammosov, Operations Director of the Accelerator of Game Projects "B8", Chief Analyst of the Innovation Development Fund of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia); and Grigory Aleksanin, Technical Director of Game Forest, Director of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Technologies of the Far Eastern Federal University. The session was moderated by Aleksandr Nikolaev, Co-owner, General Director, ViNTERA.TV Online TV platform.

The organizers tried to select projects in such a way that they covered different genres, gameplay types and styles. Thus, Roman Borik (Friendly Fire team) presented the multiplayer game Catch me if you can, immersing you in the world of Slavic mythology. Andrey Nasonkin (Shiza team) presented The Way of Survival, a mobile game in the roguelite genre, where the player takes on the role of a Viking defending a totem from monster attacks. The project of Mikhail Kovalenko (Fable Games team) called RockTown, on the contrary, is designed for PC and is an action-adventure based on nostalgia for rock music of the 80s. In turn, Vyacheslav Krivogornitsyn (Poligonium Games) presented ALAAS Cold Farm in the popular genre of farming games, but with a regional flavour: according to the plot, the player must develop agriculture in the harsh conditions of the Far North. Finally, Alexander Egorov (Drimach Studio) spoke about Orientir. The game is being developed with the participation of the employees of the Land of the Leopard National Park and allows you to go on various adventures in the digital locations of the reserve. Most of the presented games can enter the market as early as 2024 with a budget of about RUB 6 million. According to Alexander Egorov’s calculations, the timeframe for creating Orientir is 18 months, with the required investment of RUB 44 million.

The organizers invited an international team of experts to evaluate ASI’s projects. Among them were Amor Maclang, Executive Director of Digital Pilipinas & World Fintech Festival and co-founder of foreign startup aggregator Astrolabe; Daniel Hugo Lobango Santos, Representative, Committee on investment and Business Development, Philippine Russian Business Assembly Incorporated; Pavel Kiparisov, Chairman – Executive Secretary, Russian-Chinese Guild of Commerce (RCGC); and Yury Saprykin, Vice President for Regional and International Development, Skolkovo Foundation. The session was moderated by Grigory Gorchakov, President, Russian Youth Chamber JCI Russia.

The pitch session was opened by Igor Namakonov, General Director of the Federation of Creative Industries, who spoke about wonderussia.com, an online showcase of creative products that brings together 430 entrepreneurs from Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Yakutsk, Yugra, and Ulyanovsk. In the long term, they aim to cover 30–35 Russian cities with developed creative economies and to promote the products of the platform’s participants both domestically and in international markets.

Alexander Repin’s BIMIT project makes it possible to create digital twins of buildings and thus increase the efficiency of their construction and operation. Roman Pavlenko’s company 3D4Art solves builders’ problems in a different way: it develops innovative technologies and materials for 3D printing of large-scale structures. For example, the company is building a 1,500 sq. m. social and cultural centre in Tatarstan. Another pilot project is printing an entire tourist street on Lake Baikal using waste from the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill.

Visoft’s digital platform can be useful not only for builders, but for any entrepreneurs interested in improving their efficiency. “If Ozon and Wildberries sell goods, we sell consulting services without human involvement at an affordable price,” describes Alexey Ushmodin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Visoft. The platform has already implemented a service to search for tax incentives for businesses in Russia, and plans to aggregate data on support measures for businesses. On the international market, Visoft is testing a product for checking financial sanctions against legal entities and individuals.

Three projects presented at the Innovation Space were aimed at students and schoolchildren. Vladimir Kozlov’s company Persona has developed a solution for early professional orientation of students based on a small neurotest that takes into account 128 parameters (skills). Aigul Shadrina’s educational project ‘Image of the Future’ is designed for young people who would like to work in industry but are hesitant about their choice. Through playing, the children learn how this or that production is organized and get good motivation. Finally, Tatyana Chestina, Chair of the Board of the ECA movement, presented a project to foster a responsible attitude to the environment in children and teenagers, no matter what career path they choose: “We are not talking about educating environmentalists, but about bringing environmental thinking into every profession”. She estimates that the project has already reached some 12 million children and about 500 universities.

The participants of the pitch session did not ignore medicine. Nikolay Muravyev, General Director of the Dvizhenie project, spoke about the VR Go programme for rehabilitation of people after a stroke using virtual reality glasses. According to him, the technology helps to experience the forgotten feeling of movement, and its use is accessible even to elderly patients.

The experts highly appreciated the potential of all projects and gave each of them recommendations for further development.

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