TUSUR and entrepreneurship

Since its foundation TUSUR has always been distinguished among Russian universities by its “entrepreneurial spirit”. People who choose TUSUR as a place of study or work are energetic, vigorous, and competent. They appreciate teamwork, intellectual liberty and freedom of action.

TUSUR detached from Tomsk Polytechnic University in 1962, when radioelectronics was in the forefront of research and development. Its young team — back then most faculty members were about thirty years old — succeeded in creating an atmosphere of independence and freedom at the university. More than forty years on, we still cherish these traditions that were not imposed from above, but instead grew from horizontal connections and rely on partnership rather than subordination.

For many years TUSUR fulfilled requests made by defense enterprises, this line of work dominating over other activities. As a matter of fact, research supervisors and executive managers implementing such projects wielded even greater authority than the university rector, which was not extraordinary in the Soviet context. We competed with leading Russian design offices for state orders and requests thus having become part of a competitive entrepreneurial environment even before market economy. Since then TUSUR engineers have always been famous for their capability to solve «unsolvable» tasks at short notice.

What are the ways to become entrepreneur at TUSUR?

What are the ways to become entrepreneur at TUSUR?

TUSUR encourages team project learning, a special educational format which is an essential part of the Innovative educational program.

The goal of team project learning is to gain teamwork experience and to carry out R&D work.

Working on team projects is an integral part of the training process. An idea goes through all stages of development effort — from technical assignment to a prototype or a pilot lot. Individual curriculum envisages the study of particular subjects necessary for a student to carry out design work and implement the project.

What is the next step towards private business?

When a student project wins the business plan competition, it is transferred to the Student Business Incubator of TUSUR. Notably this was the first student business incubator in Russia, created in 2004 and sponsored by the grant of the Tomsk Regional Administration. The incubator supports students who start their own small businesses together with professors and representatives of science-intensive companies.

The Student Business Incubator of TUSUR specializes in the field of information technology and radio engineering. Many of Tomsk IT companies were started by TUSUR alumni and now embrace 80% of the Tomsk market of IT products & services. TUSUR Business Incubator hosts over 30 design offices and 200 workplaces equipped with PCs and necessary laboratory equipment. The staff of the Business Incubator provides consulting and managerial assistance to students who implement their projects.

At the next stage project team creates a prototype. If this prototype wins the competition, the team continues their work in the technological business incubator. Technological Business Incubator was created as a part of the innovative educational program of TUSUR supported by the Russian Ministry of Education. This incubator allows R&D teams to carry their projects on to small-batch production and organize their own process lines.

Does TUSUR maintain contact with alumni entrepreneurs?

For 10 years TUSUR has been actively supporting its alumni who started innovative companies concentrating around the university.

TUSUR Alumni Association includes a department, referred to as the educational, scientific and innovation complex. This complex is based on the widely recognized model of collaboration between universities and companies, which is applied at Oxford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Educational, scientific and innovation complex unites heads of innovative companies. Adhering to the principles of transparency and mutually beneficial partnership between the university and innovative business, companies establish research divisions within the university to solve corporate tasks and provide staff training.

In order to stimulate economy of the Tomsk region and Russia as a whole, TUSUR has envisaged the so-called «triple helix», i.e. a special model of close cooperation between innovative companies, public authorities and the university.