«My idea of Russia 2012» Contest


Yaroslav Menshenin and Egor Lakomkin were the winners of the My Idea for Russia 2012 contest, organized for university undergraduates and graduate students by Open University Skolkovo (OpUS) and Singularity University (SU).


Yaroslav Menshenin

graduate of the College of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnologies (MISIS National University of Science and Technology)

Project SpaceSD

The goal of the SpaceSD project is to use satellite data to improve the lives of millions of Russians. It will involve the development of technology that will allow satellite data to be used to work with the images, targets, and tracking done by GPS/GLONASS, positioning, and other potential data for personal purposes.

The potential of any mobile device owned by a Russian citizen will be the point of connection between individual requests from the Earth and data received from space, accessed through a personal account.

All people should become universal users of satellite information, and have the ability to create their own applications.

A free global network of technology sharing will enable us to take a leap forward in the use of satellite data and give a boost to social and economic development.


Egor Lakomkin

Graduate of Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Project “Unified Infospace”

Unified Infospace envisions a network providing a convenient means of finding information, and the quick analysis of search results in a given field of science through additions to existing technology using a semantic analysis approach, resulting in the fast delivery of materials with a maximum of relevance to the needs of the user.

The service systemizes the flow of information and combines the results of educational institutions. The result of this will be a unified, interactive information field, necessary for the development of domestic scientific potential.


About the «My Idea for Russia 2012» contest

The goal put before contest participants was this – to develop a project idea that would help improve the lives of 5 million Russians within the next 5 years, using modern technology in biomedicine, energy conservation, information, aerospace, or other technology, or sustainable development.



Open University Skolkovo (OpUS) and Singularity University, Silicon Valley (SU) announces a contest for final-year university students and graduate students, titled “My Idea for Russia.” The contest will start on March 7, 2012 and end on April 15, 2012.



How will my idea help improve the lives of 5 million Russians over the next 5 years using modern technology in biomedicine, energy conservation, information, aerospace, or other technology, or sustainable development?



Two winners will receive a grant for their participation in the 10-week Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University in Silicon Valley. The amount of the grants will be $25,000, which includes room and board along with program costs. OpUS will also pay additionally for coach airline tickets to the program site. Additional personal costs will be covered by the winners.


Evaluation criteria.

Materials provided by participants will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • entrepreneurial, innovative, and technological vision;
  • regional aspect (Russia or only the participant’s region);
  • whether the idea is logical and consistent with the contest concept;
  • prospects for implementing a project based on this idea;
  • previous leadership experience of the participant.


Conditions for «the My Idea for Russia» contest.

Start – March 7, 2012

Finalists will be interviewed by Singularity University representatives (which will involve testing their English-language skills) April 9-14, 2012. Finalists unable to participate in the interview will be excluded from the contest. Two winners will be announced by April 16, 2012.


Main requirements for competitors.

1. Competitors must comply with the following requirements:

a. they must be final-year university students (in a bachelor’s or five-year specialist program), students in a master’s program, or graduate students at a Russian university.

b. they must independently acquire medical insurance for the trip to the U.S. if chosen as contest winners.

c. they must speak English fluently.

d. they must be free from June 16 – August 26, 2012, to take part in the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program.

e. they must be responsible for independently acquiring a U.S. visa (with a letter of support from SU and the Skolkovo Foundation).

f. they must be able to provide a copy of their foreign passports, as well as other necessary documents, by May 10, 2012.

g. they will be responsible for tax costs associated with the purchase of airline tickets.

h. they must have a personal computer (laptop) for participation in the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program.


Winners are responsible to Open University Skolkovo/ Skolkovo Foundation for:

  1. Taking part in the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program.
  2. Following the rules and regulations of Singularity University.
  3. Representing the interests of OpUS, Skolkovo Foundation, and Russia during their participation in the program.
  4. Finishing their Russian university programs of study upon return from the SU program.
  5. Creating and maintaining a site (blog) with information and updates about program events, personal impressions, and the current status of project work, in order to inform and communicate with OpUS students.
  6. Leading a seminar upon their return for OpUS students, to discuss the main competencies achieved during the SU program, interesting cases, and proposals for future OpUS work.
  7. Transferring materials received for use at OpUS.
  8. Agreeing to let OpUS use their photographs and quotes for public use.
  9. 9. Referencing OpUS and Skolkovo Foundation during further project development (in interviews, press releases, presentations, etc.).

ВIf either of the winners is unable to comply with any of these requirements, the finalist with the next-highest rating will replace him or her as contest winner.

Winners will be chosen by a jury, approved by SU and announced on the Skolkovo Foundation website by April 16, 2012. – (Translator’s note: there is a typo in the Russian, says 2011)


Contest jury:

  1. Olga Avryasova, OpUS student, winner of the My Idea for Russia 2011 contest;
  2. Oleg Alexeyev, Vice-President for Education and Research, Skolkov Foundation;
  3. Oleg Genisaretsky, OpUS Expert Council representative;
  4. Andrei Egorov, OpUS CEO;
  5. Alexander Kuleshov, member of the OpUS Expert Council, Director of the A.A. Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems;
  6. Sergei Musienko, OpUS student, winner of the My Idea for Russia 2011 contest;
  7. Dmitry Peskov, member of the OpUS Expert Council, Director of the Young Professionals project of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives;
  8. Konstantin Severinov, member of the OpUS Expert Council, Laboratory Director at the RAS Institute of Molecular Genetics and the RAS Institute for Gene Biology,
  9. Anna Trunina, OpUS student, winner of the My Idea for Russia 2011 contests;
  10. Isaac Frumin, advisor to the vice-president for education and research, Skolkovo Foundation;
  11. Grigory Shirin, CEO of Klever Group

Questions will be answered by email at MyIdeaForRussia@sk.ru


Addressing global human challenges.

In the coming decades, new scientific and technological instruments will be invented to change the world. Data in cutting-edge fields of information science, biology, nanotechnology, and other fields will grow exponentially. These data and their impact on the world will enable us to address global human challenges.

These challenges are still underestimated, and will threaten future generations’ health, education, renewable energy, clean water, food production, space research, environmental sustainability, and other areas of life. For example, 1 billion people today do not have access to clean water, and another 2.5 billion to sewage facilities. Approximately 3 billion people do not have access to a constant and reliable source of energy. According to the U.N., the world population will reach 10 billion by 2050. Supporting these additional 3 billion lives will require significant technological innovations. Russia is already facing some of these challenges today. Global human challenges have no national or cultural boundaries, and collaboration is needed in the search for innovative solutions.

More details are available in this presentation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (www.wbcsd.org) –
Vision 2050: The new agenda for business (PDF) (PDF)

More details can be found on the site of Singularity University