Russia’s AI Alliance launches training programs, contests and an investment platform

02 April 2021

The board of the Artificial Intelligence Alliance met in late March in Moscow, providing updates about this organization created by large Russian companies 2019.

  • An investment platform will be launched to “consolidate the AI project and idea pipeline” and provide participating companies with access to the corporate accelerators of the members. Dubbed ‘AI-Hub,’ this platform will also “allow AI development teams to connect with clients and investors,” ensuring alliance members’ access to the latest developments in this field. The platform will be open to foreign participants.
  • The Alliance also works with schools, providing open courses, mentorship and simulator-based training. “This year 500 schools will be equipped with AI simulators and modules,” according to Sber.
  • Launched in January this year, the AI International Junior Contest claims to have attracted “10,000 participants from 50 countries,” with the finale scheduled for late 2021. This contest aims to “popularize artificial intelligence among children and young people,” and to “engage and support children with outstanding AI talents worldwide.” Contenders are competing in 10 areas, including earth sensing data, education technologies, security, finance, robotics, drones, medicine, etc.
  • The Alliance is also preparing the ‘AI Russia Awards,’ presenting it as “the first Russian prize for AI-based projects,” scheduled May 27, 2021. An “outstanding business impact” is expected from this event, which will focus on topics like “Increase in Revenue,” “Cost Reduction,” “Increase in Productivity” and “Improved Quality,” as well as “Significant Social Impact.”

The Alliance also plans to create “an integrated open library for Russian and foreign datasets to accelerate the development and launch of new AI-based products and services.”

Russian leadership via international cooperation

“AI Alliance Russia strives to create a win-win situation for all participants on the AI market – companies, developers, and researchers,” said Kirill Bulatov, the director of the Alliance. “We can’t just assume that innovative projects will suddenly appear all on their own and approach businesses for investments. The market must take note of this: major companies – ones that could invest billions in AI individually and are successfully creating products on their own – have begun to develop the AI market together and are interested in investments in new projects using AI-Hub.”

“We are creating the infrastructure that will allow the best ideas to find the best form of support. It will facilitate breakthroughs in solutions and technologies, ensuring global leadership for Russian projects and the entire AI sector,” added RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev.

The Alliance was co-founded in November 2019 by five top Russian corporations – state-controlled financial giant Sberbank, Internet groups Yandex and Mail.Ru, mobile operator MTS and oil major Gazprom Neft, – together with the sovereign fund RDIF. The move came a few weeks after a “National Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence for the period until 2030” was enacted by President Vladimir Putin.

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