Hello, Habr! Says Innopolis. This year we celebrate the first anniversary – the city is five years old. Looking back, we realized that during this time we experienced a bunch of interesting events that we want to share with you.
There really is a lot of news. The number of inhabitants in the city tripled, new resident companies appeared. Innopolis University has launched graduate and postgraduate programs. The first IT Nights night conference was held, which promises to be annual. Total not to list.
We think many will be interested to know what Innopolis is living with now. For example, how to test an unmanned taxi from Yandex, or what startups managed to grow into large companies. Or maybe you have been looking closely at Innopolis for a long time to move to work or study – you are ready to tell and help with advice.
This is the first post in which we will briefly talk about the city, if suddenly someone did not hear anything about it. You will find out what Innopolis University is planning in the new academic year and what benefits have been introduced for startups in a special economic zone. It also contains useful links for exploring the city, residents and vacancies. Write in the comments what you are interested in learning about Innopolis.
A bit of history
Innopolis is the first Russian city built from scratch. Located 40 kilometers from Kazan. For the first time they started talking about the construction of an innovative city in 2010, and on June 9, 2015, the official opening took place. Innopolis was conceived as an ambitious project – an ideal place for the development of the IT sector and the comfortable life of IT people.
The first in the city was built Innopolis University and the Popov Technopark. The university prepares future specialists and conducts research. Technopark is responsible for business development, today more than 100 companies work in it. Residents are also provided with special conditions and privileges in the Innopolis special economic zone.
How the city works
Innopolis is a full-fledged city with its city hall, infrastructure and cultural features. True, without shopping centers, traffic jams and other attributes of big cities. For the rest, there is everything for a comfortable life: a kindergarten, a school with an in-depth study of computer science, a boarding school for gifted children in physics and mathematics, a medical center, and shops.
A separate place in the life of the city is sports. For residents, there is a sports complex with a swimming pool, a football field with a treadmill, volleyball and basketball courts, tennis courts.
One of the main features of the city is that almost all residents know each other. It is difficult to imagine something like this somewhere else in Russia: often in big cities people don’t even know neighbors on the porch. From the first day, residents in Innopolis had the opportunity to create comfortable conditions for themselves and create a friendly urban environment.
The answer to any question can be found in the Telegram bot. Photo – Hi-Tech
European openness was achieved thanks to direct communication between residents and the city hall and among themselves. In the city, everything is tied to chats and channels in the Telegram, issues are resolved in a few messages. There is a general chat room where all residents and the city hall are composed. Sign up to the doctor, find out the bus schedule, book a table in the cafe – for everything there are chats, channels and bots.
Residents went further – create house chats and even mini-groups of neighbors on the landing. IT people are generally initiative people, they know how to be right, and are not afraid of responsibility.
The level of urban culture is confirmed by figures. According to VTsIOM statistics, the happiness index of Innopolis residents is 84.7 points, when the average for Russia is 64. For the city hall, the level of residents’ happiness is an annual KPI. These are, of course, dry numbers – to make sure you need to visit Innopolis.
How to move
People come to Innopolis to study, work or open a business. If we talk about education, the learning process is structured so that in the last year students already have job offers from resident companies. Many students remain living and working in the city, moving from campus to apartments.
For specialists who move to Innopolis at work, a relocation program from the employer is provided. Residents are assigned housing for employees; more than 1572 apartments have already been built. Monthly rental – from 9000 to 17 000 ₽ depending on the number of rooms. The apartments are equipped with everything you need – stop by and live.
Another way to relocate is to open a business in the city. There are 89 residents and 14 partners in Innopolis. Companies are working on various projects – from mobile banking to game development. We will tell you more about residents in the following posts, and the list of companies can be found on the site.
From Pittsburgh to Innopolis
Stas Litvinov, Diginavis company, project manager
I moved on May 23, 2015, before the official opening of the city. Before moving, he studied in Pittsburgh on a joint Master’s program in Software Engineering at Carnegie Mellon and Innopolis Universities.
Innopolis University just began to cooperate with Carnegie Mellon. I was offered to participate in the creation of a completely new university for Russia, to influence the process from the inside. So I left Kazakhstan, agreeing to a tempting offer.
I did not expect anything special from Innopolis. When we were brought for an acquaintance during the winter holidays, it was clear that we would live at a large construction site. And so it happened.
The taxi driver from the airport apologized and dropped me off before reaching the campus – there was no more asphalt. I had to go on foot with all my junk. Thanks to Aeroflot for losing two large suitcases and making my journey easier. I took the luggage when I had more or less settled down.
It was great to watch how the city develops and participate in this process. I think such changes as here are invisible in big cities. For example, at the very beginning it was possible to get to Kazan by taxi or find a person with a car. Then the first bus appeared – in the morning in Kazan, in the evening back. Now we have 12 flights every day, big beautiful shuttles.
Or here are the shops. First there was a booth for builders with an assortment: bread, lemonade, cigarettes – no more. Then came the tiny Bahetle. Now we have three grocery stores, a bookstore, a butcher’s shop, a bicycle rental, two pharmacies, and some little things for repair. It’s not so often that you have to travel to Kazan.
By unmanned taxi you can get to work or to the grocery store.. Photo – Hi-Tech
Employers are trying to do as much as possible so that employees are comfortable: they pay rent, subscriptions to the sports complex, add corporate bonuses. But many do not come here for this – in Innopolis there are really interesting projects, the creators of which are proud of their offspring and infect others with their pride.
By and large, there is everything for life. Of course, we do not have museums, cinemas, theaters, but for such entertainment you can go to Kazan. In general, if you have a car, you can go to the neighbors all summer: to Sviyazhsk, Almetyevsk, Bugulma, Naberezhnye Chelny, Kamskoye Ustye, Bolgar, Yoshkar-Olu, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Kozmodemyansk, to nature and lakes.
It is cool that many residents in search of entertainment for themselves find a new hobby and share it with others. So in the city there were dancing and vocal classes, clay modeling, a book club, sports sections – this is only part of what the residents do here.
I think it’s worth moving to Innopolis in search of interesting projects and development, in some cases to take a break from the pace of big cities, as well as for a comfortable environment and the feeling of a big friendly commune.
Those who are thinking about moving to Inno should understand that they are guaranteed to have more free time, and it is better to know in advance how to take this time. You also need to be prepared for the fact that if one of the spouses is not connected with IT, most likely you will have to look for a remote worker or work in Kazan. It is also worth remembering that the world is imperfect and even if you want to do everything perfectly, it does not always work out, but you can try to fix some things yourself. It remains just those who are ready not just to live life, but to build this city and community – to be its active part. I am sure such people here will be comfortable.
Residence conditions for companies
Innopolis is a special economic zone; taxes are lower and business incentives apply. Recently, the government of Tatarstan approved new conditions for startups and companies that plan to move to Innopolis.
Among the advantages, one can note a reduced tax rate of 1% for companies that pay tax on total revenue, or 5% when choosing taxation “income minus expenses”. Benefits will be valid until 2023.
Also, for residents, a preferential place in coworking or a separate office in the technopark is provided. Add to this the preferential rental of apartments equipped with appliances and furniture.
The pleasant bonuses will be a free subscription to the online cinema, which residents will choose by voting, and discounts at a local coffee shop.
The main essence of Innopolis is people
Roman Doronin, CEO of EORA Data Lab
The history of the company began with hackathons and programming competitions. After several victories in the competition, we decided to found our company. Part of the team was from Innopolis, so we opened an office here.
The company is engaged in artificial intelligence. We are working on a marketplace for computer vision models to simplify the creation of video analytics systems and machine vision services.
I like Innopolis both as a place and as a phenomenon. But the main essence of the city is people. Here is a very good community, the creation of which is due to the EORA Data Lab – the company’s employees created a machine learning club, hold meetings and free courses for everyone.
The company conducted a course in Data Science: two full-term semesters with classes, homework and competitions between students. The participants had the opportunity to prove themselves in the classroom and tell everyone about their decisions, even pass the exam. The best students of the course were invited to work in the company.
University and student campus
It’s hard to put the eight-year history of Innopolis University in a few paragraphs. I would like to talk about scientific work, and about the emphasis on practice in real projects, and about the experience of creating a training program from scratch in English using Western standards.
If we talk about the educational process, then it is most focused on practice. This is also due to the proximity to the technopark, where companies dismantle graduates like hot cakes. In the last courses, students are already working on cases of residents and partners.
Kirill Semenikhin, Director of Innopolis University
In 2020, we will be 8 years old – the university is a bit older than the city. During this time, 319 people graduated from Innopolis University. Last year, we received 16,210 applications for training from 162 countries. Enrolled 253 students and 14 graduate students.
Innopolis University is a place for serious scientific research. In June 2018, we opened the Competence Center of the National Technological Initiative (NTI) in the direction of “Technology of components of robotics and mechatronics”. These are six laboratories that are engaged in research and development in the field of anthropomorphic and industrial robotics, all types of unmanned vehicles, neuroscience and artificial intelligence.
Unmanned solutions for cars and trucks based on KIA Soul, Hyundai Santa Fe and KamAZ are being developed in laboratories. Also, the center’s specialists are working on creating their own convertiplane and are developing unmanned underwater vehicles with an immersion depth of up to 3000 meters.
The university has been engaged in UAVs since 2017. That year, our team took second place among 400 participants in the global competition for the creation of subsystems for autonomous machines. So we do not lag behind the main urban entertainment – testing an unmanned taxi.
Educational Robotics Methodist Alexander Kolotov is the first Russian on the World Robot Olympiad organizing committee
Another university is known for its success in robotics. From 2014 to 2019, we organized the national stage of the World Robot Olympiad. In 2019, the Innopolis Open robotics competition was held – today it is the main robotics competition at the university site.
The university forms and prepares the Russian national robotics team. Last year, our team won first place in the team event at the World Robot Olympiad in the Hungarian Györ, repeating the triumph of 2017 at competitions in Costa Rica. In 2020, a leading specialist in design competitions at Innopolis University Alexander Kolotov became the first Russian member of the WRO organizing committee.
Of the recent achievements, I note the success of the specialists of the Center for Artificial Intelligence. They taught the neural network diagnose COVID-19 medical records with an accuracy of 80% and are preparing to launch an online service that will help doctors quickly identify patients.
Artificial Intelligence Center employees are working on a neural network to diagnose COVID-19
New year plans and online admissions
In the 2020/21 academic year, the University plans to recruit 170 bachelors for the program “Computer Science and Computer Engineering”, 80 masters in the programs “Management of Software Development”, “Development of Safe Systems and Networks”, “Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence”, “Robotics and Computer vision”. Since 2018, enrollment in graduate school has been opened; in 2020, 25 places are available in this direction.
Due to epidemiological restrictions this year, the grant competition will be held in an online format. Despite the changes, distance selection retains all the stages of the full-time part of the competition: the candidates are still undergoing final testing in English and in the core subject of the selected program.
At the same time, for the transparency of the process during the tests, our specialists from the department of admission and attraction of applicants will connect a proctoring system – technology for monitoring the delivery of tests in a remote format. Competitors will also have online interviews with a professor and psychologist. Grant applications are accepted at apply.innopolis.ru.
Learn more about the city at welcome page
We talk about the life of the city in social networks:
By the way, on YouTube recently premiered the web series “The Last Program” about artificial intelligence and the podcast “Operational Headquarters”.
You can ask a question in the Telegram Inne – Concierge Service Innopolis
Find out any schedule in the official bot cities
Innopolis University – university.innopolis.ru
The special economic zone “Innopolis” – sez.innopolis.ru