From an idea to a successful business: the winners of the Breakthrough of the Year award told about their projects

June 7
Economy and entrepreneurship

The Moscow's entrepreneurs were awarded with the Breakthrough of the Year award. The contest is organized by the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of Moscow. 10 companies that, according to experts, have achieved the greatest success in business development and social projects realization have become the winners of the award in 2021. In addition to statuettes and diplomas, Moscow Government provided them with the individual business development program. Three winners of the award explained the details of their business and directions of business development.

Combining virtual and real

The Grand Prix of the year for the highest growth rate was handed out to the Fora Robotics company. It makes digital twins of buildings and enterprises, manufactures robots and robotic systems. The 3D models connect the physical and digital worlds: programs help change infrastructure, improve processes, save resources, and avoid mistakes in reality.

Experts go to the site, scan every point of buildings and equipment, collect data in large clouds and build an exact 3D copy of the enterprise. The model can be given the necessary properties, can be rebuilt, you can plan repairs and logistics.

"At one factory, we moved the test station to an extension that we planned to make. The equipment was six meters wider than the building, and the investment project was already approved. If it was implemented, the company would have spent a lot of money on rework. At another factory, they were looking for a place for a coating booth - there were no problems with the 2D drawings. But it became obvious from the 3D model that it was higher than the roof structures, " General Director Alexander Kuznetsov says.

Alexander Kuznetsov, General Director of Fora Robotics

The technology can be used on a wide variety of infrastructural facilities. "My pilot project was a 3D model of a high school which is run by my mother. We scanned the building, and today the resulting model is used for inventory of classrooms: you can calculate how to place equipment and pupils desks. This was particularly topical when anti-COVID requirements appeared," Alexander Kuznetsov says.

The company was able to digitize production processes as well. The program takes into account all human movements, ergonomics, employee lassitude, adds or removes people on the work section and estimates changes efficiency.

In addition, Fora Robotics has a whole fleet of anthropomorphic robots. They help with presentations, and the company supplies them to libraries. Robots drive, talk, hear, recognize faces, and communicate using chatbots. Their bodies are made by 3D printers, and each robot is unique. According to Alexander Kuznetsov, the company has now purchased equipment for recycling garbage, and soon robots will be produced from recycled waste.

Family history investigation

The International Genealogical Center won the Creative Entrepreneur of the Year award. Its specialists restore family histories, collecting information from around the world. They search for information bit by bit, using a large number of sources. These are archives, libraries, museums, cemeteries, civil registry offices, places of study and work, specialists also conduct expeditions and detailed interviews with relatives.

"A person can come to us with one photo, and a year later go away with a whole book about his ancestor. To do this, we disentangle detective stories, solve many puzzles. We try to give maximum detail: instead of a dash between the dates of birth and death, we make a detailed biography. If we make a family tree, then we attach a book to it with a story about all the family members, " Artem Maratkanov, General Director of the company, explains.

Experts spend on average from one and a half to three years on such work, and to achieve a similar result independently, it takes several decades.

Artem Maratkanov started studying genealogy as a student, when he wanted to make a gift to his father, who was interested in family history. He decided to look for freelancers who understand the topic himself. Gradually, a team of professionals was created, friends and acquaintances began to contact them, and today the company operates all over the world.

According to the CEO, a lot depends on the people experience: "When I started doing this, I hold an interview with my grandmother, and it turned out to be one page of the family book, where her entire biography fit. Almost a decade later, I went to see her again, and thanks to what I know today, I recorded 17 hours of audio interviews. And now I'm preparing a whole book about my grandmother."

More people became interested in the family history, especially after the Immortal Regiment action. Millions of the country citizens wanted to get information about their ancestors who fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. To help them, the genealogical center has created an IT platform. In the service, you can find an executor from another city who will perform the necessary task, for example, visit a cemetery or an archive. Artem Maratkanov notes that this marketplace of freelancers works in all countries of the former USSR. The service has training videos, step-by-step recommendations, and informative bot. Here you can get expert advice on special matters, such as military issues searching.

Last summer, the project became a member of the Go Global acceleration program of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund and received a subsidy of 850 thousand rubles from the Moscow Export Center for export development. For three months, the team received training aimed at helping startups with entering international markets. The idea is that Russian companies sell their services and products on the international market and return export revenue to Russia. The project has chosen the most priority direction for itself - the US market.

A new level of power industry development

The main exporters of the year, the company "C-Innovations" - a manufacturer of a new generation of wire, which can bring the entire electric power industry to a new level, was named. Their HTSC (high-temperature superconductor) wire is made of a superconductor and, unlike a conventional one, has no electrical resistance, which means it can transmit much more energy.

The material can create very powerful magnetic fields. One of its most promising applications is thermonuclear synthesis, which releases a huge amount of energy. Scientists have calculated how to apply this technology in power plants and started to create them.

"Such power plants can replace everything that today works on the combustion of hydrocarbons - oil, coal. This solves the problem of providing humanity with electricity, as well as replacing non-renewable resources and carbon dioxide release, " Alexander Molodyk, CEO of the company, says.

Alexander Molodyk, General Director of C-Innovations company

According to him, most of the products are now supplied for making magnets for such a thermonuclear reactor. Projects are being implemented in the US and UK, and they are also planned to be in Russia. In addition, the company participates in the indigenous Russian development of an electric motor for airplane, the construction of the NICA collider in Dubna, and other projects.

In 2019, a unique current-limiting device based on superconductors was put into operation in Moscow. This is the most powerful equipment in the world at the substation in the city's electric power system, Alexander Molodyk says.

"If you remember, even 10 years ago in Moscow, sometimes there were rolling blackouts, when a transformer burned at a substation and then the neighboring ones were turned off. The current-limiting device on superconductors helps to avoid such accidents and saves a lot of money, " he notes.

In the future, superconductors, according to him, will be able to be used in other urban utilities.

"In large cities, the energy system is already oversaturated, although consumption is growing from year to year. All the lines have already been built, and there is no place to build new overhead lines with supports. Cables are being laid underground, but their capacity is no longer enough. Our material can transmit 500-1000 times more electricity in the same tunnel where the copper wire cable now lies. This will be possible when it will be produced so much that the technical solution will compete with conventional wires," Alexander Molodyk believes.

According to him, winning the Breakthrough of the Year contest will help to tell people about the technologies of the future, why they are important and what is in store for us. C-Innovations company is a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation and the Slava Technopark. It uses their infrastructure and city support measures: reimburses expenses, receives subsidies, and rents premises at a reduced rate.


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