Winners of the Moscow Innovator Awards announced

September 16
Science and innovation

The names of the winners of the Moscow Mayor’s Moscow Innovator Awards have been announced. Thirty original ideas made it into the finals, with 15 projects going on to win awards. They include not only innovative ideas (Project of the Future category) and startups (Changing Reality category) but also serial products that are already being sold (Leaders of Innovation category). Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote about this contest on his blog.

“In 2019, we established the Moscow Innovator Awards to encourage the inventors of new technology and products that improve the life of our city and its residents. We have chosen five priority categories — Medicine and Pharmaceuticals, Artificial Intelligence and IT, Transport, Urban Environment and Energy. We invited all inventors to take part in the contest provided they work or live in Moscow. The contest’s application window coincided with the peak of the pandemic. Of course, we had doubts whether we should deal with innovations at all at this time. But the outcome was the exact opposite of our apprehensions. The pandemic did not stop creative ideas and did not discourage Moscow innovators from creating and promoting their ideas,” Mr Sobyanin said.

In all, 483 innovations were submitted for the contest. The finalists were chosen based on the results of independent scientific, legal and economic assessments. Experts analysed the unique character, novelty and the potential of introducing the inventions. The final jury included representatives of Moscow government bodies, development institutions, tech business and investment companies.

Moscow will be able to use the best projects for resolving its urgent problems, including urban development and support for the city’s disadvantaged residents. The inventors of the best developments will receive a cash prize from 500,000 to 1.5 million roubles.

Winning projects

The contest’s winning projects fall into three categories: Project of the Future (for those who are planning to implement their innovations), Changing Reality (for those who are ready to put their projects on the market), and Leaders of Innovation (for those who already earn profit from their projects). Each category has five subcategories: Artificial Intelligence and IT Technology, Urban Environment, Medicine and Pharmaceuticals, Transport, and Energy.

Danila Saranin and Tatyana Komaricheva won the contest in the Changing Reality category in Energy. They developed next-generation solar batteries in the form of stickers that allow users to charge any device even in dim light. They used perovskite, a special material whose layers can be produced by a 3D printer. This cuts the production cost in half as compared with similar products.

Nikolai Yudin won the award in the Leaders of Innovation category for Medicine and Pharmaceuticals. He invented a UNAwheel electric attachment for wheelchairs. This device, compatible with 99 percent of all wheelchairs worldwide, enhances the mobility and maneuverability of wheelchairs, giving people with disabilities the opportunity to take part fully in the life of society. It is easy to attach and allows users to ride at 16 km per hour. The device is the world’s lightest electric drive and costs half the price of similar add-ons.

A walking insectomorphic micro-robot took the prize in the Project of the Future category in Urban Environment. The micro-robot is called “insectomorphic” because it is similar to an insect with six or more legs. The small device can overcome obstacles inside utilities and communications infrastructure and transmit information about their condition and environmental indicators. This micro-robot can become an irreplaceable assistant for housing and utilities services employees during the inspection of difficult-to-access pipelines and rescue workers searching for survivors in landslides during emergencies.

Sergei Sobyanin noted that the Moscow authorities plan to call for applications for the 2021 Moscow Innovator Awards at the beginning of next year.

“Innovations are the future of the global economy. Those who are stronger and have more energy win the global competition. Contests like Moscow Innovator prove that Moscow has good chances of occupying a befitting place among innovations-generating cities,” said the Moscow Mayor.

The Moscow Mayor established the annual Moscow Innovator Awards in August 2019. The goal of the contest is to promote the development and introduction of innovative ideas and progressive technology and to support their inventors.  Prizes for the best projects are awarded to Russian citizens who live or work in Moscow.


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