TUSUR University and entrepreneurship
Since its foundation, the identity of TUSUR University has been rooted in its entrepreneurial spirit, making it stand out among other Russian universities. People who choose TUSUR University for education or career are energetic, vigorous, and competent. They know the value of teamwork, intellectual liberty and freedom of action.
TUSUR University span out of Tomsk Polytechnic University in 1962, when radioelectronics came to be in the forefront of research and development. Its young team – back then most faculty members were about thirty years old – succeeded in creating the atmosphere of independence and freedom at the new university. After more than fifty years, we still cherish these traditions that were not imposed on us, but instead grew organically from horizontal connections and rely on partnership rather than subordination.
For many years TUSUR University had been serving the needs of defense enterprises, this line of work dominating over its other activities. In fact, research supervisors and executive managers implementing such projects wielded even greater authority than the university rector, which was not extraordinary in the Soviet period. We competed with leading Russian design offices for state orders and requests thus becoming a strong player in a competitive entrepreneurial environment even before market economy. Ever since, TUSUR engineers have been famous for their ability to solve seemingly unsolvable problems at short notice.
Becoming an entrepreneur at TUSUR University
TUSUR University encourages and promotes project-based group learning, a special educational format which is an essential part of the Innovative educational program.
The goal of project-based group learning is for students to gain teamwork experience while carrying out R&D work.
Engagement in team projects is an integral part of the training process. Throughout a student’s studies, an idea goes through all stages of the development process, progressing from a technical assignment to a prototype or a pilot lot. The student follows an individual curriculum designed to train them in specific subjects necessary to carry out design work and implement their project.
First step towards the creation of private business
Student projects are encouraged to submit their business plans to a university competition. Winners of the competition are invited to enroll their projects to the Student Business Incubator of TUSUR University. Notably, it was the first student business incubator in Russia, created in 2004 and sponsored by the grant of the Tomsk Regional Administration. The incubator supports students who start their own small businesses together with professors and representatives of science-intensive companies.
The Student Business Incubator of TUSUR specializes and focuses on the projects in information technology and radio engineering. Many of Tomsk IT companies were started by TUSUR alumni and now account of some 80% of the Tomsk market of IT products & services. The staff of the Business Incubator provides consulting and managerial support to students who implement their projects.
As the next stage of project development, project teams create their prototypes. Teams with completed prototypes compete for the right to be placed in the TUSUR University Technology Business Incubator, created as a part of the innovative educational program of TUSUR and supported by the Russian Ministry of Education. The TBI allows R&D teams to develop their projects into to small-batch production and start their own process lines.
TUSUR University and alumni entrepreneurs
For over 10 years TUSUR University has been an active partner and supporter of its alumni who started innovative companies concentrating around the university.
The TUSUR Alumni Association is rooted in UNIQ – the University’s educational, scientific and innovation complex based on the internationally recognized model of collaboration between universities and companies, highly successful examples of which can be found at Oxford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The UNIQ brings together heads of innovative companies. Adhering to the principles of transparency and mutually beneficial partnership between the university and innovative business, the UNIQ companies establish research divisions within the University to meet their research needs and provide staff training.
In order to stimulate the economy of the Tomsk region and Russia as a whole, TUSUR University pursues and implements the international Triple Helix model of close cooperation between innovative companies, public authorities and the university.