Industrialisation and sustainability: Challenges and opportunities skolkovo foundation

AI can improve productivity and efficiency across Russia



  • Maxim Remchukov, Sustainable Development Director, SIBUR Holding (virtual)
  • Ivan Oseledets, Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence Technology, SkolTech
  • Sergey Korotkov, Director UNIDO ITPO, Russia
  • Prof Abdullatif Al Shamsi, President and CEO, Higher Colleges of Technology
  • Mansour Khan, UAE University
  • Moderator – Kirill Kaem, SVP Innovations, Skolovo Foundation

Key insights

  • There is a risk that we can’t change back to traditional ways of doing business due to technological disruption.
  • AI can improve productivity and efficiency across Russia
  • There is a growing need for more AI research to ensure sustainable development
  • While the acceleration of data is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution, panellists believe that we are in fact in the Sixth Industrial Revolution.
  • As Skolkovo is the biggest federation for start-ups in Russia, there is an alignment that start-ups can be fundamental to spread efficient and useful technologies across the world.
  • Generation Z is more caring about the environment compared to the previous generation.

Key quotes

Maxim Remchukov, Sustainable Development Director, SIBUR Holding: “We are in the midst of implementing our new project this year to eradicate biometric issues and this will give us a competitive edge. The challenge is producing low carbon footprint of our products and this is the demand in the market. We need to create a solution for our customers and change our business model to increase energy efficiency.”

Prof. Ivan Oseledets, Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence Technology, SkolTech: “AI and Big Data can solve the task of estimating the carbon footprint. There are several aspects that need to be monitored such as car pollution and ocean pollution, and this can all be done by the collection of different technologies such as satellites and drones that can be combined with physical models. Physical models can sometimes be incorrect and this is where we need to incorporate AI to correct this. We need to collaborate with people who can construct these type of models. The goal is to apply AI techs to different sectors such as oil & gas, but we still have to wait for the results and invest in such type of research. There is huge work ahead, and it takes a huge amount of training to increase our models and to make AI greener.”

Sergey Korotkov, Director UNIDO ITPO, Russia: “We are focused on our organisation and incorporating the whole chain of the lifecycle by implementing recycling and figuring out how are products can be utilised. We need to have standards in order to ensure that the nature is not harmed and to prevent causing problems for the next generation. We are working for the implementation of international protocols to deal with consistent pollutions, and our task is to bring the best solutions for Russia and to other countries.”

Prof Abdullatif Al Shamsi, President and CEO, Higher Colleges of Technology: “We are fortunate that the UAE leadership is addressing climate change as the highest priority today and we are privileged to showcase this at a global level. This good news has been cascaded down from leadership to the educational level. This has happened through the education system and it’s embedded into our curriculum. We have more than 24,000 students located across 16 campuses and we are very committed towards the climate changes. We are mobilising more resources, pledging to reach net-zero by 2030, which we have already fulfilled. We are also developing our carbon neutral plan for 2030 and to reduce greenhouse gases. We monitor continuously the sustainability performance and we have a strategic KPI system. The Generation Z is more caring about the environmental issues rather than the previous generation. We have witnessed this passion about the environment issues of sustainability and they have been coming up with their own ideas and championing this. They are becoming more aware about this issue.”

Dr. Manzoor Khan, Head of the Department of Computer and Network Engineering, College of Information Technology, UAE University: “In my view, we are experiencing not the fourth, not the fifth, but the sixth industrial revolution. AI and approach can only be possible if you have the digitalisation and infrastructure in place. Digitisation places an important role and it’s about the strategy of implementing the digitisation. This year, more than 11 billion sensors for digitilisation would be deployed in the industry. We can reap the benefits of this, but we have to consider the standardisation of our goals.”


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