Arkhangelsk Conference will address the development of digital technologies and human resources in the Arctic

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Russia | India (NewsVoir)

The participants of the conference “National Mega-Project in the Arctic: Personnel and scientific support” discussed the creation of a digital environment in the Arctic, the modernization of educational programs and the personnel needs of the Arctic regions. The event was held in Arkhangelsk on November 10-11 at the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after MV Lomonosov (NArFU) with the support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science as part of the event schedule for the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2021- 2023 organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

“Ensuring sustainable socio-economic development of the Arctic is one of the priorities of Russian policy. As a result, the Arctic is now becoming a kind of laboratory for testing promising technologies and smart solutions. This, in turn, requires the existence of a suitable digital environment, which implies the widespread adoption of automation, robotic technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning and working with big data. These concepts will become integral parts for the development of activities in a wide range of areas, from education to urban infrastructure development,” said Nikolay Korchunov, special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and chairman of the Arctic’s senior officials.

Deputy Minister for Development of the Far East and Arctic Russia Anatoly Bobrakov noted that in the current environment, the Arctic as a whole and the Northern Sea Route in particular offer a fundamental opportunity to ensure the growth of Russia’s economy and social development of Russia the whole country. In terms of personnel, the Russian North primarily needs engineers and IT specialists.

“Today more than 530 projects are implemented under preferential conditions in advanced special economic zones in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Total private investments amount to more than 1 trillion rubles. More than 28,000 jobs will be created, including at least 6,000 high-performance jobs. These are exactly the jobs that require people with an affinity for numbers. These are people who must have a level of education that enables them to work with high-tech equipment and engage in engineering and programming. I think the Arctic is the best place to become an engineer or a programmer,” said Bobrakov.

Deputy Science and Higher Education Minister Andrey Omelchuk said Arctic personnel should be trained primarily in the north: people who train in the harsh Arctic environment better understand the problems of Russia’s Arctic zone. However, the personnel needs of the Russian Arctic far exceed the capabilities of the Arctic universities. In this regard, it is of paramount importance to consolidate research groups dealing with the development of the Russian Arctic zone, he said.

“In the near future, we will work with Rosatom Corporation to explore ways to fund and consolidate Arctic science. We believe it is important to unite researchers working on the Arctic in a single framework,” Omelchuk said.

The Far East and the Arctic Development Corporation (FEADC) analyzes and forecasts the personnel needs of the Russian Arctic regions. Elvira Nurgaliyeva, first deputy director-general of FEADC, said the Arctic zone’s staffing can be divided into three areas: working occupations, special new and rare occupations, and managerial staff. At the same time, sociological surveys of residents of the Arctic regions show that people do not just want a job, but a chance for self-realization.

“The Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation is the world’s largest special tax regime and special development area. It is a unique area in terms of business development opportunities. Companies that haven’t yet signed an investment agreement but see the promise of working in the Arctic by 2035 need 180,000 new jobs. This is a special challenge for the Arctic,” Nurgaliyeva said.

The FEADC is working with the Ministry of Russian Far East and Arctic Development and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science to adjust educational programs based on the forecasts of companies’ further staffing needs, she said.

During the conference, the participants learned about the Digital Arctic IT Park that is being built at NArFU. NArFU Rector Yelena Kudryashova said that the technological solutions developed in the IT park will become a cornerstone of domestic software products and developments. The IT park is being built to create a pan-regional IT ecosystem in the Arctic to provide the local population with digital know-how, train staff and implement digital economy projects to ensure Russia’s technological sovereignty. Currently, the IT park already includes seven labs for robotics and automation, eight labs for networks, cyber security, web development and machine learning, as well as rooms for coworking and project work. The park is created jointly by NArFU and the government of the Arkhangelsk region.

The conference program also included thematic sessions and roundtables on various aspects of Arctic development and digital technologies in the Far North. In particular, experts discussed information security in the digital economy, the adaptation of personnel training for the Arctic region, the monitoring of the labor market and the transformation of urban spaces and robotics. Conference participants viewed an exhibition dedicated to digital technologies for the development of the North Sea Route. The Rostec State Corporation and AFK Sistema also presented their developments. The conference was attended by representatives of federal and state agencies, CEOs of IT companies and several specialized organizations, as well as leading experts and representatives of the scientific community.

The program also included cyber sports and information security competitions and the sports programming and activities championship for school children. The participants of the master class learned the basics of cryptography and the Internet of Things, how to use neural networks, the development of mobile applications and how to control a quadrocopter.

A priority of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is to ensure good governance for the sustainable development of the Arctic, which is largely determined by the quality of human capital. By developing measures to support northern populations, including indigenous peoples, Russia is helping to promote projects and initiatives to digitize remote Arctic villages and reindeer herders by improving the reliability and efficiency of satellite navigation systems in the Arctic.

(Disclaimer: The above press release is provided under an agreement with Newsvoir and PTI assumes no editorial responsibility for it.) PTI PWR
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