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The Russia Studies Program
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The Artificial Intelligence in Russia newsletter features a summary of recent Russian-language reports on the Russian AI and autonomy ecosystem, divided into the following sections:

  • Governance and Legal Developments
  • Military and Security Developments
  • Corporate and Market Developments
  • Education and Training Developments
  • International Collaboration
  • Spotlight: UAVs and Defeating an Amphibious Assault

The following preview shows the first item in this issue:

1. Russian government names six universities as Russia’s leading AI centers

As discussed in issue 23 of AI and Autonomy in Russia, the Russian government has sought to competitively select universities in Russia to receive federal grants of up to 1 billion rubles (over $14 million) each as part of the AI Federal Project (see the report AI and Autonomy in Russia for an explanation of the AI Federal project: /centers/cna/sppp/rsp/russia-ai). On October 4, an expert group led by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko announced the selection of six universities that the government will designate as Russia’s AI centers. There were no unexpected winners among those selected: Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Moscow), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Moscow), V.P. Ivannikov Institute for System Programming (Moscow), Innopolis University (Tatarstan Republic), ITMO University (Saint Petersburg), and Higher School of Economics (Moscow, with subsidiaries across Russia). Industrial partners are providing additional investments for the centers. For example, ITMO will open a research center, “Strong Artificial Intelligence in Industry,” with additional investment from Gazprom Neft. Some of its projects will be aimed at the creation of a decision support system for planning oil and gas field development. Other ITMO center projects will involve applied work for foreign companies such as Siemens and Huawei. Chernyshenko stated, “These 6 centers will become the reference points for the development of AI technology. They should not only help the rest of the participants to pull themselves up and pump themselves in the conditions of the new competition, but also provide Russia with a leading position in the world in the development of AI technology.”

2. Russian government seeks to integrate UAS

into single airspace by 2030, creates new digital sandbox for UAS in Tomsk On October 11, 2011, the Russian government approved a concept for the integration of unmanned aerial systems into a single airspace in Russia by 2030 in a three-phase process that includes changes in existing laws, the development of a normative base to ease drone developers’ application process for flight approval, and the modernization of communications, navigation, and tracking infrastructure. Tens of thousands of drones used in various sectors are officially registered in Russia, according to reports, and testing is underway for some drone systems to conduct commercial cargo delivery. 

Separately, the Ministry of Economic Development has reportedly developed and made public the text of a draft government decree, “On the establishment of an experimental legal regime in the field of digital innovation and the approval of the Program of an experimental legal regime in the field of digital innovation for the operation of unmanned aerial systems in the Tomsk region.” The pilot legal regime (digital sandbox) would be valid for three years and would apply to aerial work using drones, including those with a maximum take-off weight of more than 30 kg, and including cargo delivery from 0.1 kg to 1,500 kg.

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  • Pages: 22
  • Document Number: DOP-2021-U-031060-Final
  • Publication Date: 10/22/2021