Who works in Innopolis?

    Innopolis is a city where an enthusiastic professional community of young and ambitious people gathers. The average age of high-tech residents is 26 years. Therefore, it is not surprising that among the employees of the companies the vast majority are yesterday’s graduates. We are launching a series of stories about the inhabitants of a young city. Who are they, how did you get to Innopolis and how are the IT industries useful?

    Under the cut is the story of Elmira Halitova, director of international cooperation at Innopolis University, with whose light the strongest partnerships with leading universities in the world are tied.


    The first impression that Elmira makes is an ordinary young girl. Those who do not know her personally, having met a romantic nature at the university, may erroneously assume that she is still a student. In fact, the girl was already an “old-timer” at Innopolis University. She joined his work at the very start of the project and was among the top five creators of the IT university. In February, she turned 3 years old as she leads the international communications of a young Russian university.

    “International relations and international law cannot be divided”

    Elmira was born in Kazan. Graduated from Kazan Federal University with a degree in international relations. And then she won a grant from the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the German Academic Exchange Service and went to Germany to study for a magistracy. At the University of Hamburg, Elmira received a master's degree in European law. A diplomat and a lawyer in one person, with the qualifications received, the girl returned to her native Tatarstan in search of work.

    “For Innopolis, I lacked experience”

    Elmira learned about Innopolis by accident. Then, 4 years ago, in the IT circles of Kazan, the project of the future city had the code name “IT Village”. He assumed a maximum population of not more than 50 thousand people. And already in the process of developing the master plan, it was decided to develop the project to an IT city with a population of up to 155 thousand people. But it all started with the village. A graduate of the University of Hamburg was invited to join the team of founders of the project. But Elmira was convinced that her competencies, as a novice specialist, are not enough. And she refused. The girl went to Moscow. “She worked for a year at the Plenipotentiary Representation of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation in the department for coordination of international and economic relations,” she says. “And even there she constantly ran into Innopolis.” This is a landmark project for our republic. I told about it to all guests and potential partners. And over time, I myself became interested. And my own interest was only growing, I wanted to join the global project and do something truly meaningful. No matter how corny it sounds (laughs). ”

    “We worked and did not notice how spring came”

    After completing my competencies in Moscow, Elmira returned to Tatarstan and became part of the very small team of Innopolis University, which only laid the foundation for a new IT university. Then the director, rector and his assistant worked at the university. Elmira has taken over the global external relations sector. The task of the new university was to train world-class specialists. And this is possible using the experience of international universities. Elmira coordinated collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA (Carnegie Mellon University). This university was chosen as the main partner for the launch of the project. To this day, the partner provides expert support in the development and implementation of educational and research programs, as well as in the preparation of the faculty of Innopolis University.

    For the formation and development of the educational and research base of Innopolis University, cooperation with one world-famous university was not enough. Therefore, the search for partners continued. “I was looking for friends around the world,” says Elmira. - It was not so simple, because we did not have a reputation and a significant history. But if you want, you do it. If not, even reputation will not help. We focused on rating indicators, although this method may seem controversial. But it’s still a recognized indicator. ”

    Today Innopolis University collaborates with a number of reputable universities and scientific institutions of the world. The international department of Innopolis University, which is now headed by Elmira, has managed to provide an academic exchange of students and teachers for integration with the international academic community. Some students complete a full course of study at partner universities. “This is not an export, but an investment. For example, Singapore’s National University has a good cybersecurity program. This is one of our key areas. In Amsterdam, at the Institute of Informatics, we are also interested in a program for developing secure systems and networks. Our universities study at these universities. After graduation, they will return to Russia and will help us implement this program (or, better, develop this area) ”.

    The next stage is filling the relationships with meaningful projects. “The climax of our work is a joint higher education program. We want our students to study at several universities and receive several diplomas, having the opportunity to build an individual training program in accordance with their professional and personal aspirations. This will contribute to the growth of scientific knowledge and ultimately lead to a rise in the innovative development of the IT industry in our country. ”

    All this was preceded by a long work. While Innopolis was being built, the university was located in Kazan. First, in an IT park, then moved to an office on Profsoyuznaya street. Elmira recalls that in all the hustle and bustle of work she once even missed the onset of spring. “We left after work, and it’s spring already on the street. We didn’t notice how she came. ”

    “ Innopolis is growing before our eyes like a child ”

    Moving to Innopolis took place in April 2015, 2 months before the official settlement of the city. “The pace of development then was very impressive. The city was changing before our eyes. Those who have children will definitely understand. This is an indescribable feeling when the child begins to crawl, then takes the first steps. The same analogy can be drawn across the city. We went to work, there was one picture around - we built houses, landscaped paths, planted trees. In the evening we went back home - and the path for pedestrians was already ready, and the construction of houses was approaching surrender ”

    At first, the city was not crowded. Not counting the builders, no more than 50 people. Everyone knew each other and went to visit in the evenings. Now, more than 800 people live in Innopolis. The city is filled with life. A kindergarten, a school, an IT lyceum opened. There was a shop, a beauty salon, a pharmacy. “The other day, at a gathering of citizens, the mayor of the city told the residents what had been done over the past year. I was impressed. ”

    Their job is to find friends around the world.

    Currently, 3 people work in the department of international relations at Innopolis University. Elmira leads the direction, in her team - Irina Lyamina and Sergey Karapetyan. February was a landmark month for them. Exactly 3 years ago, Elmira herself came, a year ago Sergey joined. In February, Irina celebrates her birthday. And this month the professional holiday of diplomatic workers fell. The guys no doubt consider themselves to be in this profession, because their main occupation is to look for friends around the world.

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