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Meeting with High Technology Championship winners

September 21, 2023, Veliky Novgorod

Vladimir Putin met with the winners of the High Technology Championship at the Intelligent Electronics – Valdai Innovative Scientific and Technological Centre (ISTC).

The High Technology Championship is an international professional excellence tournament, which is part of the national championship movement, Professionals. Veliky Novgorod hosted the finals, which included about 5,000 competitors, from September 18 to 21.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon!

I am delighted to see everyone, and I would like to congratulate you all – as I understand it, the winners of the competition are here. This was the first edition of this competition. I congratulate you all because the story of this championship begins with you, and you are the winners of the first edition, the first iteration of this competition.

I am sure that we will continue along this path, and will keep looking for young, talented, promising and successful young people like you.

The fact that you have made it to the finals and won is all the more exciting because the competition was involved with the most interesting professional fields such as robotics, big data, and others that are equally important, fascinating, and promising.

Mr Kravtsov, the Minister of Education, is nodding his head. I know that he has promised not only to praise you, but also to ensure appropriate remuneration for your work. Money is certainly something anyone can use, and it will definitely benefit you because you can spend it on some of your immediate plans, things you were planning to do, like improve your professional skills.

I wish you success and all the very best. If you have any requests, please, you have my full attention – I am listening.

Go ahead, please.

Matvei Khrolovich: Good evening, Mr President.

My name is Matvei Khrolovich, I am a fourth-year student at the Novgorod Agrotechnical College and a participant of the geospatial digital engineering competence.

My friends and I are very happy to take part in the finals and achieve success in our competences. It is very important for those who study the professions of the future. The finals were organised to a high standard, and everything went very well. But all participants want to know if the championship will be held annually.

Vladimir Putin: We will ask the chief organiser. I think such events should be held [annually].

Mr Kravtsov?

Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov: Yes, we will definitely hold it every year, Mr President, because it is very important for the kids. And in St Petersburg, professionals…

Vladimir Putin: It will be in November, right?

Sergei Kravtsov: In November. We will hold the championship in the same professional areas of the future in Veliky Novgorod every year.

Vladimir Putin: So, we have the answer.

Matvei Khrolovich: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you for expressing an interest in the event and for achieving success. Please, sit down but keep the microphone.

You said you are a student – what are you studying?

Matvei Khrolovich: Geospatial digital engineering.

Vladimir Putin: What it is you do exactly? It is difficult for me to even imagine…

Matvei Khrolovich: It is building 3D models using the data from maps and images taken by drones.

Vladimir Putin: To what end?

Matvei Khrolovich: They can be used practically everywhere, from agriculture to the defence sector.

Vladimir Putin: I understand. And you study agriculture and will work in this field, correct?

Matvei Khrolovich: We had an agricultural plot of land, took an image and drew a detailed map.

Vladimir Putin: Your college overall specialises in agricultural education, right?

Matvei Khrolovich: Yes, it is an agrotechnical college.

Vladimir Putin: Where in agriculture can such equipment be used?

Matvei Khrolovich: I think that if a local, Russian producer needs help in drafting maps, some geodesic information, we will be happy to help.

Vladimir Putin: You know… it is just a first signalling system response: if you simply wait for customers, you might have to wait for a long time. You should look for areas of potential use.

Matvei Khrolovich: Yes, we are ready to do it.

Vladimir Putin: You need to excite curiosity, spread information as much as you can and search for partners, this is what you should do. Not just create something interesting and appealing that might be sought-after. If nobody knowns about it, it would be difficult to promote these developments. People should know about them, and you should work on promoting them.

I will need to talk to my colleagues, including in this case [Minister of Agriculture] Mr Patrushev, and others. We just spoke with RosGeo, and they are very much interested. We should help them promote these ideas and developments.

Matvei Khrolovich: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.


Ivan Vasilyenov: Good afternoon, Mr President.

My name is Ivan Vasilyenov. This championship is the first major event where I have seen such a lot of innovative equipment. In principle, everything has been arranged here very well. I enjoyed taking part in this kind of event very much.

I would like to ask a question. The championship is being held in eight competencies in the most promising areas. Which of them do you think will enjoy the greatest demand in the future?

Vladimir Putin: You see, we have recently made an arrangement with the Government that it will create a special agency to determine the most in-demand competencies and professions. Everything is changing so rapidly, and we need new competencies to deal with these changes. The planned government agency will revise these preferences every five years.

This also concerns what your colleague, the one on your right, has said just now about agribusiness and everything related to it, including genetics and agrarian and other subjects such as self-driving vehicles, robotics, high technology in the broad meaning of the word, artificial intelligence, big data, and so on.

However, I would like to repeat that the Government will update the list every five years.

Ivan Vasilyenov: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: You are welcome.

Please, go ahead.

Dmitry Shleg: Good afternoon, Mr President.

My name is Dmitry Shleg and I am from the Novgorod Region.

Today many colleges have modern equipment and laboratories, but the buildings themselves are often below the mark. Many students who come from far away live in poor conditions.

I know that schools are being renovated now. Is it possible to plan a renovation programme for colleges and dormitories?

Vladimir Putin: We have a construction and renovation programme for schools.

(Addressing Sergei Kravtsov) How many of them have been renovated, two thousand?

Sergei Kravtsov: Yes, two thousand.

Vladimir Putin: And we plan to renovate nearly 6,000 more in the next three years.

As for colleges, the financial aspect of their functioning is above all the responsibility of regional governments. There is a relevant programme in the Novgorod Region, as the governor has told me just now.

(Addressing Andrei Nikitin) How many dormitories have you renovated? Will you carry on with this project?

Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin: We will renovate four dormitories this year and 10 by 2026, if we receive federal support, of course.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, the federation and the federal budget are there to offer their support. We are about to complete the programme targeting schools. I think that we will definitely continue this work, and in fact we are doing this by supporting the regions. After all, there is currently a lot of demand for training specialists at vocational training colleges because the economy and the industrial sector really need specialists of this kind, and they must be well prepared for their jobs and use the latest equipment during their studies.

Of course, despite its fundamental importance, good equipment is not enough for a valuable experience. I am talking about the buildings hosting these institutions. Young people must benefit from an adequate living environment, there is no question about it. This will be our objective. But let us recall Lomonosov: he travelled by foot, or so they say. He did not take the metro, or a plane, but walked on his way to acquiring new knowledge. This does not mean that everyone must be doomed to living in shabby shacks just because this was the way Lomonosov lived. We understand this and will gradually move towards resolving this issue.

We have just attended the opening of a major and very good centre in Kaluga which is expected to train 10,000 specialists per year. We will open more centres of this kind moving forward. Of course, we will discuss this from a regional perspective with my colleagues, even though we already pay a lot of attention to this matter. Still, we have a lot to accomplish here.

Dmitry Shleg: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: What are you studying?

Dmitry Shleg: My degree programme at the Novgorod Construction College is titled Construction and Operation of Buildings and Structures.

Vladimir Putin: Construction. Do you know about the rapid expansion that has been going on in your sector lately? We achieved an all-time high in housing construction: never before neither during the Soviet era, nor in the post-Soviet period, have we had so much construction – never. And we have every reason to expect another record-high performance this year, and a very positive result next year too.

And construction does not boil down to housing. There are also industrial sites and road construction. This is a very interesting profession. It can shape a vocation and a destiny: some choose to be doctors, others to build something. These are the most noble causes. This goes to say that you made a very good choice.

I wish you every success.

Dmitry Shleg: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Is that it?

Once again, congratulations on your performance.

The minister said that St Petersburg will host another major competition under the Professionals brand in the second half of November, in late November, in fact. Maybe some of you will also apply for it and I have no doubt that some of you will win this competition in St Petersburg.

Once again, congratulations. I wish you all the best.

Take care, you guys.


September 21, 2023, Veliky Novgorod