Wednesday, September 19, 2018

UrFU holds press conference on development of Russian technology

Officials from Ural Federal University held a press conference Monday at Itar-Tass' Ural press center to discuss its plans to decrease the country's dependance on technology imports through the development of its own high-tech programs

The press conference was led by Sergey Kortov, UrFU's Vice-Rector for Innovations and High Technologies. During the press event, Kortov disclosed that UrFU scientists recently received a large federal grant as part of the Russian government's "Research and development on priority directions of scientific-technological complex of Russia for 2014-2020."

Kortov and his team of UrFU researchers will use a portion of the $7.8 million grant to create a pilot program to extract rare earth metals. An additional $7.8 million will be furnished to UrFU by Moscsow's Energy Technology company for the project.

The extraction of rare earth metals will not only provide raw materials for the creation of electronic devices, but will require new technologies to be developed for use in the extraction process. Current estimates show that thousands of tons of metals including scandium and uranium will be acquired during the project reducing the country's dependance on rare earth metal imports from China.

In preparation for the rare earth metals extraction expedition, Kortov and his team of scientists have been working with pharmacologists and chemists from the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences to test the medicinal uses of such rare metal products as Triazavirin. Triazavirin is produced at the Medsintex factory in Novouralsk and contains about 800 biologically active molecules as well as elements found in rare earth samples. Kortov hopes that the global patenting of new medicines will mark a new economic frontier for Russia.

Other preliminary projects overseen by UrFU which will be greatly enhanced by the extraction of rare earth metals involved in the Regional Engineering Center's 3-D printing program, which utilizes rare earth powders to render its final products. The center's laser programs also rely on rare earth elements. As the UrFU Cyclotron Nuclear Medicine Center nears completion, a group of Kortov's scientists are preparing to begin creating a radiation detection system for cancer and cardiovascular diseases as well as other radiopharmaceutical products.