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This year, 740 applications were submitted for the competition. 36 projects reached the final, and 18 of them became winners.

Growing vegetables in the Far North, making safe household chemicals or teaching prostheses to better understand a person – all this is possible thanks to the developments of Moscow inventors. Two years ago, a prize was established for them “Novator of Moscow”… It involves the most ambitious projects in medicine, transport, information technology and others that are changing everyday life. Read about the innovations that received the award this year in the article.

“The main task of the Moscow Innovator Prize is to support talented inventors working in the capital and help them implement new technologies and developments. And innovators are really interested in that kind of support. This year, 740 applications were submitted for the competition, which is 1.5 times more than in 2020, “said the head of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the city of Moscow.

Alexey Fursin

Vertical farm: from garden to counter

One of the creators of vertical urban farming technology, iFarm, once developed a mobile game – a farm simulator. Then he found like-minded people and opened a small bio-vegetarium in Novosibirsk – a climatic greenhouse of a completely closed cycle. The first farm was opened in Novosibirsk, the second in 2020 in Moscow (in the Vnukovo district).

“The system is completely closed and does not depend on climatic conditions. Such a farm can be built and operated even in Norilsk, even in the Emirates. The production model of an urban greenhouse is valuable because greens and vegetables go directly to the consumer. Unlike the products of traditional agricultural complexes, ours is harvested absolutely ripe and is not processed by anything either in the process of growth, or in the process of transportation and storage, ”explains one of the project developers Oleg Kostenko.

Vertical farms use LED lighting, so the harvest is not affected by the weather. Plants are fed with water, into which the mortar mixes micro and macro elements necessary for development and growth. The water, which the plants did not absorb, passes the filters and again finds itself in a closed circuit. Thus, its costs are reduced tenfold compared to greenhouses. Another advantage is the maximum automation of processes and a reduction in manual labor.

Today, vertical farms mainly grow an assortment of salads and greens, such products bring the greatest profit. But under such conditions, hundreds of plant species can be grown, including flowers, strawberries, tomatoes with eggplants, and many other vegetables.

“Our farm allows those who know little about it to engage in agriculture. That is, you buy hardware and subscribe to monthly software payments. It runs and “looks after” your farm. For our part, we conduct constant testing of technologies and equipment, optimize cultivation maps, select optimal conditions for the climate. Each of our clients automatically receives the latest versions of software algorithms. And with the help of the application he plans everything: from planting seeds to selling products, ”explains Oleg Kostenko.

Soon, shops and restaurants will be able to place orders for the culture they want on a cloud platform that connects farms. And the owners of farms will grow it in the right amount and by a certain date, knowing exactly who, when and for what money will buy their product.

Detergents … made from vegetables and fruits

One of the leaders of innovations this year was recognized the project of environmentally friendly detergents Wonder Lab. Its developers have applied a completely new technology: they make their products on the basis of biomicrogels. And they are obtained from natural components: cellulose, pectin, starch, fructose, sucrose, agricultural and woodworking waste, such as apple, corn, sugar beet pulp, sunflower meal.

Initially, microgels were used in pharmaceuticals and medicine. They can envelop the drug and deliver it to the right place in the body, and then the shell dissolves completely. Russian scientists were able to make the technology mass-produced by inventing a method for the production of biomicrogels from plant components.

“Biomicrogels can envelop dirt particles and wash them off the surface. Moreover, within a day, 98 percent of the substance is completely decomposed. Having cleansed something, microgels do no harm to humans, animals or the environment, ”says CEO Igor Klimkin.

The main advantage of the development is the high rinse off of the funds. The laboratory staff examined the surface of the dishes washed with eco-products and the fibers of the washed fabrics under a microscope and with the help of spectrometers, and they did not find any films on them. The products have successfully passed environmental tests and tests, including a study for hypoallergenicity. Now the entire range of the company is undergoing the international eco-certification Ecolabel.

“For the last 30-50 years, no fundamentally new solutions have appeared in household chemicals. They are made from a certain list of components – it all depends on the proportions in which they are mixed. We invented and patented an innovative technology and confirmed its effectiveness at different levels, ”says Igor Klimkin.

Traditionally, in order for household chemicals to wash away pollution well, phosphates and phosphonates are used in it. But they negatively affect the state of the environment, disrupt the ecosystem of water bodies. “We do not use such substances, but due to the use of microgels, our products show high efficiency and perfectly wash away impurities,” explains Igor Klimkin.

Having learned that products based on microgels are completely washed off with water, groomers who care for pets turned to the developers. “They wanted a shampoo that wouldn’t harm the animals. Cats and dogs, no matter how you wipe them after washing, still lick themselves. The funds remaining on the skin, getting into the body, led to disorders and allergic reactions. Therefore, we have developed shampoos that are safe for animals, ”says the CEO of the company.

According to Igor Klimkin, the victory in Novator Moskvy gave even more confidence in his project and the opportunity to tell about the company’s achievements. “We use the funds received to undergo international environmental certification and register registrations to start export sales,” he notes.

Prostheses from the future

The developers of the Mio-Interface project set a goal to make hand prostheses smarter, faster and more comfortable. Today, along with cosmetic and mechanical prostheses, there are more and more bionic prostheses. But so far they are very far from those shown in science fiction films.

“With such a prosthesis, you cannot, for example, exchange a brush for a drill, it will not help you punch through walls or climb trees and buildings. Bionic prostheses are expensive, fragile and difficult to repair, so they are often more cherished than healthy hands, ”says project manager Bulat Aitbaev.

At the same time, most of these prostheses are weak: they do not even allow you to bring a package with purchases from the store, and also have a delay in signal recognition – they freeze, greatly annoying users. “Try to inject novocaine into your good hand, take pliers and take something out of your pocket with them. Similar sensations are often experienced by people with prostheses – they do not feel the fingers and can work with the prosthesis only in their field of vision. Feedback is usually completely absent, ”says the developer.

These problems are being solved by the development of innovators from the capital, who have created an electronic control system – the “brains” of the prosthesis. Its peculiarity is that the electrodes are not connected to the surface of the skin, as it was before, but directly to the nerve endings through the skin or bone. “The technology significantly increases the speed of signal recognition. If pressure sensors are installed on the prostheses, then when a person takes an object, they will transmit a signal to a special stimulator. It sends small electrical impulses to the nerve, imitating the tactile sensations from the fingers, “- said the representative of the project. According to him, the system can be configured individually for each person, and his brain will gradually learn to respond correctly to signals from technology.

Similar research is being carried out abroad, and the idea of ​​the Mio-Interface project is to create a solution that can be reproduced at Russian facilities. With minimal cost and maximum efficiency.

According to Bulat Aitbaev, they plan to complete research with laboratory animals in the near future. And scientists hope to prepare a prototype control system for prostheses within three years – this timeline is partly due to strict regulations for medical technology.

Winners of the Moscow Innovator Prize become authors of 18 projects. The amount of monetary remuneration for them varies from 500 thousand to 1.5 million rubles. The authors of 18 finalist projects were awarded honorable mentions.

The prize is awarded in three nominations: “Project of the Future” – for inventions that have a formalized innovative idea or a title of protection certifying authorship or the exclusive right to it; “Reality Changing” – for developments that already have a business model with market analysis and assessment of market attractiveness; “Leaders of innovations” – for projects, the implementation of which has repeatedly received revenue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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