Skoltech and the Russian branch of tech giant Philips formally agreed on Thursday to launch a joint research initiative in the areas of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for healthcare applications.

The two organizations, represented by Skoltech President Alexander Kuleshov and Philips Russia/CIS General Director Maxim Kuznetsov, signed an agreement to this effect on the main stage of the Skolkovo Startup Village indicating their willingness to work together on a series of R&D projects.

The agreement highlights two image analytics projects – in particular, segmentation and image translation in major medical modalities – and two projects related to the smart analysis of medical records using natural language processing.

Maxim Fedorov, Director of the Skoltech Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science (CDISE) said: “Skoltech has created optimal conditions for scientific development at a high level, in addition to providing training in innovation activities. The projects of our employees and students have tremendous potential for solving key scientific and technological problems in Russia and around the world. We are pleased to work with Philips as the company’s medical and IT solutions are broadly recognized and utilized in the work of medical institutions around the world. Our partnership will enable Skoltech students to gain practical experience working with healthcare projects and contributing to the development of advanced medical technologies.”

Maxim Kuznetov, CEW of Philips Russia, said: “Scientific cooperation and the development of digital healthcare is a priority for Philips Russia. That’s why we want to attract the brightest minds from Skoltech to projects at our research laboratory at Skolkovo. This partnership with Skoltech, a world-class institute, will give a serious boost to the development of innovations in the Russian health sector. We anticipate that our cooperation will contribute to attracting, developing and regaining young talent, and will pave the way to numerous achievements in the field of medicine and healthcare.”

This marks a concrete step forward following the announcement in October that Skoltech and Philips Russia planned to work together on projects at the convergence of AI and medical imaging. At the Skolkovo Open Innovations Forum, the organizations said that they planned to work together to create opportunities for Skoltech students to conduct cutting edge research in niche areas ranging from predictive modeling of health conditions to automated analyses of diagnostic images, all under the supervision of scientists and faculty members from Philips and Skoltech, respectively.

At last year’s Startup Village, Philips opened a lab at the Skolkovo innovation center.

The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university situated on the outskirts of the Russian capital. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech cultivates a new generation of researchers and entrepreneurs, promotes advanced scientific knowledge and fosters innovative technology to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Skoltech applies the best Russian and international research and educational practices, with particular emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. Skoltech’s model leverages on the integration of basic and applied research and education. The Institute’s close link with the industrial and business ecosystem fosters frontier research and generates a flow of innovative solutions for the benefit of the Russian economy.

Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2016 sales of EUR 17.4 billion and employs approximately 70,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

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