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Known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Education in Information Technologies (ITAPO), the initiative aims tosupport the development of the skills of existing specialists and the training of new engineers that are using or developing modern information technologies as well as providing certification, PR and marketing skills, and more.
The project has been hailed as one ofthe best new innovative projects within the IT cluster as announced by Eugene Elin, chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee for Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Trade, at the city’s IX Small Business Forum earlier this month.
ITAPO is the result of the integration of teaching, research and industrial sites intoa single, unified educational centerand was created as a joint project between RUSSOFT and the St. Petersburg branch of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. ITAPO consists of faculties, each of which is based on the activity of a leading company in the field. Companies which have so far confirmed their participation in the project include the EMC development center, Exigen Services, Lanit-Tercom, D-Link, Digital Design, the Unix Education Center, First Line Software, and SoftJoys. The non-profit CIO club and MIT Enterprise Forum of Russia are also involved in the project.
Maria Chernobrovkina, Executive Director of the St. Petersburg branch of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, said, “The American Chamber of Commerce includes a large number of multinational IT companies, and for the past few years the problem of a shortage in skilled IT professionals has been raised at Chamber meetings. Representatives of the companies noted that the level of even the best university graduates do not always keep pace with the rapidly changing technological realities. To solve this problem a number of member companies have put forward an initiative to establish an academy of postgraduate IT education with the intention of actively participating in the academy as a training ground, and as customers.”
The project is expected to reduce the deficit of highly qualified personnel and is to have a significant impact on the socio-economic life of St. Petersburg, contributing to its transformation into an IT city.
According to Valentin Makarov, President of the RUSSOFT association of software developers,
“Training is a matter of life and death for the members of RUSSOFT. In the face of an increasing demographic shortfall it is absolutely necessary to take all possible measures to dramatically improve the quality of both university graduates and professionals with experience. The creation of the Academy is a good example of a genuine public-private partnership in the interests of all sectors of the city.”