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A region of 1,000 inventions

In addition to a great historical and cultural heritage, the Nizhny Novgorod region is a key center for Russian industry, renowned for engineering and scientific innovation.

Mars 2000 is no normal boat. Able to move on water, land, snow and even ice, this dream machine would be fit for James Bond himself.

Inside, one can find all the usual features of a car, but it's made from the same material as a helicopter and moves on water like a boat – this invention from experts in Nizhny Novgorod is something special.

This hovercraft is able to take on all kinds of weather and all kinds of surfaces – all thanks to the ability to manually change the pressure of the balloon floats outside, meaning bumps, slopes and even mounds of snow pose no problem.

According to Sergey Italyantsev, director general of Aks shipbuilding company, the hovercraft is used for sea patrol, transportation around oil rigs and by coastal units – and not only in Russia.

“We’ve had sales in Finland, Norway, Africa and India – so geographically the demand is quite wide. What makes our hovercraft different is the skirt around the outside which provides more stability and an amphibian-like quality,” Italyantsev says.

And it is not reserved for governmental or commercial use – you too could buy one for a mere €50,000.

This is one example of many inventions originating from the Nizhny Novgorod region – a place renowned for its engineering and scientific innovation. Over the past five years, more than 1,000 inventions have been registered and patented here.

Among this number is a robot named Obereg – meaning savior in English.

Small and unassuming, this machine has three sensors, along with an infrared night camera, and can get around obstacles with ease, giving it a huge advantage when it comes to saving lives.

“The robot can search for humans trapped by avalanches, earthquakes and other emergency situations by detecting the electromagnetic signal given off by their watch or mobile phone. It doesn’t need any human help, and can pick up the signal through steel, cement, ice, mud etc,” inventor Alexey Budanin, who is also a student of radio technical college, says.

This signal is then sent to a computer to be analyzed.

The brainchild of science students in Nizhny Novgorod, Obereg's powers aren’t limited to finding people. Plans are underway to develop it to identify explosive devices and, it is hoped, could eventually be used in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks.

The robot’s potential has sparked interest as far as in Scandinavia and India. So while Obereg might not look much to the untrained eye, this invention from Nizhny Novgorod could soon be saving lives across the world.

The IT sector is also gaining momentum in the region, as Professor Viktor Gergel, dean of the software department, University of Nizhny Novgorod testifies.

“About ten years ago, Intel established their department in Nizhny Novgorod. Ever since, the information technology plays a very important role in the life of Nizhny Novgorod, which is often referred to as ‘the IT capital of Russia’,” Gergel told RT.

Watch Gergel's interview


Vladimir Bogdanov, head of Intel Corporation’s Nizhny Novgorod branch, shared the secret of why his company chose Nizhny Novgorod as its home in Russia.

“Well, briefly, it was mainly for money. A city well-known for its universities and science is not far from Moscow, but the labor costs are quite reasonable,” Bogdanov said, adding that his company “has plans to grow in Nizhny Novgorod in the nearest future.”

Watch Bogdanov's interview


Dr Dennis Khomitsky, Director of Science at Nizhny Novgorod University, is proud to note that for many years now his university has been achieving top-level results in some areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology, many of which have been adapted by industry giants such as Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas and oil monopoly.

Watch Khomitsky's interview