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Vladimir Potanin Supports Leading Russian Scientists To Propel Fundamental Research of Human Brain in Russia

Vladimir Potanin donated 500 million rubles ($6.7ml) to the groundbreaking project, aimed for creation of smart materials with pre-programmed properties, allowing development of conceptually new technologies. The project envisages establishment of a brand new laboratory in Russia, the Laboratory of Programmable Functional Materials, and will be carried out under the leadership of the Nobel laureate Konstantin Novoselov.

Originally conceived in 2020, the new Laboratory will become the first one at the Brain and Consciousness Research Center. The main goal of the Center is to obtain fundamental knowledge about the functioning of the human brain, the nature of consciousness and development of related technologies. The Center is headed by Professor Tagir Aushev, a Russian scientist working in the field of fundamental physics.

Programmable Functional Materials Lab will study two-dimensional materials, including graphene, to create smart materials and to develop on their basis conceptually new technologies, in particular, these materials will be used to develop new approaches to neuromorphic computing, high-sensitivity sensors and brain-computer interfaces.

In a new format of charitable donations, established business players will support the fundamental Russian science and its development, which has traditionally been supported by the federal and state budgets only. The donation by Vladimir Potanin will cover expenses of the laboratory for the first 5 years of its activity.

The creation of the Novoselov Laboratory opens a new page in the development of Russian fundamental science, when promising research works are funded by private business.

Vladimir Potanin commented: «We live in the era of artificial intelligence, the emergence of new, absolutely fantastic materials and technologies, and it is very important that Russia remains in the forefront of this strategic direction of science. Thus, we create an important foundation for the future for our country and for the Russians. Future generations will be able to translate this new knowledge into technology for the real economy.»