Russian Startups Create Smart Solutions for Smart Moscow

Moscow is one of the top five megalopolises, a smart city ready for innovation. Russian startups presented their digital solutions for smart cities at WCIT in Yerevan, Armenia.
Susan Fourtané
Smart Moscow ismagilov / iStock

It is not surprising that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) included Moscow in the top five megalopolises that are ready for innovation. In the first quarter of 2019, Moscow accounted for $587 million of the total Russian IT export volume, which in turn accounted to $1.2 billion.

According to Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Natalya Sergunina, Russia's main importers of metropolitan information technologies are the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland. 

Last year, Moscow launched a Living Lab district to test cutting-edge smart city technologies with citizens. The smart district, implemented in the Maryino district, is home to around 8,000 citizens. Selected residential buildings were equipped with 29 smart technologies including Smart Heating, Smart Lighting, Smart Surveillance, smart metering, eco-monitoring, smart waste-management

Moscow's first residential charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) was also installed in the smart district. Free fast Wi-Fi is available in the area. In order to ensure reliable connectivity despite weather conditions and other things that affect cables, all cables for Wi-Fi routers, security cameras, outdoor lighting were moved underground also contributing to the aesthetics of the city.

Additionally, developers can test IoT solutions within the smart district thanks to Russian telecom operator Beeline's test site using Ericsson's equipment in two stations on the service provider's Narrow Band (NB) IoT network. Each station enables connections up to 10,000 devices

"Moscow nowadays got a progressive digital ecosystem with the great level of coordination of different services, which is well unified in terms of infrastructure and user interaction," said Alexander Smbatyan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Moscow Agency of Innovations

He also said that "a lot of resources have been spent on optimizing a large number of bureaucratic processes, and this is done, among other things, through attracting young entrepreneurs through tools of open innovation such as hackathons, open requests, and so on."  

"The city also acts as the customer of a new product, and can play the role of the customer who is slightly ahead of his time and ahead of the market. Thanks to this, a lot of bold ideas have been realized in Moscow," Smbatyan said. 

Indeed. This month, Moscow presented over 100 perspective developments at the annual and industry-leading World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) hosted by Armenia in its capital city, Yerevan. 

Moscow is today one of the most technologically advanced megacities in the world. Its digital services penetrate almost all spheres of life of Moscovites helping them save time as well as simplifying citizens interaction with the city.

"On the portal (in Russian only), --the official portal for the Moscow Mayor and Moscow Government -- citizens can have more than 330 services. This opportunity is used by more than 80 percent of the economically active population of the capital," said Eduard Lysenko, Minister of the Government of Moscow and Head of the Department of Information Technology, speaking at the conference in Yerevan.  

Alexander Smbatyan said that "such initiatives are very important because they are about interdisciplinary and interdepartmental communication. The whole modern world is interdisciplinary. Innovation is born at the intersection of different disciplines and competences."

"Today, we consider the most promising companies to be those that help us realize our social function, improving the quality of life, and optimizing daily routine. For example, startups which allow you to unleash the potential of urban infrastructure that is in the city; or, medical startups that help unload the city in terms of providing medical services and solve the problem of early diagnosis of the disease," said Smbatyan. 

Russian Startups create smart solutions for the digital city 

Russian startups have been developing products or services that are in tune with the smart city future that is ahead. They stand out and were presenting their company at WCIT in Yerevan. Here is just a small sample: 


Botkin.Ai is the world's first product for the analysis of medical images using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The system detects lung cancer with an accuracy of 95 percent, and pneumonia in 99 percent of cases. Botkin.Ai is Artificial Intelligence with medical knowledge. 


Profilum is an urban vocational guidance system that helps high school students choose a future profession and navigate the possibilities of urban infrastructure for the development of their talents.

This year, more than 70,000 students have built their paths of professional development with 100 students undergoing internships in high-tech companies in the city of Moscow. Profilum is a resident of the Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University.


Genotek (in Russian only) is a leading genetic company in Eastern Europe responding to international standards. Leading specialists in the field of bioinformatics, genetics, and medicine use the most advanced equipment for various molecular genetic studies, DNA isolation, and analysis directed to consumer genetic testing, hereditary disease diagnostic, and clinical trials. 

Genotek helps in disease prevention, treatment in early stages, and longevity. DNA testing can determine risk for disease development, supports children planning, and provides insights on health. Consumers can choose a screening of inherited pathologies from separate mutations to exome analysis. Genotek's core product Health and Longevity searches for mutations that increase the likelihood of both critical and non-critical illnesses. 

According to Genotek, one ninth of Russians have at least one life-threatening genetic mutation. Genotek also finds that five to 10 percent of cancer is hereditary, 0,4 percent of the population has mutations that lead to cardiovascular disease, and between 0,5 to 5 percent of the population has mutations that increase the risk of thrombosis. The early detection of these problems means that 100 percent of the population can use more effective drugs targeting the problem by taking genetic factors into account.

According to Genotek, after the genetic test identifies a disease that the customer is exposed to with higher risk the customer receives recommendations on prophylactics of the specific disease. With regular check-ups and a personal examination plan it is then possible to prevent diseases from development in early stages. This contributes to the longevity of the customer and a better quality of life as a healthy and active individual.

Diagnosing hereditary diseases

According to Genotek, over 4,650 inherited diseases have very similar symptoms and can only be found with DNA testing. One third of these diseases can only be determined by examining the maximum number of genetic points. 

Startups globally are changing the way businesses interact with each other and with consumers. Startups become global and international quickly thanks to the diversity of their employees who join forces and knowledge creating a richer working environment.

"In the modern world of a creative economy, knowledge has become a single language, a paradigm in which companies from different countries can interact regardless of the political and social context," said Alexander Smbatyan.

According to Smbatyan, "Moscow also contributes to the development of the export potential of Russian companies, although Russia, unlike Israel, where many companies were initially oriented at the global level, many of us focus only on the Russian market, since it is quite capacious in itself. In this regard, it is not always possible to quickly reorient and it is very important for is that companies are able and understand that they can scale and possess all the necessary tools for this."

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