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Field Trip


26 to 30 June


St. Petersburg, Russia




White Nights, IT, photonic technologies and robotics in St. Petersburg

Meeting point: St. Petersburg, International Airport

Details: Participants fly from Geneva to St. Petersburg. They need to bring a valid ID and a valid visa for Russia. It is not possible to buy this visa at the border crossing. We will secure visa invitation letters for the so-called humanitarian visa, which for the citizens of most countries is free and easier to obtain.Participants are advised to allow 20 working days for arranging the invitation and at least 7 days for the visa application process.

Number of participants: 5

Cost: Flights, local transport, hotel nights and most meals are covered by the organizers. Participants are asked to contribute CHF 250 to the overall cost, and they must make and pay for their own visa arrangements for Russia; a visa invitation letter will be provided by the organizer.

Organizer and sponsor:  ITMO University and a supporting consortium

Contact: Ekaterina Boglaeva (

ITMO University, the host of this trip, is the leading Russian university in the field of IT, photonic technologies and robotics. It is the alma mater of winners of top international programming competitions, clocking up a world record seven wins at the International Collegiate Programming Contest. The University carries out groundbreaking studies in such areas as translational IT, bioinformatics, quantum communication, nanophotonics, solution chemistry and advanced materials, to name but a few. It combines long standing traditions and a strong fundamental research basis with novel startup and entrepreneur initiatives. Nature magazine featured ITMO University in its Index of Rising Stars.

Participants on this trip will also visit Vavilov Federal Research Center, VIR, which is home to the world's most famous collection of cultivated plants and their wild relatives. It is a unique plant genetics research facility, a pioneer in plant genetic resource mobilization, conservation and use for over 100 years. Leading VIR researchers will present a range of classical and modern techniques of plant material preservation, study and employment in breeding.

Another highlight of the tour will be the Mendeleev Institute of Metrology, Russia's oldest and largest metrological institution responsible for the uniformity and accuracy of measurements. Once headed by the prominent Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev, the institute currently hosts several key national standards, such as those of weight, voltage, ohm, and many others. The institute plays a major role in the undergoing merger of seven metrological organisations into a single National Institute of Metrology, which will facilitate the integration of cutting-edge measurements into Russian science and industry.

During the trip, participants will also have a chance to take part in the 3rd Forum of Russian Science Communicators that will take place at ITMO University on 28 June


Tentative programme:

  • Wednesday 26 June: travel from Geneva to St. Petersburg, welcome dinner.
  • Thursday 27 June: visit to ITMO University labs and other research institutions.
  • Friday 28 June: visit to ITMO University labs, participation in the 3rd Forum of Russian Science Communicators.
  • Saturday 29 June: visit to St. Petersburg research institutions and hi-tech companies, social programme.
  • Sunday 30 June: return to Geneva from St. Petersburg.
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