Made in Skolkovo

You can do moreVitaly Shustikov

08/12/2013 15:04

Series of publications "Innovation of the Future" on Russian inventors. Our current character — a member of the project "Skolkovo" companyDATADVANCE, The program complex Macros, which is now successfully used in the aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Sergey Morozov, CEO DATADVANCE

Moscow courtyard in a quiet area Pokrovki — right here, relatively close to the Institute for Information Transmission Problems (IPPI), Russian Academy of Sciences, one of the leading mathematical institutes of the world, is the office of DATADVANCE, which, as they say, many European trade magazines, made a breakthrough in computer-aided design of aircraft. "Well, it’s not so much about how to automate the design of aircraft as a whole — modestly says CEO DATADVANCE Sergey Morozov — we are talking about automating and accelerating the engineering calculations, which is achieved by combining in one product of two large areas of mathematics: Data Mining and numerical optimization. "

— Sergey, let’s start from the beginning. How did your company and as Airbus become your client?
— It all began at the turn of 2002-2003, when the Institute for Information Transmission Problems and the International Research Institute of Control, which then worked the majority of our employees have to interact with Airbus and other parts of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Group (EADS). Commissioned by the Aircraft Corporation, our scientists and engineers have completed more than 20 different research projects, including projects to develop software. One of the projects focused on the development of data mining algorithms and optimization. The project was successfully completed in September 2009. The results formed the basis of the program complex MACROS, for the development and commercialization of which is already in January 2010, the company was founded DATADVANCE.

The next landmark moment in our history — is getting into the project "Skolkovo". We were one of the first people to believe in the idea of the "Skolkovo". Back in the spring of 2010, we began to prepare to receive resident status, where only recently talked about the innovation center. And in December 2010, we got the certificate of resident IT cluster "Skolkovo" — the fourth in a row. After about six months, we have received a grant from the "Skolkovo" in the amount of EUR 1.2 million — the same amount under the terms of the grant has invested in us and EADS.

— Sergey, I have always believed that the Fund "Skolkovo" was created to help young start-ups that do not have their own funds for development. But you have come to the fund is a solid company with a client base.
— When we came to the project "Skolkovo", we have not been "a solid company." We have just started our business: we had a prototype of the product and starting several customers interested in it. It took us more than three years of hard work to companies such as Airbus, Eurocopter, Astrium, Areva, IHI, and many others, have become our clients. The benefits offered to its own residents Fund "Skolkovo", were very important to us, and then, in 2010, and now.

— What are these benefits?
— First of all, this is the opportunity to interact with companies close to us the profile. For example, we are now actively working with one of our colleagues in the IT cluster "Skolkovo" by Fidesys, which is developing a package for structural analysis, and together we make an integrated solution for the analysis and design optimization. Second, thanks to the Fund "Skolkovo" the company was able to establish contacts and business relationships with a number of very important clients, including such giants as AvtoVAZ and KamAZ. A further important advantage of the tax benefits are that it is very important for start-ups. Finally, thanks to the fund, we have become more apparent in the professional community, in the media sphere.

— The question of the media sphere. Please explain to me, humanities, which needs your software system?
— Our package is designed for the automation of engineering design, analysis and optimization. Imagine that you, for example, you want to design a new wing for the new aircraft, which has a lower mass and better aerodynamic efficiency. To solve this problem you need to spend a lot of hours of aero ¬ dynamic and structural calculations, changing the shape of the wing and its internal structure — the design parameters. Our package allows, first, to automate this process by linking together the geometrical and computational models. Second, using the package can automatically build a simplified, accurate and fast simulation models, replacing "expensive" in terms of computation time the original model. Finally, MACROS automatically in the shortest time to find the optimal design parameters, ie, the optimum shape and structure of the wing. All this can significantly reduce the time and cost of designing and find non-trivial designs with better performance. I note that realized in MACROS methods of data analysis and optimization of adaptive — they adjust to address the task, using the information you can get about the task during its solutions. And the user does not need a deep knowledge of details of the algorithms and methods for their settings.

— Sergey, and if calculations showing what savings time is the use of your software system?
— I will answer your question with a quote from the official press release Airbus: «The use of MACROS in the design of aircraft to reduce the time and cost of the work by about 10%." It seems to be a little bit, but it’s looking to compare. For example, the development of military transport aircraft Airbus A400M took 10 years! I note that some of the problems of designing our package can solve dozens of times faster than currently used software systems.

— Your method is only suitable for the aircraft or whether it also applies to other industries?
— Our product MACROS fairly universal. Use it to solve problems in various fields. For example, right now MACROS successfully used in the automotive, turbomachinery, shipbuilding and in the design of radio ¬ electronic equipment. Typically, after a two-day training course users — engineers, designers, analysts — are able to solve quite complex problems on their own. We also provide consulting engineering services, ie solve customer problems of designing some of its "turnkey".

— What areas are promising for the implementation of your software system?
— First of all, it’s all the machinery industry — our native aerospace sector, heavy engineering, railways, shipbuilding, nuclear sector. Some interest in our product exhibit pharmaceutical companies — our data analysis techniques have been very effective for modeling the properties of molecules, for example to predict the solubility of certain molecules in water and fats. In general, computer simulation techniques promise to make a real revolution in medicine and pharmacology — imagine that scientists no longer need to spend time and resources to test new drugs on animals and humans, it is enough just to test on a computer model of the person. Another promising direction in which we operate — is the modeling and design of new living systems. For example, the creation of computer models of plant seeds and optimization of the process of obtaining hybrids for the production of plants with desired properties.

— The way of the future. What is the future of the Russian school of mathematics? You already feel the competition from Indian and Chinese counterparts?
— Well, we did not do a standard banking or financial system for a regular pattern. Therefore, competition with the Indians or the Chinese have not. In terms of mathematics, our specialists are still head a
nd shoulders above the known competitors. Still, the level of teaching of the Soviet school of mathematics gave a more in-depth training.

— We know that you yourselves are actively collaborating with universities.
— Indeed, we, together with the Institute for Information Transmission Problems discovered in MIPT his department — the Department of predictive modeling and optimization. We recruit five to seven students from the third year and are being trained specialists "for themselves."

— So much felt understaffed?— The personnel problem is quite acute. Really good people a little, and they is a real game. We take part in it, not only offering competitive salary, but also an interesting job and career prospects. And, as I said earlier, we are preparing specialists "under him" on his chair at the Physical-Technical Institute.

— Sergey, you have a very unusual company. Many Russian companies dream to break into the West, and the other hand you want to break from the West back to Russia …
— Yes, that’s for sure — we originally started with the international market, and are now trying to bring the western experience in our country. On the one hand, it is very difficult, since many are not prepared to take innovative products. It takes a long time to bring the potential benefits of the introduction of our product — much more time than in the case of foreign companies. This is largely due to the fact that the methods of computer modeling, calculation and analysis are just beginning to take root in Russian enterprises. But, on the other hand, this is very interesting, as the Soviet and Russian engineering school is different from the Western one. For us, this is a new experience that we are already beginning to use the international market.

— I suspect that AvtoVAZ was just one of many such "difficult" customers …
— You should not being sarcastic. After AvtoVAZ has become part of the concern "Renault-Nissan", was held serious modernization, have been used modern methods and design tools. We are just completing a pilot project for AvtoVAZ, and we hope that the introduction and use of our product will further improve the quality of projected machines and shorten their development.

Going back to the previous question, I want to note that in the international market, we are also actively developing. Most recently, in June, we opened an office in Munich, close to the automotive industry in Germany. In addition we have an office in Toulouse, France, the center of the aerospace industry.

— You are not very tempted to go to the West?
— Opportunities for emigration, I had very much. And at the time I was offered to the students to move to the West, and is now called. But all the time I refused and refuse. Why? Because I believe that you can do more. There are more prospects. There are more opportunities for self-realization.

Successful projects

Engine construction, automotive, telecommunications, shipbuilding, aerospace and aeronautics— Not a complete list of where the software has been successfully used Datadvance. Here are just a few of the most prominent projects:

Determination of the optimal shape of the airplane family. By means of the Datadvance in the department of planning stages Airbus solved the problem to determine the optimal shape of a family of three aircraft. The optimization criteria were the maximum take-off weight, the weight of the fuel and operating costs for each of the aircraft family, a total of 9 criteria.

Design (optimizable) was geometry parameters of the wing, engine parameters, etc. — only a few dozen parameters. Also, the problem was a few tens of constraints, such as the length of the runway, the speed at takeoff and landing, the parameters of the cruising mode, etc. Using a unique method of multi-objective optimization, is available in the package MACROS, the problem was solved: were found for each configuration of the aircraft family, satisfying the design constraints, which have the characteristics of a 10-20 percent better than the original configuration.

In some cases the use of MACROS can reduce the time to optimize the times: for example, a taskminimize the weight of the composite wing panelsA350XWB.

Very beautiful story: the task ofminimize the weight of the side of the carFormula-1for the team Force India. It was necessary to minimize the mass of one of the most difficult parts car, subject to limitations of strength (panel must withstand side impact given force).

Through mathematical modeling unable to choose the correct configuration of the layers of the composite material without loss of strength at 10% reduction in weight of the panel.

The geometry optimization of the last stage blades of steam turbine: Meter blade with damper bonds rather complex geometry. The aim was to increase the efficiency of the blade. "We started with paper drawings of the existing turbine, built a three-dimensional model, automated calculation, carried out optimization using our package — we solved the problem of" turnkey ". The customer was surprised with the result — we managed to raise the efficiency level of 6%! "- Enthusiastically talks about his next victory Sergei Morozov.

The technology, which was developed by Datadvance, has been recognized in such Russian and international corporations and companies like Airbus, Eurocopter, Astrium (group EADS), IHI (Japanese Culture concern Heavy Engineering), Air Liquide (the world’s largest manufacturer of cryogenic gas), "Telum" ( Russian telecom startup), Areva (the French "Rosatom"), "The Ural Turbine Works". The company’s portfolio — collaboration with CNES (French National Space Agency), «Rolls-Royce», «MTU Aero Engines» and «Snecma» (in the framework of European projects), Limagrain (one of the largest seed companies in Europe), High Performance Engineering (automotive engineering company, one of the main contractors Ferrari), SPC "Peregrine Falcon", and some companies of the Russian military-industrial complex.

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