London, 26 November 2018– The QEII Centre today hosted the annual Russian–British Business Forum (RBBF). This was the fourth such event to take place, and as in previous years, brought together the business communities from the two nations and created a platform to hold discussions, unveil developments by Russian companies, and sign bilateral agreements. This year's event took place under the theme 'Partnership in Innovation', and focused on non-commodity exports, digitalization across various industries, the latest technologies, practices in fintech, and expanding trade in services.
"The pervasion of innovative technology in everyday life has changed the work we all do at the very core. The numerous projects we have in the IT sector are becoming an important driving force for the Russian economy's competitiveness, and for its rapid transition to a digital pathway. This is perfectly demonstrated by the ideas and developments coming out from young Russian companies such as Center 2M, Gettransfer, and Heedbook, which are geared towards the global market, and attracting interest from British organizations. Innovative technologies are becoming an increasingly integral part of the agenda for economic cooperation between Russia and Great Britain, and we intend to continue to aid this process," said Boris Abramov, Trade representative of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom.
Center 2M's machine vision solution was one of the main developments to be unveiled at the forum. The product, called CenterVision, was created in collaboration with IBM's team in Russia. This new solution makes use of PowerAI Vision by IBM, enabling the system to be quickly installed at production sites for effective object recognition. Center 2M's commercial video analysis system uses neural networks to distinguish objects at commercial facilities with 98% accuracy. What's more, neural network training from scratch takes just a single day, and a new scenario takes 30 minutes.
"Business synergy is becoming a key model and a real factor for success. We have traversed a path which took us from small experimental scenarios to serious technological solutions. Our partnership with IBM has enabled us to create CenterVision in a remarkably short space of time. This unique product is capable of solving tasks of any kind, from perimetral analysis to integrated business logic and identifying abnormal behaviour," said Evgeny Miskevich, CEO of Center 2М.
Object recognition and video and image analysis technology is currently being used primarily in retail, logistics, and industrial safety. Video analysis using neural networks helps to monitor safety at the workplace (checking that appropriate protective clothing is being worn) and identify faults. It also allows for online monitoring of stock numbers on shelves or refrigerators, product display quality, foot traffic, and crowding. In logistics, the system is used to assess flow density and passenger transport load, and operate smart parking areas and barriers.
A number of other products and solutions by Russian companies were also unveiled at the forum. These included a VR/IoT rehabilitation platform by Motorica, and PharmMedPolis – a new development region in the Republic of Tatarstan. The event also featured a Made in Russia stand, run by the Skolkovo Foundation and the Russian Export Center – a state institution providing support for exporters and organizing business missions abroad. Visitors had the opportunity to learn about high-tech products from Russian companies in banking, customer service, the corporate IT sector, and tourism. More than 10 Russian companies were featured at the stand, including Lanit VC Group, Motorica, Heedbook, VidiGuide, and SwitchSales.