Finnish-Russian University Cooperation in Telecommunication

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FRUCT (Finnish-Russian University Cooperation in Telecommunication)
TypeOpen Innovations Association
IndustryIT, ICT, Wellbeing solutions[clarification needed]
FounderSergey Balandin, Jarkko Paavola, Evgeniy Krouk
Number of locations
St-Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Yaroslavl, Moscow
Area served
  • Finland
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • India
Key people
Sergey Balandin (President)
ServicesR&D in mHealth, LBS-services, IoT, Smart Spaces, Mobile solutions[clarification needed], Cooperation of industry and academia, Sailfish OS
SubsidiariesCommunities of E-WeREST group (East-West Research and Education Society on Telecommunications)

The Finnish-Russian University Cooperation in Telecommunication (FRUCT) is an independent Open Innovation Association developing ICT R&D ecosystem of Russia and Finland. In the beginning association was oriented on technologies of Nokia corporation. Association is known for its educational and R&D activities focused on improvement of the innovation ecosystem of Russia and Finland, competitiveness of the graduate students and development of cooperation between universities and industrial research groups.


History of FRUCT Association started in 2007 when Sergey Balandin (Principal Scientist of Nokia Research Center), Eugeny Krouk (Professor of Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation) and Jarkko Paavola (Professor of University of Turku) agreed to create joint work group to increase relevance and quality of students' research by involving IT and ICT experts from academia and industry to supervision of the projects.[1] From the beginning FRUCT attracted attention of the regional media.[2] The first seminar of the work group[3] was held in St. Petersburg in May 2007, where the group was reorganized into the independent informal open innovations community. FRUCT Association is voluntary community that combines R&D forces of its members using Open Innovations principles to create critical mass of competences and world-class competitive results.[4]
Nowadays more than twenty teams from universities of Russia, Finland, Ukraine and Denmark, Research Institute of RAS, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks have joined FRUCT Association. The Association is represented and managed by companies FRUCT LLC (Russia) and FRUCT Oy (Finland). FRUCT Association is an official partner of IEEE Communications Society[5] and a member of European Connected Health Alliance.[6]


FRUCT Association is an incubator of competences and new businesses developed in research cooperation of universities and industry. The main aim of FRUCT projects is gradual establishment of cooperation and long-term partnership between the member teams.[7] FRUCT Association actively involves in research process undergraduates and PhD students,[8] helps in formation of research communities in IT and ICT areas and promotes prestige of research career among young people. In most of FRUCT projects undergraduates and PhD students are the main developers, who solve problems with help and supervision of academia and industrial experts.
The set of activities is targeted to create the complete innovation cycle for competence and business development. The cycle starts by identification of the most promising research topics based on public information about long-term research vision and priorities of industrial leaders. Depending on the problem scale and long-team importance of the topic, FRUCT creates working group or project team to address it. Each group and project team is formed as a distributed R&D consortium with clear definition of member roles. The teams solve scientific and technological tasks based on own vision and industrial requests. Administratively project team members belong to regional FRUCT laboratories. FRUCT laboratories are organized at regional FRUCT universities. Most of the laboratory members are official employees of universities, which most of time working for FRUCT projects. After the required level of competences is gained the team either organizes innovation startup or start large research project by using regional and cross-border grants.

Support of research[edit]

Open training on Smart-M3, at the 8th FRUCT conference in Lappeenranta

Ideas of FRUCT projects can be originated by university professors and industrial experts. In this case the project initiator takes obligation to be the project supervisor. Also undergraduate and PhD students can propose topics of new projects. Student proposals are reviewed and commented by FRUCT advisory board. The preference is given to proposals that have large R&D potential and project targeted in development of practical applications and innovative software-hardware solutions.[buzzword] For approved proposals FRUCT appoints supervisors and scientific advisors.
Accepted FRUCT projects can apply for support to cover part of direct implementation expenses, e.g., traveling to conferences, books, purchases of hardware, etc. The best students are recommended to take part in various contests, grant and scholarship programs, etc. The project progress should be presented twice a year at FRUCT conferences. Project progress update consists of a report in form of conference paper, presentation and training or demo when applicable. As a result of each project at least one paper should be published in the proceedings of an international conference or journal. FRUCT conference has its own proceedings and the best papers from them are recommended for IEEE and journals publication. In addition, for papers accepted to publication in the recommended conferences, the main student author can apply for a grant to cover related travel expenses. Such travel grants are provided by FRUCT industrial members, e.g., Nokia Corporation.

Support of education[edit]

Openining of 3rd FRUCT conference, St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, 2008

Actualization and renewal of education is the key priority of FRUCT association. Association regularly organizes open free of charge conferences, trainings and special courses.[9] The main FRUCT conferences are organized twice a year - in the last week of April (in Russia) and second week of November (in Finland). The conference program consists of technological trainings, lectures of world-class IT and ICT experts, reports of FRUCT teams and demos of developed solutions.[buzzword][10][11][12] The conference length is 5 days, including days for trainings and developer contests.[13] Accepted conference papers are published in proceedings (ISSN 2305-7254), which are also available for free download at FRUCT site.[14]
FRUCT organizes free-of-charge winter and summer schools (duration 1–3 weeks). Main topics of the schools are chosen accordingly with the industrial trends and regional FRUCT teams priorities. FRUCT cooperates and is a partner in many international educational programs such as PERCCOM.[15] Active academic exchange between association members is used for popularizations of new disciplines and courses, plus organization of open lectures.[16] When it is appropriate the academic course is transformed to intensive 3–7 days course. With the help of the industrial partners best students are getting material support to participate in such programs. FRUCT supporting development of the exchange programs between FRUCT member universities. For example, international master programs in IT field of Tampere University of Technology and Erasmus Mundus NordSecMob of Aalto University.

Professional communities[edit]

FRUCT supports development and coordinates work of 4 professional communities: Russian Mobile Linux Community,[17] Russian Qt community,[18] Regional mobile Healthcare (m-Health) community[19] and regional IoT and Smart Spaces community «Are You Smart».[20] The network of professional communities is implemented by FRUCT subsidiary E-WeREST (acronym of East-West Research and Education Society on Telecommunications). Regional activities of E-WeREST communities are coordinated by FRUCT labs at PetrSU,[21] LETI,[22] YarSU,[23] NNGU, SUAI and other universities.

FRUCT start-up projects[edit]

Video of Mobile Diagnostics Device of FRUCT team (project application), winner of Skolkovo M.D. 2012 contest
  1. Mobile diagnostics device — the project is focused on development of advanced device for mobile telemonitoring of 9 key life parameters and methods of early diagnostics of health problems on top of them.[24] The target solution[buzzword] will provide interaction with wide spectrum of biosensors using IEEE 11073 standard and a number of proprietary protocols.[25] The key principle is to simultaneously monitor multiple health parameters and use modern means and methods (examined and approved by the medical community) for enhanced diagnostics of human condition.[26][27] The project is a winner of Skolkovo M.D. contest[28][29]
    In November 2012 the 2nd regional seminar on mobile healthcare early diagnostics and fitness took place in Oulu (Finland). The seminar provided good overview of current status, initiated discussion on future trends in m-Health field (mHealth) and helped to synchronize positions of the leading teams in the region. Leading experts in the mHealth field from Russia and Finland participated in this seminar and seminar videos are available.[30][31][32]
  2. Open Source LBS Platform Geo2Tag[33] — world's most popular open source platform for building LBS-services.[34] Geo2Tag platform provides all necessary interfaces, data structures, quarries and filters, required for development of advanced LBS solutions.[buzzword] The platform source code is available for free download, so anyone can make necessary changes, install it on own hosting or use provided[35] for development and testing LBS applications.
  3. Mobile applications and services — group of free of charge and commercial mobile services, developed by members of FRUCT association and available for download in the most popular stores of mobile applications: Nokia Store,[36] Google Play,[37] Windows Phone.[38]


  1. ^ Main web resource of FRUCT Association
  2. ^ FRUCT Association overview article in Informatization and Education online journal
  3. ^ Web page of the 1st FRUCT seminar
  4. ^ FRUCT initiative — general description // HabraHabr (in Russian)
  5. ^ List of IEEE Communications Society partner organizations, web site IEEE Archived 2013-05-07 at the Wayback Machine at IEEE Communications Society
  6. ^ European Connected Health Alliance Partners List
  7. ^ Nokia highlighted in St. Petersburg. Initiatives WidSets and FRUCT // SPbIT (in Russian)
  8. ^ Initiative FRUCT — general description // Studying process in IT — HabraHabr (in Russian)
  9. ^ List of the past FRUCT events
  10. ^ 9th FRUCT conference in PetrSU // PetrSU
  11. ^ AU Students' participation in FRUCT // SPbAU RAS
  12. ^ Finnish-Russia conference FRUCT will take place in St.-Petersburg // Russoft
  13. ^ Published FRUCT materials on CNews Club resource (in Russian)
  14. ^ FRUCT materials available for free download
  15. ^ List of Erasmus Mundus PERCCOM program partners
  16. ^ Open lecture «Finnish-Russian cooperation FRUCT and NordSecMob program» in ITMO Archived 2012-08-04 at (in Russian)
  17. ^ Web site of Russian developers for Mobile Linux (in Russian)
  18. ^ Web site of Russian Qt community
  19. ^ Web site of the regional mobile Healthcare (m-Health) community (in Russian)
  20. ^ Web site of regional IoT and Smart Spaces community
  21. ^ Web site of FRUCT lab in PetrSU
  22. ^ Web site of FRUCT lab in "LETI"
  23. ^ Web site of FRUCT lab in YarSU
  24. ^ FRUCT LLC is a winner of the Skolkovo M.D. contest // TV channel Russia 24, 14.12.2012 (in Russian)
  25. ^ Blog «Skolkovo M.D.» company
  26. ^ FRUCT page in Skolkovo M.D. contest (in Russian)
  27. ^ It's a matter of technology: mobile diagnostics, or how to take ECG in a minute with the help of your smartphone (in Russian)
  28. ^ Nikishnikov O.Skolkovo M.D. selection brought victory and 9 million rubles of Skolkovo grant to the FRUCT Association // InfoCenter, Innovation Center Skolkovo. 13.12.2012 (in Russian)
  29. ^ BBC: Skolkovo: Tech city that aims to restore nation's pride
  30. ^ Medvedev O. Keynote talk: Current state of m-Health and e-Health technologies in Russia (video) // 2nd regional seminar on mobile healthcare early diagnostics and fitness. Moscow. 2012
  31. ^ Kalevi Virta. Current state in e-Health applications in Finland (video) // 2nd regional seminar on mobile healthcare early diagnostics and fitness. 2012
  32. ^ Panel discussion on future business models for m-Healthcare and e-Healthcare // 2nd regional seminar on mobile healthcare early diagnostics and fitness. 2012
  33. ^ Geo2tag LBS Platform
  34. ^ Analytics for open source location based services
  35. ^ Geo2Tag test server[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ Mobile applications for Nokia devices developed by FRUCT
  37. ^ Mobile applications for Android platform developed by FRUCT
  38. ^ Mobile applications for Windows Phone developed by FRUCT

External links[edit]