Marketing Strategy

R&D Market Strategy

At R&D market the University aims to hire and retain brightest researchers and increase University’s fundamental and applied research funding.

Research activities at SUSU can be grouped around four main disciplines, as depicted in the graph below. Research activities in these disciplines complement each other, nurturing a constant flow of fresh ideas and solutions to diverse scientific challenges. Furthermore, all of these fields of knowledge are inherently cross-disciplinary.  

Areas of specialization and the University's research profile


The University will focus its efforts on developing cross-disciplinary breakthrough research areas. These areas of research will produce the greatest number of scientific publications and bring the largest part of the University’s research budget in 2016-2020. These research areas include:

  • Asteroid impact avoidance (Engineering)
  • Alternative energy sources (Natural Sciences)
  • Data mining (Supercomputing)
  • Molecular mechanisms in the development of chronic emotional stress (Human Sciences)

In concentrating its resources on developing cross-disciplinary breakthrough research areas, SUSU follows the example of the Technical University of Darmstadt, a participating university in the German Exelence Initiative. The University has built up a strong academic reputation across the selected focus areas. The Technical University of Darmstadt stands out for the exceptionally high quality of its publications compared to a relatively low volume.

In Engineering, a critical breakthrough initiative is Aeronautical Engineering, in particular – development of asteroid impact avoidance means. Asteroid impact avoidance is a global challenge for humanity which importance for Chelyabinsk and SUSU is highlighted by the recent large asteroid impact. SUSU is working on various space vehicles capable to change asteroid trajectory and prevent impact on the Earth, as well as the means to launch these vehicles into space. These research products rely on the University's unique experience in rocket science. This project is implemented together with Makeyev GRTs, a leading Russian rocket and missile manufacturer. Importance of this problem will also foster collaboration with other leading Russian and international organisations in this area, including the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIIMash), S.A. Khristianovich Institute of RAS, China National Space Administration (CNSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The University prioritised the area of aerodynamics and supercomputer-aided modelling of aerodynamic problems. Currently, Russian rocket scientists make virtually no use of modelling, relying instead on a large number of real-life tests. This leads to overspending on R&D, delays in the development of new rockets and a large number of launch failures, which foster an unfavourable media image for the industry. Developing new technologies and bringing supercomputer modelling services to market will give new impetus to the industry and will turn SUSU into a leader in the field of rocketry and rocket design. To achieve the targeted market position the University engages in proactive marketing of its new modelling technologies, participates in high-profile industry projects and offers courses in modelling for rocket scientists. The target annual revenue in this market could potentially reach about RUB 100 million.

Funding for Aerospace Engineering  

The University boasts substantial engineering competencies in instrument engineering, diesel engines, and the design of micro-electromechanical systems. Research in these areas is in high demand among Russia's leading heavy engineering enterprises. The University's customers include KAMAZ, Avtovaz, Uralvagonzavod, Urals Diesel Engine Plant, Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant, Urals Design Bureau of Transport Machinery, Automotive Plant Ural, Kurganmashzavod, and others. In 2014, the total volume of R&D for industry grew more than threefold compared to 2010, reaching a value of approximately RUB 500 million.

A major breakthrough research area in Natural Sciences lies in the field of materials science. The University is working on developing alternative energy sources. One of the workstreams in this area is materials for solar cells (photosensitizers) helping to enhance the efficiency of solar batteries and reduce cost of energy generation.  Studies in this field are very popular now and more than 6000 scientific papers are published annually. The University's research team has already achieved valuable results with both scientific and practical applications. Among the University's key partners in this area are the University of St Andrews and Imperial College London. Potential customers for photosensitizers include Oxford Photovoltaics, Dyesol, Exeger Sweden AB, 3GSolar Photovoltaics, and Fujikura.

Other promising areas of research in materials science include additive manufacturing technology for composite materials (3D printing), sorbents, metal-oxide monocrystals and other materials that enjoy widespread market demand. One distinctive advantage setting the University apart from other research centers is its pioneering use of supercomputing for materials properties modelling. 

Funding for alternative energy sources

Besides materials science, the University is also engaged in other Natural Sciences disciplines. The most productive areas in terms of high-quality scientific results are geology and optical information technology. In geological sciences, the University works closely with the Institute of Mineralogy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Miass, Chelyabinsk Region, while in the field of optics its most significant partner is the Institute of Electrophysics of the Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 

Research work at the University is funded by domestic and international scientific grants. The University is striving to boost the total volume of international grants through a newly adopted comprehensive system to facilitate grant applications and fundraising from international sources.

 In the Supercomputing, the major breakthrough area is data mining, a technique particularly essential for the comprehensive analysis of Big Data. The research findings in this area has a potential to revolutionize business models of organisations processing large volumes of information, including mobile phone operators, social media networks, banks to name a few.

The supercomputer is at the very heart of the University's research activities, as it can be used to process highly complex calculations in engineering, natural sciences and IT. Supercomputer is also used to provide University’s partners with calculation on a commercial basis. Currently supercomputing revenues constitute 16% of the R&D budget.

Funding for Supercomputing

A major breakthrough research area in the Life Sciences is molecular mechanisms of chronic emotional stress development.  In light of the high incidence of chronic stress-related diseases in major cities and the lack of effective ways for relieving stress, these studies are of great importance for modern society. Although this subject is relatively new for the University, SUSU researchers have already published on this topic in top-rated journals and have established meaningful ties within the academic community. Stress studies represent one of the University's cross-disciplinary research platforms, as they call for joint work among psychologists, biologists, and specialists in measurement and tool engineering. The University is collaborating with leading research organisations in this area, including the Harvard Medical School, Leiden University, Edinburg University и New York University.

The achievements of the University's research team in this field provide grounds for optimism, namely the discovery of a drug tolerance mechanism in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to abnormal hepatic microsomal oxidation.  This is a global priority; to date no other research center with a focus on PTSD has succeeded in obtaining similar data.  This breakthrough opens up the possibility of developing holistic approaches to PTSD treatment, encompassing the following:

  • non-medical therapy impacting hepatic microsomal oxidation (hypoxic training, moderate physical activity, etc.);
  • development of special medicines that are made efficacious through bypassing the damaged liver and brain-blood barrier;
  • elaboration of functional nutrition and diets to heal PTSD and depression.

These R&D outcomes will become the basis for innovative products that can then be patented. 

Funding of Molecular Stress

Short-term plans include the establishment of a University-based research center with a dedicated focus on studies in this field. Establishing the center will require an upfront investment of about RUB 30 million, after which recruiting international scientists will require expenditures of about RUB 25 million per year.  Starting from 2018-2019, the center is expected to attain sustainable financial self-sufficiency due to grant awards from local and international sources, and the commercialisation of innovations.  

Prospective Student Acquisition Strategy

The University aims to recruit best talent both for undergraduate and graduate programs and expand the geography of admissions.

Target model of the market for prospective students

Total amount of SUSU students will be 15000 in 2020, which means a 15% decrease from current numbers. Simultaneously the share of Master’s and PhD’s students will grow to 40% of the total student population.

The University preferred instruments of recruitment and target audiences differ depending on the region:

  • applicants from Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk Region
  • applicants from the Southern Urals and Western Siberia macroregion
  • applicants from other regions of Russia
  • Russian-speaking foreign applicants
  • English-speaking foreign applicants

Applicants graduating from schools in the Chelyabinsk Region demonstrate a solid academic grounding and knowledge base, as shown by their average Unified State Examination (USE) scores (see table below). SUSU's home macroregion includes several Russian Federation constituent regions, including the Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Orenburg, Tyumen and Amur regions, the Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous districts, and the Republic of Bashkortostan. SUSU is highly competitive in the local education market in these regions. Applicants from other regions of Russia will be recruited to the University's elite academic programs. 

Applicants for engineering and technical disciplines 



Source: High School of Economics’s monitoring, University’s data

SUSU can capitalise on its proximity to Russia-Kazakhstan border location and expand the geography of its student admissions. The main international markets where prospective students have been recruited are Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, South-East Asia and China. The University admits foreign students for both Russian- and English-language programs. More than 200 students are already enrolled in Masters and Bachelor’s degree programs taught in English.

List of current joint and English-language study programs

Description of joint programme



Innovation Studies

Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland 



Electrical and power engineering: renewable energy sources


Fundamental informatics and information technology



Clark University, United States


Business valuation and corporate finance

Zhejiang Ocean University, China



St Mary's University, United States


Flight operation of aircrafts

ChelAvia Training Center


Physical and chemical continuum mechanics

Zababakhin Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics 


English-language programs


Bachelor's degree programs


Mechanical engineering automation, Electrical and mechanical engineering


Chemical engineering


Economics and finances, Economics, Financial management, Banking and financing


Commodity science, Food technology, Food products of animal origin




Master's degree programs


Database Technology






New English-language Master’s degree programs are planned to be launched in the near future:

  • Computer science: Fundamental Computer Science and Information Technology: Database Technologies; Highload Systems Development; Computer Modelling of Technology and Processing of Composite Materials etc.;
  • Engineering: Information-Measuring Engineering and Technology in Innovative Industry Projects;
  • Natural Sciences: Applied Mathematics and Physics; Mathematics; Chemistry, etc.

As SUSU's survey of prospective students shows, the most important recruitment factors are the University’s prestige, quality of education, and the overall experience of studying at the University (academic, social life, sports, etc.). SUSU's marketing strategy is focused on leveraging the aspects of the University's value proposition, perceived to be most significant by prospective students.

SUSU's offering includes quality academic programs in engineering disciplines that are in demand by employers in the regional labour market. The overall experience of studying at SUSU includes a vibrant cultural life, sports events at the University's Olympic-grade athletic facilities, and the opportunity for students to get involved in research projects.   Chelyabinsk is a tranquil, liveable city with over one million inhabitants, which boasts highly developed, accessible infrastructure. Adjacent to the SUSU building lies an old-growth forest that is a natural extension of the University campus.

In line with its marketing strategy, SUSU has organised the Zvezda (Star) National Competition and the Budushee Rossii (Future of Russia) National Engineering Competition organized along with several other academic competitions with more than 200,000 high school students participating. To further its marketing strategy, the University will deploy the following tools:

  1. Differentiated scholarships for applicants with high USE scores
  2. Selective recruitment of applicants from schools with high average USE scores through offering professional navigation and University classes
  3. Partnerships with universities without master's degree programs
  4. Development and promotion of massive open online courses (MOOC)

Currently, a shortage of dormitory space is hindering the University's marketing efforts. To resolve this issue, a new world-class dormitory will be opened by 2018.


Job Market Strategy

At job market the University aims to expand the potential employers pool for SUSU graduates, attract employers with international brand names to the campus.

Employment of SUSU graduates by industry

SUSU's engineering and IT graduates enjoy strong demand among national leaders in manufacturing, metals, and tool engineering sectors with major production capacities based in Chelyabinsk Region.

Target employers of SUSU graduates




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