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In April of 2016 Bodo Ramelow during his visit to Tatarstan opened a German-Russian Engineering Center to promote industrial ties between the Free State of Thuringia and the Republic of Tatarstan. The Thuringia Engineering Center was created at KNRTU-KAI jointly with the Agency for Economic Development of Thuringia (LEG Thueringen) and two other partners: Kazan GiproNiiAviapprom JSC, Technopark for Industrial Technologies JSC – KNIAT Innovation and Technological Center with the aim of providing  technological support  and modernization of the existing and new Russian industrial enterprises. The Center's key partners from Thuringia are Gramm Technik, МAICOM Quarz, SAMAG Group, Schülken Form GmbH, ZM Engineering GmbH etc. Among its aims there are also

- support of Thuringia enterprises when developing Tatarstan’s market;

- support of Tatarstan’s enterprises when gaining access to up-to-date innovation and industrial technologies;

- implementation of innovation projects for modernization of enterprises;

- development of the up-to-date infrastructure for engineering education in the Republic of Tatarstan;

- strengthening of ties between Russian and German enterprises, educational and research institutions;

- implementation of state projects for industrial enterprises modernization.

The basic activities of the Center include organization of scientific and technical seminars and exhibitions, implementation of production modernization projects, scientific and technical developments, auditing and marketing research. Among the main spheres of activities of the EC are Automotive industry, Machinery and industrial equipment manufacturing, Control equipment, electronics and automatics, Foundry technologies.

The Thuringia Engineering Center is aimed at attracting new orders and developing innovation projects on construction, reconstruction and technical re-equipment of basic and secondary production processes at Russian industrial enterprises; developing and introducing innovative technologies and progressive facilities for their implementation at industrial enterprises; technical consulting, technological transfer, export/ import of products and services between Russia and Thuringia; searching for technological and economic partners for implementing joint Russian and German projects.

The German-Russian Institute for Advanced Technologies plays an important part in this close interaction process by enhancing a training process and further professional development of Russian specialists in the field of new technologies used at modern industrial enterprises.

GRIAT Master students are actively involved in collaborative projects of the Center. Their master students’ topics are connected to the relevant, real problems of the industry. In order to achieve that, several things need to be considered. First of all, it is necessary to receive a full range of issues, problems that the industry is trying to solve at the moment and in the foreseeable future. Then these issues need to be matched with the expertise, knowledge and the skills of GRIAT professors. The second stage is for GRIAT students’ advisors to formulate potential master’s thesis topics which, on the one hand, reflect the needs of the industry, on the other hand, meet master’s thesis requirements – to solve real scientific problems in limited amount of time, propose innovative solution or approach to the problem etc.  This process  has been launched and a lot of information from the industry and faculty has already been compiled. Nowadays the biggest challenge is to narrow down all the specific research-oriented masters’ thesis topics which is the task for GRIAT administration and Russian and German faculty. The engineering center takes an active part in preparing new technological programs for Russian specialists at the GRIAT.