Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) has been ranked among Russia's top 10 corporations in terms of open innovation performance. The company obtained the best result among Russian metallurgical companies, it is claimed.

The independent rating was published by the Barometer Project (part of A.Partners Capital investment).

Barometer defines 'open innovation' as technological solutions or products used by a corporation that have been developed outside its own research departments and not obtained through collaboration with other large companies. Often, such solutions are developed by start-ups or individual entrepreneurs. In 2021, for the second time, Barometer evaluated the largest Russian companies on criteria reflecting the effectiveness of their co-operation with such developers.

MMK is currently improving its production processes and implementing a large-scale Industry 4.0 digitalisation strategy, while actively engaging third-party developers using various tools: annual R&D programmes (implemented with start-ups and major R&D centres), the R&D Centre at Magnitogorsk State Technical University, and the MMK Research Centre at Skolkovo.

"It is very important for us to meticulously study all the projects that are submitted to tenders and accelerators and to evaluate whether a particular solution is suitable for our company. "Of course, we are glad that MMK's work with open innovations is so highly valued, and we will continue to improve and develop this area."

Georgy Larin, head of the MMK Research Centre at Skolkovo.

MMK carefully selects developments that are suitable for the plant's operations: for example, following the SteelStart – Accelerator in 2020, MMK expanded its co-operation with Microbor, a developer of carbide coatings which increase the service life of rolling mill rolls. In addition, MMK regularly holds its own internal accelerator and open days for potential suppliers: these measures the company to look for new technological solutions.