Russian steelmaker NLMK Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SAP, a global leader in the corporate software market, with the intention of creating a Co-Innovation Lab, the first of its kind in the Russian steel sector. According to NLMK, the laboratory will focus on research, ideation and prototyping of innovative solutions that can then be developed and deployed in the metals and mining industry.

To achieve this, the two companies will bring together their respective expertise and share their knowledge, manpower and research to enable prototyping, testing and deployment. NLMK Group’s specialists will work with SAP developers and researchers to develop new solutions in process analysis, user interface, Internet of Things, machine learning, predictive analytics and production planning systems.

Oleg Bagrin, NLMK’s CEO said that the agreement brings into play a new stage in the two companies’ long-standing partnership. “SAP technology combined with NLMK infrastructure will enable development of solutions that will bring steel making technology and business processes to the next level,” he said.

SAP’s Bernd Luekert, member of the company’s executive board, said that through their joint development efforts the two companies can leverage global and Russian experience in the technology industry. “This will allow us not only to create effective solutions that can solve essential challenges of metallurgical enterprises, but also to give them an opportunity to increase competitiveness in the international market with a truly new approach to IT, the development of specialized technologies and an industry-specific digital steel platform,” he said.