ASU is a member of 16 consortia, 14 of which were created on the initiative of academic and scientific organizations, and ASU was invited to join these consortia as a member, and two consortia were founded upon the initiative of the university. The potential of the following consortia will be used for the purposes of implementing the ASU development program:
The Consortium of Educational Institutions of Higher Education and Scientific Organizations of Astrakhan Region (C1), established in March 2021 upon the ASU initiative. Its participants are six universities, a scientific center and an additional education institution. The ASU rector is the consortium’s president. C1 activities are aimed at: ensuring research and development in the interests of Astrakhan Region; obtaining new competitive technologies and products and their commercialization with the subsequent transfer to real economy organizations; HR training for addressing large scientific and technological tasks of the development of science and technologies regarding the region’s problems and in the interests of Russia; export of education to the Caspian countries and recruitment of promising HR from these countries to work in Russia; consolidation of the consortium members’ potential and organization of their interaction for sharing intellectual, information, material resources in the implementation of joint interdisciplinary scientific and educational projects. The consortium is a non-commercial association of legal entities, branches and representative offices. The consortium was established under the agreement dated 12.03.2021. Governing bodies: General Assembly of Consortium Members, President and Vice President. Activities are carried out through the formation of project teams and implementation of network EPs, organization of joint academic and scientific events, and exchange of information. Activities are ensured through: a liaison protocol (to be formed), a model of the Caspian Distributed University (Network Educational Activities) – under development, shared knowledge centers (currently being established), a concept of an interuniversity campus, ensuring the opportunities for sharing infrastructure and joint information services (have been developed).
The Transport & Logistics Consortium of Caspian Higher Educational Institutions (C2) was established upon the initiative of ASU (agreement dated 12.12.2018) under support of the Presidium of the RF State Council, and is aimed at: forming a modern efficient corporate training system for qualified HR to fulfill the tasks in the transport and logistics sphere; creating an efficient innovative system to support the transport and logistics infrastructure and implement the results of innovative activities of the consortium in the field of logistics in the business community; integrating scientific, educational, innovative and technological potential of universities in the interests of sustainable innovative development of logistics in the Caspian region. The consortium is not a legal entity, it has neither its own property nor financial or any other tangible assets. The consortium is managed on the principle of equal cooperation. The governing bodies are the General Assembly of its members and President. The list of participants includes 18 universities (12 as of the date of establishment). The consortium president is the ASU rector, re-elected in 2020. Progress made: a map describing the competence of a transport and logistics specialist has been developed and recommended for taking it into account when developing EPs, scientific conferences, webinars, strategic sessions (including on the issues of methodological support of the learning process, introduction of advanced developments in the field of logistics in the educational process); a joint research plan has been formed; development of joint Master’s programs has been initiated. ASU has developed and administers an official website: tlc.asu.edu.ru. A virtual shared knowledge center with unique equipment for joint scientific research has been formed. ASU coordinates the activities of the consortium participants. The scientific and educational potential of the consortium participants will be used in implementing the project on creating a special economic zone in the area of the Olya seaport and its integration with the Lotus special economic zone into the Caspian cluster.
The Consortium “Ecology of the Volga River Basin” (C3) is aimed at: creating and developing high-tech methods and systems for monitoring environmental quality and biodiversity of the Volga-Kama basin; digitalization and comprehensive interpretation of the results of monitoring research of anthropogenically transformed locations of water bodies and areas of the Volga-Kama basin; research and development in the field of reducing anthropogenic load and systems for designing waterproof and hydraulic facilities of the Volga-Kama basin; creating a basis for restoration and conservation of agro-ecosystems under dynamic conditions of the external environment, based on the results of monitoring their condition, bioindication and biotesting with digital systems and multi-level sensing; development of equipment, contact and remote sensing methods, including new measurement and data processing systems for the development of network information systems to obtain, store and interpret the monitoring results. The consortium includes five scientific and educational organizations; it was initiated by Samara State Technical University. The consortium is managed on the principle of equal cooperation. ASU is its full member. The consortium members have submitted a joint application for a Russian Science Foundation grant; 15 areas of interaction have been determined.
The Consortium “Shipbuilding and Marine Facilities” (C4) was established on September 19, 2018 on the basis of the St. Petersburg State Maritime Technical University; it includes 12 educational and scientific organizations. The consortium is managed on the principle of equal cooperation. ASU is its full member. The objectives of the consortium are: to promote and license new technologies; to conduct open innovative projects in the field of equipment development; to create joint international EPs and joint projects under support of international foundations.
The Consortium of Educational, Scientific Organizations and Industrial Partners in the Food and Nutrition Industry (C5) was established on the basis of Moscow State University of Technology and Management named after K.G Razumovsky; the scope of its activities is the food and nutrition industry.
The University Consortium for World Ocean Studies (C6) is aimed at developing a modern and efficient system for qualified HR training and creating a world-class research and educational cluster to study the world ocean and coastal areas. The consortium’s priorities are to implement joint EPs, use the scientific potential of the universities to address a set of tasks in natural science, medicine and engineering, including innovative projects in the field of developing cutting-edge AI technologies and robotic systems for conducting research in the Greater Mediterranean, Caspian Sea, the world ocean and coastal areas, maintain collaboration between universities in the development of international (transnational and transboundary) socioeconomic regions and participate in international region-shaping.
The Consortium of Big Data Researchers (C7) has functioned on the basis of Tomsk State University since 2017; it is focused on research in the field of artificial intelligence and data processing obtained by marine robots on functional tasks – industrial monitoring, bioresources, ecology, geophysics, marine archeology, etc.
The Consortium “Caspian Macroregion Societal Security” (C8) was established on May 20, 2020 and includes universities and a scientific center of the Russian part of the Caspian Sea region. The consortium objectives are to conduct specialized research, to develop sustainable collaboration in order to form a joint scientific platform for the Caspian studies, to unite the efforts for developing a consistent database on the Northern Caspian region, to develop a cognitive model for identifying alert areas and predicting problem situations in the Northern Caspian region.
Based on the respective agreements, ASU is a member of:
- World-Class Scientific and Educational Center “Innovative Solutions in the Agro-Industrial Complex”, Belgorod, in the area of biotechnology, breeding and genetic studies, cellular technologies and genetic engineering, digital transformation of agro-industrial complexes and resource-saving technologies;
- World-Class Scientific and Educational Center “Engineering of the Future”, Samara National Research University named after Academician S. P. Korolev, in the area of agriculture and (digital) shipbuilding.
Members of the consortia and the scientific and educational centers will participate in the program through implementation of projects, activities within the strategic projects (detailed information is presented in Appendix 6) and policies; it will include: implementation of joint double-degree EPs; training and advanced training of specialists; joint research; scientific and technical evaluation of projects; assistance in the development of production ties and scientific collaboration; creation of distributed scientific groups; training of highly qualified HR; the use of the existing infrastructure of the consortia and centers’ members (upon agreement), including for running tests. The pattern for the consortia’s interaction within the implementation of the strategic projects is presented in Figure 1 (Appendix to the section). Detailed description of activities and projects of the consortia and centers’ members (including results that ensure the achievement of the university’s strategic goal) will be included in the program implementation roadmap.
The concentration of resources and competencies within the consortium will allow to obtain a systemic impact aimed at comprehensive development of the strategic area of the university and the whole region.
 The cluster will become a cargo base of the North-South International Transport Corridor with a single management company; it will give impetus to the development of the port area and increase the importance of managing logistics processes of all types of transport (road, rail, river transport)
 “Scientific research and development aimed at reducing the anthropogenic load on the ecosystems of the Volga-Kama Basin”, “Conducting scientific and engineering groundwork for the development of green chemistry and biosimilar chemical technologies for obtaining materials”, “Development and creation of an autonomous robotic surface-underwater hydroacoustic system for water monitoring”, etc.; development of project “Caspian Ecosystem”