Research at USU is conducted by all academic units – institutes and faculties, each having at least one research team. The principal research areas addressed by USU scholars are: nuclear power engineering, aerospace industry, laser and nanotechnologies, general and specific engineering, automobile manufacturing, microelectronics and machine engineering, CALS technologies applications for aircraft, automobile and machine engineering, biotechnologies and medicine, environmental protection. Many of the efforts are sponsored by grants of Russian Ministry of Education and Research.
The university applies a wide variety of approaches to promote research and innovation. At the beginning of 2006, USU opened a new “USU high technologies” technopark as part of a national project envisaging the creation of a wide network of technoparks. The facility occupies a large modern 600 sq. m. two-floor building and provides 25 computerized working spaces with high speed Internet access and a digital library. The technopark is designed to pool the intellectual and material resources of Ulyanovsk State University and major regional enterprises, allowing their employees to access its unique software and providing technical and intellectual advice and support. In addition, the technopark provides high quality computer technology services for small businesses and offers retraining courses, including those for scientists who formerly worked for defense enterprises in the Mid-Volga region, thus facilitating their employment by companies in the civilian sector.
Recent developments also include setting up two research and production companies as part of the project supported by the national foundation for small businesses involved with science and technology (known as Bortnik Foundation). They are: “Neuron” Ltd. manufacturing blood pressure and heart rate monitoring devices and “Granite” Ltd. producing anti-pest Delta agents.
Another aspect of innovation is launching integrated study, research and production centers in cooperation with Russian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Medicine, ministries, government agencies, both in Russia and former Soviet Union republics. Among the newly established research and study centers are those exploring radioactive materials industry, psychology and pedagogy, reforestation and forest regeneration, electronics, CALS technologies.
Among the most respected research units hosted by USU is «Region»;, an internationally recognized center for research in sociology, which has for 11 years successfully implemented and contributed to various studies and projects exploring the most topical issues of the contemporary society.
Another well-established entity is Telemedicine Center, which since 2002 has been applying innovative technologies in clinical practice and provides advanced training for medical professionals of the region.
Plans for the near future include setting up a business incubator as a part of the federal program aiming to fund and otherwise promote the creation of innovative business incubators for students and researchers by state educational institutions of higher education.