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9 October 2023

Unified Digital Space for Participants of the International Financial Security Olympiad

The Sodruzhestvo international digital educational platform was presented during the final stage of the III International Financial Security Olympiad in October.

The Sodruzhestvo platform is a digital space designed for high school students and undergraduates to prepare for the Olympiad, as well as for professionals to share ideas and solutions, publish their articles, audio and video content, and conduct webinars. The expert community will find the resource useful as a repository of the most current knowledge on financial security worldwide.

The Sodruzhestvo platform was developed through collaboration between the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, International Training and Methodology Center for Financial Monitoring (ITMCFM), Lebedev Physical Institute of RAS, and Promsvyazbank. The educational content is provided by international experts in the field of financial security and profile member universities of the International Network AML/CFT Institute (comprising 52 universities from 7 countries).

Mr. Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Deputy Director General of ITMCFM—INI Director, spoke about the platform’s history, its goals, and objectives:

“The Sodruzhestvo digital educational platform will ensure a unified information space on financial security in Russia and partner countries. It will provide support for high school students and undergraduates between Olympiads, bolster the Olympiad Project Center at the Sirius federal territory, offer chat rooms, lectures, discussion platforms, activities of research laboratories, scientific, educational, and project centers in the field of financial security.”

The Sodruzhestvo platform is accessible to a broad range of high school students, undergraduates and members of the professional community from anywhere in the world. To enhance user convenience, the content on the platform will be available in English.

Ms. Margarita Andronova, Director of ITMCFM, emphasized the importance of selecting the experts who will contribute to the platform:

“The Sodruzhestvo platform will feature open and private segments. The open segment is available to any interested user and contains information and expert support on the International Financial Security Olympiad, news, and events agenda. The open segment is designed as a platform to promote the financial security Olympiad movement worldwide. The private segment is accessible only to users genuinely committed to promoting financial security. As one of the platform’s administrators, ITMCFM needs to ensure the competence of the experts who will interact with students—the future AML systems specialists.”

Mr. Alexey Nazarov, Vice President, Director of Non-Banking Services Development, Promsvyazbank, stated that by 2025, the Sodruzhestvo may become the largest educational platform on financial security in Russia and CIS countries. The development of new services is anticipated to expand the platform’s audience to 70,000 individuals by 2025, including high school and undergraduate students in the CIS and BRICS countries.

“The online education market in Russia is growing rapidly, and its total volume may soon exceed RUB 100 billion, underscoring the high potential of this sector. One of the primary objectives of the platform is to create a talent pool in financial security for universities and industrial partners. This is why we pay significant attention to creating professional testing and career development services involving potential employers. In the future, the Sodruzhestvo platform may become the largest platform in its niche,” said Mr. Nazarov.

Initially, the resource was designed to assist children in preparing for the Financial Security Olympiad and to develop new Olympiad exercises. Presently, the platform contains more than 20 specialized courses in IT, mathematics, social studies, law, and other subjects, which are crucial for young professionals engaged in combating money laundering and the financing of international terrorism.

However, the developers have chosen to broaden the platform’s scope beyond the Olympiad, making it a convenient tool for the entire professional community. Olympiad participants actively utilize the platform, where they can access their event schedule automatically and engage in discussions with the Olympiad organizers. All participants can track their progress in the personal accounts on the platform.

The developers intend to continue active enhancement of the platform, adding not only useful content but also new features.

Mr. Yaroslav Demchenko, Project Director, explained that Sodruzhestvo would soon introduce a social network for users, a platform for webinars with real-time access, and analytical units. In the nearest future, students will be able to plan individual educational and career paths on the platform.

At present, the technical team is exploring the possibility of integrating another resource for financial security training — the Graphus training system — into the Sodruzhestvo platform. This resource, developed by ITMCFM, allows students to study and solve cases based on real crimes investigated by financial intelligence units. Engaging with such tasks will serve as excellent practice for pupils and students, while Graphus will naturally complement the educational content on the Sodruzhestvo platform.

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