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Address: 26 Shabolovka Ulitsa, Building 1, room 1113
ORCID: 0000-0002-3347-0645
ResearcherID: AGM-0849-2022
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S. Kushch
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Mikhail Akim

  • Mikhail Akim has been at HSE University since 2020.

Education and Degrees

  • 2001

    Iona College

  • 1993

    Latvian Academy of Sciences

  • 1986

    Leningrad Technological Institute of Pulp and Paper Industry

Continuing education / Professional retraining / Internships / Study abroad experience

Strategy of experimintation  - Du Pont

Courses (2023/2024)

Courses (2021/2022)

Courses (2020/2021)


Employment history


     25 + years of international industry business development experience

     Established track record of securing international market exposure and profits

     Established Government Relationship (GR) activities; federal and regional networks

     Strategy planning and market analyses

     Cross-industries business and technical knowledge in power; oil & gas; pulp & paper; chemical

     Experience in developing business from scratch with sequential full responsibilities including P&L

     Broad technology, R&D and commercialization experience



Member of the Board of Association of European Business in Russia.

Chairperson of “Modernization and Innovation” group at the AEB since 2013.

Performed as coordinator of Innovation group at Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC, http://www.fiac.ru) 

International Expertise:

     Established and expanded business opportunities in North America, China, Europe, Russia and CIS



MBA - Hagan School of Business, IONA, NY

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering - Institute of Wood Chemistry, Academy of Sciences, Riga, Latvia;

B.S./M.S. in Engineering - St. Petersburg State Technological Institute (University) Pulp and Paper Industry


Professional Experience and Achievements:


Moscow, Russia

2010-2020 Vice President of Strategic Development, ABB Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Central Asia                   

  • Responsible for strategic and business development, market analyses, GR, special projects
  • Managed “ABB Russia Growth Strategy Project”, redefining markets and strategies; assessment for organic and inorganic growth.
  • Developed business case, planning, justification on establishing  a business entity in Belarus.
  • Established centralized country Accounts Management Organization to service Strategic Accounts (Lukoil, TNK-BP, Russian Railways, Sibur, etc). Initiated country-wide project pursuit practices.
  • Technology selection and adoption in response to local market conditions: assess customer needs to establish integrated multidivisional packages into customized portfolios, particularly for OGP (Oil, Gas, Petrochemicals) and utilities.
  • Leaded establishing and integrating corporate strategic initiatives (Smart Grid, Water, Wind, and Solar) within Russian country organization. Founded and supervised Energy Efficiency program and renewable energy initiative.
  • Providing strategic direction and leadership for marketing of project solutions, products, systems and services.
  • Facilitate C-Suite relationships in governments, embassies, EC, industry, academia, think tanks & trade associations.
  • Founded and leading highly successful “Modernization and Innovation” group at the AEB. Regularly organizing high level events with top industry and government officials, to create favorable investment climate for AEB members.
  • Established “Innovation technology” group at FIAC enabling involvement and alignment with major national projects and initiatives, i.e. recent inclusion of automation and robotics scope into nation-wide productivity project.
  • Prepared conditions for launch of Lipetsk manufacturing plant, including business case, region selection, justification. 
  • Leaded initiative (developed business case, planning, justification) to establish corporate Kaliningrad Engineering Operational center on industrial automation, servicing projects worldwide. Established education consortium.  

2009-2010      Director of Key Accounts, OGP                                                                                                    

  • Responsible for developing and managing relationships with key OGP accounts.
  • Facilitated key project pursuits and coordination between process control systems and HV (high voltage), MV (medium voltage) and LV (low voltage), etc. products.

2008-2009      Manager of Local Business Unit, Pulp & Paper                                                                                                 

  • Responsible for leading industry growth efforts by providing strategic direction and leadership for marketing of products, systems and services to the Pulp & Paper industry.


2006-2008      Emerson

Austin, TX, USA                                                                                       

Industry Director, Europe in Emerson Process Management Division

  • Managed project pursuits in the region for all company products with Group and Divisions Management. Identified and prioritized cost saving and technology improvement project opportunities.
  • Prepared strategic marketing and sales business plans for particular industries.
  • Directed marketing activity, including coordination of trade shows, user forums, seminars and other customer events, trade journal articles, advertising, professional associations and sales messaging.
  • Oversaw preparation and analysis of test marketing efforts and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Coordinated technical efforts between company divisions, technology organization with key corporate clients to identify performance improvement opportunities.


2005-2006      Fisher International, Inc.

Norwalk, CT, USA                                                                       

Vice President, Research

A worldwide information services and management consulting firm to provide integrated solutions to the pulp, paper and other process industries, their suppliers and customers. Services range from sales management to marketing effectiveness, competitive analysis and benchmarking to best practice sharing, operations optimization to supply chain improvement.

  • Responsible for managing all aspects of research department, including primary and secondary research; supporting the product development and management consulting groups. Managed research staff and processes, cost and expenses.
  • Developed and executed strategy to ensure data quality and scope worldwide.
  • Performed research process reengineering to achieve higher productivity and integration with modern IT system.


Troy (Chemicals) Corporation

Florham Park, NJ, USA                                                                           

2002-2005 Regional Manager, Russia & CIS

Global specialty chemicals and performance materials producer, servicing broad range of industries worldwide. Target markets include paint and coatings, adhesives, wood preservation, textile, lubricants, metalworking fluids and building materials, etc.

  • Expanded company’s presence in the global market by establishing new, previously uncovered sales region. Achieved consistent 50+% annual growth. Established and managed customer relations with all key producers in the region.
  • Held full strategic planning and P&L management responsibility. Developed regional infrastructure. Selected distributors; established and managed distribution in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.
  • Directed and organized PR/Marketing campaigns using various tools: website, publications, advertisement, exhibitions.
  • Integrated new region with existing company logistics, technical services and manufacturing operations; tolling, outsourcing and product localization. Managed multiple projects aimed at increasing competitive advantage in new markets, such as automotive coating, adhesives and sealants, textile, paper and furniture coating.
  • Organized and coordinated educational program including seminars and hands-on training for distributors and customers. Taught at training seminars for customers and distributors.
  • Analyzed company’s rheology additive business performance and product portfolio, developed and prepared strategy for promotion, business improvement and profit maximization.           

2001-2002 International Business Development Consultant

  • Analyzed company’s product portfolio and determined products and strategies to fulfill market needs in the new region. Created and coordinated region strategy across all businesses including Wood, Biocides, Metal Working Fluids and Coating Additives.


1996-2001      International Paper / Champion International Corp.

Application technology R&D Center - Tuxedo Park/ West Nyack, NY, USA

Project Manager

  • Responsible for all aspects of project planning, budgeting and cost control, financial analysis, technology selection, supplier negotiations, pilot trials at various facilities. Led projects with potential market impact of $20-30 million, managed cross-functional project teams.
  • Improved profitability of existing papermaking and coating manufacturing capacities by recommending and converting to producing high value-added grades to meet market demand and buying trends. 
  • Performed market and industry analysis on product development, investment opportunities and positioning for China market expansion. Conducted competitive market analysis and benchmarking of digital printing products.
  • Led Packaging Optimization program that resulted in cost savings of $2.0+ million.
  • Orchestrated highly successful strategic product/process development alliance with a major equipment manufacturer targeted for new technology and product development for 10% cost reduction with $20 million installation impact.


1994 –1996     Rexam Graphics (Currently Intel Coat Technologies, LLC)  

R&D Center - South Hadley, MA, USA                                        

Research Associate

Contract coating of papers, films, foils and other specialty substrates, including digital imaging substrates and such specialized materials as dry film resist, battery elements and medical components.                

  • Developed, implemented and commercialized several innovative digital printing products with unique consumer properties. Performed industry competitive and market analysis.
  • Initiated changes in paper purchasing that led to improved performance and profitability. Interacted with major producers of specialty papers in the USA, Canada and the UK.
  • Led a program of fluid rheology study for various coating formulations and various substrates surface properties.
  • Effectively work with a variety of departments and suppliers to launch successful products. Conducted pilot and manufacturing trials using various chemical, coating and converting equipment.


1991-1993      NPM engineering research company Inc.

St. Petersburg, Russia                                             

Group Leader                    

  • Conducted marketing survey of potential clients; approached them with a business plan and sold new technology to several large producers; developed, implemented, transferred new environmentally friendly technologies for manufacturing packaging, paperboard, printing paper, other grades with improved mechanical, enhanced print quality.


1991     Phoenix International

St. Petersburg, Russia                                                                                                           

Business Development Manager                                         

  • Set up St. Petersburg regional branch office for international business development and export/ import operations.
  • Conducted a technical audit to estimate the potential of using a newsprint mill as the supplier for international publishing houses. Prepared reports on the viability of security papers production for the variety of emerging new corporations.
  • Participated as a member of valuation team for acquisition of a major Russian producer.


1988-1991 Institute of Wood Chemistry, Academy of Sciences,

Riga, Latvia,

Post Graduate Student


1986-1988       St. Petersburg Academy Of Forestry

St. Petersburg, Russia                                                                    

Technology R&D Engineer                                    

  • Developed binders and process for production wood fiberboard with improved physico-mechanical properties.


Awards and Achievements:

Beta Gamma Sigma – MBA (AACSB Honor Society), GPA 3.84/ 4.0


  • Various published market research and technical whitepapers, including industry analyses on impact of Russia entering to WTO, Customs Union and CIS integration.
  • Moderated dozens of conferences worldwide. Presentations and keynote speeches on market & industry analyses on energy efficiency, smart grid, industrial modernization “smart manufacturing”

Languages: English; Russian

Timetable for today

Full timetable

Global Restructuring: The World Community Prepares to Fight Climate Change

More than a hundred countries have already declared the achievement of ‘zero emissions with the exception of absorption’ to be their primary goal in the fight against climate change. For Russia, whose primary export is fossil fuels, the global rejection of hydrocarbons poses great risks. Experts discussed the issue at the research seminar, ‘Decarbonization as a Global Trend: Changing the Economic Landscape and Its Importance for Companies’, which was jointly organized by HSE University and the Association of European Businesses.

GSB and the Association of European Businesses Held a Research Seminar on Decarbonization as a Global Trend

‘We Need to Work on Making Russian Universities More Attractive’

How the pandemic has affected the global system of higher education, how the system will betransformed and what prospects there are for cooperation between Russian and European universities– these were among the issues discussed by representatives of HSE University and other universities, experts and officials at the digital Round Table ‘EU— Russia: New Models of Educational Process Organisation, Novel Education Practices and Internationalisation in the Post-COVID Reality’.