Rada passes bill in support of foreign investment in Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has cancelled the registration of foreign investment and simplified the procedure for issuing permission to employ foreigners, as well as the procedure for issuing temporary residence permits.

Some 239 deputies voted in favor of the draft law in its second reading on Tuesday.

The bill cancels registration of foreign investment, replacing it with formal notification for state statistics purposes.

It also spells out the basic aspects of applying for permission to hire foreigners and persons without Ukrainian citizenship. The changes are expected to simplify procedures for attracting foreign managers and qualified foreign workers, who are necessary during the first stages of setting up subsidiary operations in Ukraine.

In addition, the adopted bill changes procedures for issuing temporary residence permits, giving foreigner investors the right to reside in Ukraine, as well as foreigners working at (and not necessarily for) Ukrainian enterprises. Deputies expect the new law will make it easier to reside in Ukraine while monitoring enterprise activities.

According to Samopomich Party faction deputy Serhiy Kiral, the legislation applies specifically to four categories of highly-paid IT specialists – graduates of the world’s top 110 universities, as well as artists. According to Kiral, there are currently 9,000 such [foreign] employees in Ukraine today.

Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction deputy Viktor Pynzenyk said the current law obliges foreign employees to receive work permits each year.

‘The [new] law provides permission for three years, and ensures that low-qualified workers are not hired. The law also establishes minimum salary requirements,” he said.

Pynzenyk said the new law would not revolutionize the country’s investment climate, but should be viewed as a small step on the path to creating a more favorable climate for foreign investment in Ukraine.

Source: en.interfax.com.ua

Ukraine tech companies in Toronto to talk business

More than 15 ICT companies from Ukraine available for b2b meetings, looking to forge potential partnerships with Canadian companies

OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada / KYIV, Ukraine – May 18, 2017–Branham Group, together with the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project, is bringing more than 15 Ukrainian ICT companies to Toronto and setting up introductory one-on-one meetings with Canadian companies interested in doing business with them.

Ukraine’s goal is to tell the world that it is open for business and has a lot offer, according to Wayne Gudbranson, Branham Group CEO.

“I have personally seen this in the tech area. In fact, we are very excited about connecting the Branham300 ecosystem of leading companies with a very talented group of Ukrainian ICT companies visiting Canada,” Gudbranson said.

“Canada and Ukraine already have a close relationship. The final signing of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), which is imminent, will accelerate a lot of business opportunities between our respective countries.”

The event will provide a unique chance for Canadian companies interesting in off-shoring and finding partnering opportunities to have one-on-one B2B meetings and speak with many ICT executives from Ukraine who are here because they are interested and ready to work more closely with Canada, said Gail Balfour, Senior Research Analyst at Branham Group.

“Whenever I speak with Canadian ICT companies, both start-ups and ones that have been around for years, one thing that often comes up is their desire to find opportunities to do more business internationally. This event will provide a lot of potential for doing just that because we can introduce these Canadian company leaders to several like-minded executives from Ukraine, all in one room, and all with similar business goals and objectives.”

The Ukraine B2B meetings with Canadian companies will take place between May 29 and May 31, 2017 at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce building in Toronto. Shortly after, the Branham300 launch event takes place May 31, also in Toronto, where the Top 250 ICT companies in Canada will be announced. Key speakers at the invitation-only Branham300 event will include Nataliya Mykolska, Deputy Minister – Trade Representative of Ukraine.

Follow the hashtags #TeamUkraineICT and #2017Branham300 for social media updates. The Branham300 ranking of Canadian technology companies and multinationals operating in Canada will be posted at branham300.com on May 31, 2017.

Branham Group Inc. (www.branhamgroup.com), is a Canadian based, globally directed Industry Analyst and Strategic Advisory for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Branham provides Planning – Marketing – Partnering service for established and new technology brands in the global market. With its Branham300 database, Branham has expansive data on the Canadian ICT industry. The Branham300 is a unique community in the Canadian ICT sector that includes privately held and publicly traded tech companies in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Gail Balfour, Senior Research Analyst, Branham Group

613-745-2282, ext. 118

gbalfour@branhamgroup.com

About CUTIS (cutisproject.org/en/)

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to lower poverty in Ukraine through increasing exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine.

About the Branham300

The Branham300, now in its 24th year, is a unique ranking of technology companies in Canada because it tracks both publicly held and privately owned companies. It is the only comprehensive list to do so. The Branham300 also delivers insight into Canada’s start-up community through the Top 25 Up and Comers and measures the contributions made by multinationals operating in Canada.

The Branham300 consists of three major listings, ranked by revenue (except where noted):

Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies

Top 25 ICT Multinational Companies operating in Canada

Top 25 Up and Coming ICT Companies (ranked on innovation and long-term promise, not revenue)

Sub-listings that are generated from the Top 250 listing include:

Top 25 Canadian Software Companies

Top 25 Canadian ICT Professional Services Companies

Top 25 Canadian ICT Hardware and Infrastructure Companies

Top 10 Canadian xService Providers (xSP) – (includes ASP, ISP, Wireless SP, MSP, etc.)

Top 10 Canadian ICT Security Companies

Top 10 Canadian Wireless Solutions Companies

Top 5 Pure-play Healthcare ICT Companies

Top 10 ICT Staffing Companies

Top 10 Software as a Service (SaaS) Companies

Top 10 Mobile Technology Companies

Top 5 Digital Media and Entertainment Companies

Top 25 Movers and Shakers

Top 15 Growth Companies

Source: branhamgroup.com

South Korea plans to invest in 4G and 5G development in Ukraine

The Republic of Korea announced plans to invest in the development of digital infrastructure for 4G and 5G network capability in Ukraine. This was reported by the Press Service of the Ministry of Economic Development after the meeting of First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv with Korean Ambassador Li Yang Gu and representatives of the Korean Investment Corporation K-Growth.

“The volumes of mutual trade and investment in Ukraine by the Republic of Korea are not yet significant. It’s time to change this situation and develop effective cooperation, especially in the development of information infrastructure for 4G and 5G in Ukraine,” Kubiv said.

According to him, cooperation is one of the overriding priorities of the work of the government and the Ministry of Economic Development, and Korea is an acknowledged world leader in mentioned field.

Towards the end of 2016, Ukraine began working on the development of 5G communication. Local mobile operator LifeCell and manufacturing companies Ericsson and Huawei, which produce equipment for communication networks, announced the joint development of the fifth generation communication standards.

Source: uawire.org

The Eurovision in Ukraine was an exercise in soft power

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS / UNITED KINGDOM – Eurovision 2017, held in Kyiv, may have lacked overt politicisation when it came to the performances showcased on stage, especially in comparison to previous years. But as Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz argues, the contest nevertheless delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about Ukraine’s European aspirations and its pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, while also signalling comradeship with the Slavic world and Eastern Europe. The net result was a quintessential exercise in Eurovision’s enduring soft power.

The Eurovision Song Contest is no stranger to political controversy. Envisioned as a means of forging cultural ties between Europe’s nations in the aftermath of World War II, the contest was closely tied to the idea of European integration taking shape in the 1950s. For a brief period, the Warsaw Pact countries hosted a competing Intervision contest, but it was Eurovision, and the idea behind it, that ultimately prevailed. And it wasn’t until the majority of Europe’s states from the continent’s east (and from its near periphery) entered the competition that it became the political playground which it is known as today.

Time and again it has provided ample data for better understanding European politics and society. In 2014, Conchita Wurst’s “inherently queer and subversive performance” was a sweeping success in the popular vote, but it was shunned by East European juries. As I argued then, this revealed just how complicated the polarisation over LGBTQ+ issues is in the region. Similarly, last year’s victory of Jamala, singing about Stalinist atrocities in Crimea in 1944, was a triumph of cultural soft power that signalled the significance of collective historical consciousness among the European public.

Culture as soft power

This year, however, the 200+ million audience of Eurovision was spared outright political messaging in the performances, and the pre-contest squabble over Russia’s participation was largely lost on the public. The political dimension of Eurovision 2017 was, however, noticeable in how Ukraine decided to, yet again, use it as a vehicle of soft power (albeit less overtly than in years past when one of its songs’ lyrics uncannily sounded like “Russia Goodbye”).

This year was marked by far more discreet efforts. Firstly, the hosts showcased a country with western-democratic aspirations, putting emphasis on freedom, and on being a tolerant and open country that belongs to the European family of liberal democracies. Secondly, it was pride in Ukraine’s cultural heritage that was noticeable, which permeated most vividly from the adjoining performers during the contest’s final and the hosts’ commentaries. Finally, an even more discreet, almost subliminal, message conveyed was that of the regional Eastern European (and Slavic) embeddedness of Ukraine, and its role in the region being markedly different from Russia’s.

A European Ukraine

As noted by the Atlantic, Eurovision “serves as a stage for countries to express their national pride and affirm their European affiliation”. This couldn’t be truer of Ukraine, parts of which are currently engulfed in war with Russia. Openness and belonging to Europe were major themes of the three parts of the song contest, as well as its physical surroundings in the nation’s capital. Most notably, one of the last damaged buildings standing on the famous Maidan square where the 2013 protests, followed by violent clashes, took place, was decorated with a larger-than-life banner stating that “Freedom is our religion”.

The “celebrate diversity” theme of this year’s edition was embodied by altering a Soviet-era monument and trying to put as much daylight as possible between it and a Russia perceived as being intolerant and authoritarian. What once was an arch symbolising Russo-Ukrainian unity, was painted in rainbow colours, much to the dismay of Russia, as well as conservative and nationalist forces within Ukraine who prevented the arch’s rainbow from being completed.

This western-democratic aspiration is closely linked to the idea and the process of European integration. It derives from a profound sense, shared by a sizeable part of the intellectual elite and decision-making class in the country, that Ukraine is, both historically and politically, at the heart of Europe. After all, it was Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU that the Maidan protests erupted over and which put the country at odds with Russia, plunging it into a proxy-war that still has no end in sight. Ukraine’s insistence on its European credentials, including being able to successfully host such a show, is hence part of a soft power effort focused on its geopolitical reorientation. It is, however, only one part of a concerted effort to showcase the country to the outside world.

Слава Україні! (Glory to Ukraine!)

Occidental yearnings among countries of the former Communist East are not a new phenomenon. Almost thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, such aspirations can no longer be simply assimilationist. Hence, the sense of a Ukrainian national self was very much present throughout Eurovision. Contemporary Ukrainian pop stars at the show’s grand final – Ruslana, Jamala and Onuka – draw heavily on Ukrainian folk music in their performances. This link between popular and Ukrainian folk music is very much appreciated by the domestic public where references to Ukrainian cultural traditions and use of the Ukrainian language are integral to the civic and identity soul-searching that the country has been going through in the past few years.

A sense of pride in the success of Eurovision hosted by Kyiv is seen as validation of the skill and ability of the Ukrainian people and plays a crucial role in the process of crystallising its national self-understanding vis-à-vis Europe, rather than just emulating its neighbours to the west. In this instance, Eurovision performed a function which for many countries around the world is carried out by large sporting events. There was, however, yet another dimension to Ukraine’s soft power Eurovision pitch.

Eastern Partnership

Ukraine cannot defy geography, especially its proximity to Russia and its client states. Therefore, the final message communicated in Kivy was how much Ukraine cherishes its Slavic ‘cousins’ and how it maintains positive relations with its neighbours in the East European region, while highlighting how different it is from Russia. Paired with an emphasis on the country’s western-democratic and European credentials, it was a conscious attempt to demonstrate the distinctions between Ukraine (positioned as pro-Western, liberal, democratic, and tolerant) and Russia (presented as anti-Western, illiberal, autocratic, and intolerant).

This message follows Ukraine’s current diplomatic efforts. The above was communicated side-by-side with a less explicit signalling of Slavic/regional brotherhood. During the final show’s last stage, where points are collected from Europe’s capitals, almost all Slavic-speaking countries were greeted with the Ukrainian добрий вечір (dobryy vechir), which can be largely understood in the region, while niceties and other linguistic innuendos were also exchanged.

Most importantly, however, 12 points from the Ukrainian jury (representing the country’s elite voice) went to Belarus, which can be seen as a proxy for Russia, absent from the competition. In underlining its Slavic and East European credentials, Ukraine exercised a fine balancing act between Europe and Russia (which claims ownership of the idea of pan-Slavism). It was a deliberate attempt to prove the country’s western-democratic credentials while stressing its regional embeddedness, and its shared cultural and historical heritage.

Despite lacking overt politicisation, this year’s Eurovision was a quintessential exercise in soft power for Ukraine, a country fighting for the right of self-determination on the world stage. The contest delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about what kind of country Ukraine wants to be: a western-democratic and a European state, which takes pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, and which at the same time is rooted in the Slavic world and supports liberal change in the region of Eastern Europe.


Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz – LSE
Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz is a sociologist. He is Managing Editor of LSE Brexit and a Research Officer at the Generation Brexit project at the LSE European Institute. He tweets @RochDW

Source: lse.ac.uk

Smart agriculture in Ukraine: IT innovations for sustainable farming

Ukrainian start-ups are rushing to stake out the most profitable market niches in the agricultural sector, while venture investors foretell a bright future for agro-technologies, though showing no haste to invest in them. Meanwhile, some agro-corporations are already building their businesses on IT solutions of local developers. So, what is going on in the agtech market – a sector of agricultural technology, which is both new for Ukraine and rather controversial?

The agricultural sector has long remained on the periphery of IT entrepreneurs and venture investors’ attention due to certain skepticism as for agtech, which is traditionally associated with agro-companies owners’ conservatism and low market reach of basic information technologies. However, in 2014, the situation started changing owing to one-off successful projects and growing interest from innovative agro-companies.

It took only one year after the launch for Drone.ua to become the main airborne prospecting provider for Kernel, the largest agro-corporation in the country. Starting in 2015, it uses five quadrocopters and two drones, while forecasting the yield and receiving vegetation indexes and information on evaporation/nitrogen via an IT-solution of the Pixel Solutions start-up.

Created in 2014, Petiole, a “smart” tracker for plant growth, hit the top 20 hot start-ups in 2015 according to CNBC, an American business TV channel.

Although agtech still cannot compete with mainstream niches in a number of top projects, IT entrepreneurs’ interest in the agricultural sector has been growing from year to year. This is caused by an enormous share of the agro-industrial complex in Ukrainian economy. In 2014, the agro-industry became the largest source of the country’s foreign currency earnings. According to the State Fiscal Service, in 2015 Ukraine got $14.5 billion from the food and agricultural products export, which made up 38% of the total exports, while the metallurgical industry was left far behind with its share of 24.8%. Based on the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, in the 2014-2015 seasons Ukraine ranked third among the world’s leaders of grain exports, following the US and the EU.

Also, agtech is attractive for Ukrainian IT entrepreneurs since this is one of the world’s trends and agtech projects are in demand among large agrarian corporations, though sometimes this demand doesn’t get corresponding financial support. In general, local IT entrepreneurs don’t tend to overestimate the current Ukrainian market readiness, often considering the domestic agtech a testing ground.

Source: ukraine-economy.org

Ukraine and Turkey to Collaborate on UAV Development

Ukraine and Turkey are preparing expansion of defense cooperation. The sides seek to establish cooperate in creation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), including unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), the press service of the Ukroboronprom State Concern has reported.

At the 13th International Defense Industry Fair IDEF 2017 held in Istanbul on May 9 through May 12 Antonov State Enterprise (Kyiv) and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of cooperation to design and manufacture various types of UAV, including UCAV, for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The new agreements have been signed with participation of Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov. TAI is a Turkish technological center for designing, manufacturing, integration, modernization and life cycle support of integrated aerospace systems.

Antonov state enterprise is the leading Ukrainian developer and manufacturer of aircraft, the recognized world’s leader in the niche of transport aircraft for wide purposes. The company cooperates with 76 countries. According to the government decision, Antonov has been part of Ukroboronprom state concern since April 2015.

Antonov is working on the creation of multifunctional operative and tactical unmanned aircraft system Horlytsia, which flight range is more than 1,000 km long. The delivery of new unmanned vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine could start in 2018 if the financing is provided.

Source: open4business.com.ua

Яким буде ІТ Парк у Львові: оголосили перших резидентів

У Львові збудують Innovation District IT Park – район, який стане місцем для навчання, роботи та відпочинку. Як інформувало Tvoemisto.tv раніше, Innovation District IT Park буде розташований у квадраті, який утворюють вулиці Стрийська, Луганська, Козельницька та Чмоли (поряд із Українським католицьким університетом).

СЕО ІТ Кластеру Степан Веселовський розповів, що земельна ділянка є приватною власністю. Її загальна площа – приблизно 10 гектарів. Старт будівництва заплановано на кінець 2017-го – початок 2018-го року. Забудову розраховано на наступні 10 років (максимальний термін реалізації проекту).

Як додав Степан Веселовський на своїй сторінці у Facebook, у Парку буде університет повного циклу навчання, сучасні лабораторії, до яких матимуть доступ студенти всіх львівських вишів, а також стартапи, коворкінги, акселератор, готель, дитячий садочок, конференц-зал, паркінги та зелені зони для роботи й відпочинку.

«Резидентами проекту вже є SoftServe, N-iX, GlobalLogic Ukraine та Perfectial. Це більше 50% завантаженості парку. Йдуть перемовини з іншими компаніями», – повідомив він.

Джерело: tvoemisto.tv

Four worthy tech companies from Ukraine and how they did It

This month online service Grammarly has raised 110 million dollars. It is the biggest record level of investment for the Ukrainian company and a sign that Ukrainian projects continue to conquer the global tech world. According to the recent report “Ukraine Dealbook,“ the total venture investments in Ukrainian startups increased 237% year-over-year from 2014-2015, after having declined 56% between 2013-2014.

Besides Grammarly, Ukraine is also a homeland for other well-known projects that now boost the image of the country. Among them DepositPhotos, Looksery, MacPaw, Paymentwall, Readdle, InvisibleCRM, iBlazr and many others. 

Grammarly is a web-based service that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to scan the text for errors within a matter of seconds. «Built by linguists and language lovers» the service helps to improve the quality of the writing, starting from eliminating most common grammar and spelling mistakes and ending with much more complex check-up such as enhancing the tone of the written text and its effectiveness in the context of specific communication. According to company representatives, only in April of this year, Grammarly offered more than 14 billion improvements to users. And it is constantly evolving. In future, the service should be able even to determine if a particular joke is appropriate in a particular letter.

Grammarly was created in 2009 by Kyiv natives Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko. At that point, the service was developed only for academic purposes, but later its co-founders changed their minds and decided to make it useful to anyone on the Internet who aims to make their writing flawless.
Two years ago Grammarly switched to a freemium model, since then its business is growing rapidly. Today the audience Grammarly’s reaches active 6,9 million users per day, and its application was downloaded more than 10 million times from the Chrome Web Store. Now Grammarly intends to use 110 million to accelerate its growth even more.

Despite the fact that the Headquarters of the Grammarly is now based San Francisco, most of its developers still work in Ukraine’s capital. Two years ago the co-founder of the project said in a comment to the Kyivpost that they have managed to develop such a service because they “started in Ukraine and found talented specialists” there.

Depositphotos is a Ukrainian company aimed to make a revolution in the global photobank industry. This online service works as an intermediary platform between sellers and buyers with a stock library of more than 60 million high-quality photos, videos, and vector images.
In 2009 a well-known entrepreneur Dmitry Sergeev sold his project DepositFiles and almost immediately founded a new company Depositphotos. In the beginning, it was a tiny project with two employees working in a small rented office area of 20 sqm. Today DepositFiles is one of the top-5 content platforms in the world with more than 47 million unique files and customers from 192 countries.

Several times Depositphotos was supported by investors. In 2011 it received 3 million dollars from the venture capital company TMT Investments. This round also brought the company another 4 million dollars from EBRD, that was a first investment of the international financial institution in the Ukraine’s IT sector. In 2016 TMT Investments sold a 7,1% stake in Depositphotos for 5,85 million dollars, that implies that the overall valuation of the Ukrainian company last year was approximately 82 million dollars.

Now Depositphotos calls itself a competitor of such giants of the industry as Shutterstock and Getty Images and Virgin Media, Macy’s, Job News USA, Yandex, TemplateMonster and United Printing among its clients.

Depositphotos is headquartered in New York, but its employees work all over the world. The development team and the largest number of specialists of the project are located in Kyiv. Once its founder Dmitry Sergeev told Kyivpost «Our heart is in Ukraine because it’s awesome here and there are so many talented people». Later he matched his words with action when he decided not to leave Ukraine after the proposal from Canada to move his business there.

Petcube is also successful start-up from Ukraine; it creates gadgets and mobile applications for pet owners. The first products of the technology company are an interactive camera Petcube Camera and mobile apps for iOS and Android. These products have brought pets and their owners closer with the help of built-in laser pointer and real-time video. Petcube allows pet owners to watch their pets, play with their pets remotely and even let their friends play with them.

The Petcube’s story started in 2013 with a small team of three people. That year Petcube got the largest amount of money ever collected by a Ukrainian startup at Kickstarter – 251 thousand dollars. This sum was 2,5 times higher than the initially planned 100 thousand dollars, which the startup managed to collect only in a week.

According to the Petcube’s co-founder and CEO Yaroslav Azhnyuk, the team achieved a lot just in a few years. «We have created a new category in the market – interactive camera for pets. Our sales have increased 5,5 times in 2016 – growth rates are not seen by Fitbit or GoPro in their first year», – he wrote in the post on his Facebook page.

Also, Petcube has already managed to attract 4 million USD of investments and get into the program of one of the world’s most powerful start-up incubator Y Combinator.
The Petcube sells their products in more than 2,500 stores in the US and Canada, and the company is entering the markets of Japan, Australia, and the European Union. Now Petcube is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in China and of course in Ukraine.

One of the most successful Ukrainian IT startups, MacPaw, was founded in 2008 by 27-old Kyiv native Оlexander Kosovan. The company develops software to improve the productivity of Apple’s computers. MacPaw’s app CleanMyMac takes first place in the list of best-selling applications for cleaning up MacBooks.
According to Kosovan, MacPaw wasn’t aimed to become a real business. It started with a team of three people and 3000 dollars of savings and inspiration in the «simplicity and beauty of Apple’s products».

Today MacPaw can justly be called the leader in its niche. Ukrainian developer offers ten products that are commanded by American and European experts. Its software products are used by millions of people in the U.S., Western Europe, and Asia, Apple recognizes it, and the biggest social network Facebook is among the clients of MacPaw.

Kosovan created and developed his project without any help from investors. Moreover, he launched his fund SMRK to support IT-startups. For example, in 2015 the fund invested 1 million dollars in the development of startup Ajax Systems.

MacPaw is registered in the U.S., but the central office with more than 80 employees, most of whom are Ukrainians, is based in Kyiv. It does not matter where the employee comes from, writes MacPaw’s founder in his article for Ukrainian media ain.ua, the most important criteria, are professionalism and ability to think outside the box.

UKRAINE – NEW TECHNOLOGY HUB?

Notably, that even after developing into world-known businesses Ukrainian startups don’t leave the country. Also, Ukrainian research and development centers are often the key innovators for many global companies such as Samsung, Boeing, Ericsson, ABBYY, UpWork, Siemens, Oracle, Wargaming, NetCracker, Ericsson, Huawei and many others. According to the IT Ukraine industry report that covers Ukrainian IT outsourcing and software R&D capacity, there are more than 100 R&D-centers of tech companies in Ukraine representing different sectors from telecom to e-commerce, from software to gaming.

Despite the conflict with Russia and political turbulence, Ukraine is already a thriving technology center with a #3 share of IT-services in its exports – about $2,5 – 3 billion yearly. Software R&D sector and IT service grow every year by double-digit figures. But what is the explanation of the popularity of Ukraine?

According to the freelance site Upwork (former Elance), Ukraine is the third best spot in the world to find specialists with advanced skills capable of undertaking complex projects. Ukraine, one of the best-educated countries in Europe, graduates about 15 thousand of IT professionals per year, says recent IT Ukraine industry report, released by Ukraine Digital News and AVentures Capital. For now, Ukraine has the highest number of IT specialists in Central Europe and the number of IT-companies in the country exceeds 1 000. Also, about 30 000 of Ukrainian IT professionals have international Brainbench Certificates that makes Ukraine the third country in the Top-50 countries with the largest number of certified IT-specialists.

Another advantage of Ukraine for businesses is the ability to utilize resources more efficiently. The average wage rate of the US-based developers is 50-250 dollars per hour comparing 30-100 dollars that charge developers from Eastern Europe. Moreover, these affordable prices are combined with a high-quality service.

The ease of communication can also be mentioned among the benefits of conducting research and development activities in Ukrainian cities as all of Ukrainian developers and PMs, have intermediate and higher level of English. Ukrainian IT-workers also demonstrate serious business approach and ensure smooth business operations, including punctuality, transparent project management, and fundamental task performance.

CAN UKRAINE BECOME THE NEXT SILICON VALLEY? 

It is hard to tell. But this question has already been asked by Dailymail. Meanwhile, Forbes characterizes Ukraine as a new Tech Mecca, underlining the country’s base of talent and technology infrastructure and Huffingtonpost warns not to undervalue Ukraine’s technological advances and its impact on the global tech scene. Can they be right? You shouldn’t bet against it.

Source: edgica.com

8 Striking IoT Smart Devices Made In Ukraine

Petcube and Branto aren’t the only Ukrainian gadgets. This article will tell you more about a window blind with solar batteries, a key to all lockers, a voice mask that allows to speak in private, lucid dreams generator and a lot of other amazing inventions waiting in the wings.

Cardiomo

Roman Bielkin invented a device capable of monitoring health state on real time basis. One needs to stick the patch with adhesive electrodes to a chest (under heart), and it will record the main biometric data – pulse, electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, and body temperature. The collected information is sent to Watsons Bluemix cloud service via user’s smartphone, and then the data goes to relatives’ phones as instant messages and weekly reports. The patch also has an alarm button to urgently inform about health issues. Cardiomo can also be used as a fitness tracker because the device provides its user with information about the quantity of steps, body position, sleep quality and activity data.

CloviTek

The startup founded by Vitaliy Makhidov helps to keep silence but at the same time makes watching videos comfortable. Their invention, CloviFi works in the following way: you need to connect it to Wi-Fi, download and install a smartphone app, choose a device from a menu (a TV in this case), connect headphones to a smartphone and listen to a film/TV program/ music via headphones. You won’t disturb home folks or colleagues. CloviFi plays a role of a sound transmitter sending sound from a TV to a smartphone, while the app allows to control it.

Ecoisme

This smart system monitors the level of energy consuming in a house and sends the data to smartphone via a mobile app. The gadget is integrated into electrical grid to collect the needed information about appliance. As a result, its user gets a detailed analysis on consumed electricity and recommendations how to save more. Also, Ecoisme can synchronize with other smart devices. Currently the device costs around $300.

Hushme

Hushme by ARTKB is a personal acoustic device that protects speech privacy in open space environment. Then headset resembles ordinary headphones but when you put it to your mouth nobody hears what you’re chatting about on the phone. It masks your voice with different sounds. A mobile app installed beforehand gives you an opportunity to choose among a range of options, be it sound of wind, ocean, rain, singing birds or even Darth Vader breath. Not only can you choose these ones but also upload your own sounds as well as control volume etc. Currently Hushme is being tested, so it isn’t on sale.

Hideez Key 2

In the beginning of 2017 Ukrainian company Hideez Technology presented the second version of its gadget called Hideez Key on CES exhibition. The device has 4 form-factors – a keychain fob, a wristband, a pendant and a clip. It deals with saving user’s passwords and can be used instead of a key to house and office locks. Hideez Key 2 is smaller, it has silicone caps and waterproof case on the contrary to its first version launched the previous year.

SolarGaps

Eugeniy Erik engineered a window blinds capable of accumulating solar power. The blinds slats contain modules converting sunlight into electricity. In this way SolarGapscan make any building independent from state power supply. They are able to generate up to 150 watt-hours for every square meter when mounted outside, and up to 100 watt-hours per square meter when mounted inside. This device is controlled by a mobile app, and it automatically сhanges its position to get maximum sunlight. The converter stores energy and provides it to appliances when needed. You can also store and accumulate excess electricity with it.

Luciding

Want to find out what lucid dream is? This device is made for you. It detects rapid eye movement sleep (REM), the state when a human is able to see lucid dreams, and sends a sleeping person corresponding stimulating signals. You can select new plots for dream travels and share the achievements with your friends due to a mobile app. Pretests haven’t proved the results promised by its developers but a person testing Luciding device at least succeeded to sleep well.

Technovator XE

Ukrainian team Technovator XE is creating a set of gadgets consisting of a charge base, several smartphone cases and an application allowing to control the whole kit. A basic power transmitter can charge up to four devices simultaneously within a radius of 5 metres, and the office one charges eight devices within a radius of up to 10 metres. Charging phones has never been easier: all you need is to connect a charge base to Wi-Fi, wear a case, start the app. The office kit is under development now but a home set is a working prototype synchronizing with iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus which will cost $200.

Source: qubit-labs.com

Ukrainian Railways plans five-year investment program

Ukraine’s state-owned JSC Ukrzaliznytsia railways operator has presented its five-year development strategy for 2017-21, which includes investment of UAH 130 billion to UAH 150 billion, and the formation of five business sectors: freight transport and logistics, passenger transport, infrastructure, traction services, manufacturing and services, according to the Railway Gazette.

In the freight sector, Ukrzaliznytsia plans to invest in the creation of intermodal terminals and logistics services with a target of growing its share of the container market from 29% to 45% in 2021. The passenger division will form six regional commuter-operating businesses in 2018, and a company to manage stations. The planned traction services company would be tasked with purchasing 250 new locomotives and modernizing the current fleet, the Railway Gazette reported. Read also Ukrzaliznytsia invited to mend railway tracks in Poland The 2017-21 rolling stock investment plan is worth UAH 108 billion, including UAH 87 billion for the purchase of 262 locomotives (UAH 36 billion), 35,773 wagons (UAH 31 billion), 440 coaches (UAH 9 billion) and 46 diesel and electric multiple-units (UAH 11 billion). The remaining UAH 22 billion would be used for the modernization of 403 freight, 212 passenger and 283 shunting locos as well as 57,510 wagons, 696

The 2017-21 rolling stock investment plan is worth UAH 108 billion, including UAH 87 billion for the purchase of 262 locomotives (UAH 36 billion), 35,773 wagons (UAH 31 billion), 440 coaches (UAH 9 billion) and 46 diesel and electric multiple-units (UAH 11 billion). The remaining UAH 22 billion would be used for the modernization of 403 freight, 212 passenger and 283 shunting locos as well as 57,510 wagons, 696 coaches and 430 multiple units. This would mean that at least half of the Ukrzaliznytsia fleet would be new or modernized, in contrast to the current situation where three-quarters of the fleet are in need of modernization or replacement.

Source: unian.info