New public-private agency to incubate defense technologies in Ukraine

Last month saw the launch of the Innovations Development Platform (IDP),  Ukraine’s first agency dedicated to the incubation and development of innovative defense projects.

Inspired by Israel’s Chief Scientist’s Office, this public-private partnership initiative aims to bring together developers, experts and investors “to develop innovations for the Ukrainian army and foreign partners in transparent commercial conditions.”

Developers with the most promising ideas will be selected from local higher education institutions, R&D organizations, design bureaus and enterprises. They will benefit from the agency’s expertise and equipment.

Priority will be given to projects that can be implemented by the military in less than two years.

Investors will be involved in each of the selected projects to ensure serial production.

In the future, an industrial park to manufacture the devices developed by the platform residents will be created in partnership with Technology Companies’ Development Centre.

The IDP was launched by Spetstechnoexport, a state enterprise for arms import-export, in partnership with industry association Ukrainian Defense Industry and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.

Ukraine is a sizeable player on the global arms market, with a share of roughly 3% between 2010 and 2014. However, the country’s sales decreased significantly after 2014.

As reported last year by the Kyiv Post, industry analysts point out the lack of facilities to manufacture products that are in demand in the market. The reputation of some Ukrainian suppliers on the international arms market also leaves to be desired.

Source: uadn.net

Huawei among top Chinese investors active in Ukraine

Huawei began as a small opera­tion when it was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army. It has since then grown into a global multinational headquartered in Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong Province.

At first manufacturing for industry, it gradually expanded into telecommunications and consumer electronics, releasing its first cellular phone on to the mass market in 2004. Today its products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are “used by one-third of the world’s population,” according to the company’s website.
Huawei began operating in Ukraine in 1998 and since then its business in the country has “grown year on year,” says Vitaliy Matarykin, a public relations manager.

Looking ahead, the tech manufacturer is focusing on 4G technology which will allow users greater access to data-hungry services.

“We believe that in the nearest future cloud services will boom in Ukraine,” says Matarykin. “People will have access to their information anytime and anywhere. The business-to-business market, especially in the small and medium enterprise segment, has very high potential demand in I.T. and new technology solutions in telecoms.”

Last month Huawei announced that it plans to soon open a research and development center in Ukraine. If the center does open, it will join the more than a dozen such institutions which Huawei already operates worldwide

Source: kyivpost.com

UNIT.City: first Ukrainian innovation park

In recent years, Ukraine has been actively developing the innovation sphere, and Ukrainian start-ups and IT companies are known worldwide. According to IT companies, in 2016 the IT market amounted to $3 billion, which is 3.3% of Ukraine’s GDP in 2016. This area grows by 20,000 jobs annually. These growth rates can gradually match traditional Ukrainian industries like metallurgy and agriculture that will increase budget revenues. Ukraine has been discussing the launch of innovation parks for several years. One of the first has recently opened in Kyiv.

The first part of a large-scale project UNIT.City was presented on April 6 in Kyiv. It is expected to become the focus of the country’s creative economy.

The goal of the UNIT.City project is to combine educational, business, cultural, medical, sports and entertainment facilities in order to provide small and medium-sized innovation businesses with access to all infrastructures necessary for rapid development and expertise in one area.

Target audience

For the most part, companies that work in the areas of high technology, creative ideas and innovative business will be based here. That is, small Ukrainian and international food companies, R&D centers, start-ups and IT companies.

UNIT.City will help create up to 15,000 highly paid jobs, and provide talented youth with the opportunity of self-realizing in their country thus stopping “brain drain” in Ukraine.

Infrastructure

The total area of the future innovation park will be 25 hectares. The project resembles the famous campuses of Google, Apple and other Silicon Valley giants.

As of now, 4000 square meters have been used. Business campuses, sports complex and UNIT.Factory (free programming school), which is the main educational element of the park, are located there.

Business campuses will work in the format of club-offices (the company will use a small room, while meeting rooms and other spaces can be used by other companies).

Investors plan to build 31,000 square meters of business campuses, which will help create an entire innovation park. It is planned to invest 200 million dollars in the project within four years.

Sources: ain.ua and uacrisis.org (UCMC publishes an abridged version of AIN.UA article).

Photos: Olga Zakrevska