Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

Sponsored Content

belarusBuilding an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem: A Success Story from Belarus Hi-Tech Park

Established 10 years ago as a start-up initiative, Belarus Hi-Tech Park (HTP) has provided software and IT services production growth at 30-40% annually and is expected to reach $1b this year. 10 years ago, we could not have imagined such results since the whole country exported software worth about $14m.

HTP has turned out to be one of the leading innovative IT clusters in Europe, with 164 resident companies and over 25,000 software engineers employed there. More than 3,000 new jobs are created in HTP companies annually.

Belarus has become a prominent player on the international IT market, with the professionalism and expertise of Belarusian software engineers being recognized globally. Thus, Gartner names Belarus among the Top 10 most attractive locations for service delivery centers in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

HTP companies provide IT services on the B2B market to customers from 61 countries. EPAM, IBA Group, Itransition, Intetics, Exadel, ScienceSoft, System Technologies, and many other HTP residents are well-known internationally. Five out of ten of the world’s largest companies (according to Forbes Lists) are among HTP customers. Over 900 million people in more than 190 countries use applications developed in HTP.

Due to the unique innovation ecosystem created in HTP, a number of IT projects have already gained worldwide success: World of Tanks, Viber, Apalon, maps.me, MSQRD.

We are witnessing the emergence of a new economy – the information economy, with the individual at its core. So our task is to develop an ecosystem encouraging smart, talented people to work on their ideas in Belarus, and think globally when implementing them.

The major pillar of the HTP innovation ecosystem is a comprehensive cooperation between the IT industry and the country’s education system based on three models.

The Stanford model appeared to be the most favorable to bridge the gap between academic and real life and became the earliest we adopted. HTP companies have opened about 80 joint research labs in Belarusian universities as a channel for practical knowledge transfer. Initially, these labs were focused exclusively on software engineering; now they also teach business analytics, computer science, etc.

Over 30 university research departments of computer science and related subjects operate within HTP companies to bring together educational process and production, improve the quality of training, and enable students to gain their first professional experience.

Another example we followed is the John Bryce model. To solve a challenge Israel faced when about a million former Soviet Union immigrants, mostly engineers, failed to find jobs, they invited Motorola, HP and some other global high-tech corporations to open R&D centers, and created a special educational center to re-train adults in the hi-tech field. That gave an unprecedented boost to the Israeli IT industry.

In 2010, the Educational Center of the Hi-Tech Park was established with the participation of HTP residents to provide re-education for adults with a technical background. Over 5,000 people were retrained there. Today, the HTP Educational Center also works with students and children. For its efforts in promoting and fostering information society development, HTP Educational Center was highly appreciated by the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) expert group and honoured as a Champion of WSIS Prize 2016 during the WSIS Forum in Geneva.

One more model was prompted by our own experience. As HTP companies gained expertise in different areas, sometimes highly specialized, they started to establish their own competence centers. These centers allow companies’ employees to access best international and Belarusian practices and improve their skills in solving unusual and complex tasks. The competence centers also provide free courses to re-train adults who successfully pass special entrance tests (in mathematical logic, English, etc.).

Today, we are witnessing a boom in the start-up movement worldwide: in the USA, China, India, Brazil, and in European countries. Young people in Belarus are also eager to develop their own projects as they are witnessing an increasing number of global success stories in Belarus.

The HTP business incubator serves to encourage entrepreneurship and sustain the spirit of innovation. This is a place where innovators can meet engineers, and ideas for new business ventures can be born. Start-up companies developing their own products can get assistance and mentorship there.

Knowledge is important but motivation and inspiration mean even more. So we invite developers and founders of successful Belarusian projects to share their experience with startups and drive them.

Since our local market is small, we do not support projects intended for Belarus only. Instead, we encourage entrepreneurs to consider international prospects when working on their projects, and attract investments from abroad. If you can get funding in Singapore, Tokyo, Silicon Valley, or London, you are on the right road and develop a truly global product.

I look forward to sharing our experiences and learning from other participants in the B2G Dialogue “Top-down vs Bottom-up Innovation: Fostering Future Tech Entrepreneurship” at ITU Telecom World 2016 in the coming days.

Posted by Dr. Valery Tsepkalo, Director, Belarus Hi-Tech Park

Dr. Valery Tsepkalo initiated and has headed Belarus Hi-Tech Park, one of the leading innovative IT clusters in Europe, through its10-year development history. Doctor in International Law, he previously served as Ambassador to the USA and to the United Mexican States. He also served governmental expert to the UN Secretary General in the field of information and communication technologies. Dr. Tsepkalo is the author of two books and more than a hundred articles on information technologies and world economy and numerous publications on e-government, hi-tech development and intellectual property rights. He has publications in Foreign Affairs, Journal of Commerce, Washington Post, Frankfurter Allgemeine, among others.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

In China things are moving in the right direction

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Unemployment and stagnation can tear Eurozone apart if austere policies persist

“Will TTIP solve the massive EU-US unemployment? Absolutely not!” A revealing Sting Exclusive with Tim Bennett from the Transatlantic Business Council

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

The European Commission to stop Buffering

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

Entrepreneurship in a newly shaped Europe: what is the survival kit for a young Catalan and British entrepreneur in 2018?

India’s Largest Entrepreneurship Event is Back! (23-24th August 2016)

A Sting Exclusive: Paris Climate Change Summit, a defining moment for humanity, by Ulf Björnholm Head of UNEP Brussels

Industrial products: Lifting the last impediments in the EU single market

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Italy’s Letta: A European Banking Union soon or Eurozone collapses

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

“Beating pollution for our planet”, a Sting Exclusive by Mr Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: The Draft Agreement Updated

The inhumane face of crisis mirrored in numbers

How the Irish people were robbed by banks, the Commission and their own government

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Travel the world, find yourself

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

The European Commission cuts roaming charges. But “it’s not enough”…

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

The Irish Presidency bullies the Parliament over EU budget

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

ZTE @ MWC14: ZTE excels in all areas at this year’s Mobile World Congress

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

EU and Japan agree on free-trade deal and fill the post-TPP void

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s