Forum “Made in Azerbaijan: Innovations and Technologies” (MAINTECH –2019) was held within the Innovation Festival on June 3.
The event was organized with the support and at the initiative of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies.
The forum was attended by representatives of government agencies, the private sector, international organizations, foreign diplomatic corps functioning in Azerbaijan, as well as participants of the innovation ecosystem, startuppers and representatives of foreign countries.
Delivering an opening address to the forum, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade said that at the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev, an innovation infrastructure is being formed in the country: “High technologies parks and industrial parks have been created in Azerbaijan. Benefits are enjoyed by the residents of these parks. There are funds to ensure access of innovation entities to financial resources. Through these funds, grants and concessional loans are given to innovative projects. Innovative entrepreneurship is rapidly developing.”
Speaking of the progress made in this area, the Minister stressed that Azerbaijan’s IT companies with their products are entering international markets: “HTech Invest, the resident of Mingachevir High-Tech Park, has launched the production of Acer computers. In addition, some startups with their projects are taking steps to enter the global market.”
Ramin Guluzade noted that in order to accelerate innovation development, the Innovation Agency has been established under the Ministry: “The purpose of the agency is to create a dynamic innovation system in the country, which serves to turn ideas into products for entrance to the market. As part of this process, our main goal is to create conditions for the production and export of innovative and technological products under the brand Made in Azerbaijan.”
The Minister also stressed that the head of state issued a number of important instructions on improving efficiency and ensuring coordination in the field of innovative development in the Republic of Azerbaijan. “To fulfill these tasks, we are conducting our work in several directions. The first direction is to assist local business entities in obtaining modern technologies and technological solutions. For this purpose, technology transfer centers will be created, entrepreneurs will be able to use relevant services. The Data Center commissioned by the Ministry in 2016 currently provides governmental and non-governmental structures with services such as “cloud-based solutions”, “co-location”, and “hybrid solutions”. The second direction is the introduction of appropriate support mechanisms. It provides for the issuance of grants, concessional loans to innovative projects, as well as startups. As is known, the Ministry has been carrying out activities in this direction for several years. During this period, startups have been given 117 grants, and 16 business entities have been provided soft loans. And the third direction is the promotion of innovative initiative in the country. Some steps in this direction have already been taken. The project “I2B - From idea to Business” is being implemented, students and young people are actively involved in this process. Laboratories are being built in accordance with current development trends, such as robotics technology, the Internet of Things, various contests and competitions are held,” – Ramin Guluzade said.
It should be noted that the main objective of the Forum MAINTECH-2019 is to widely promote innovative and technology products and services and to support their export.
The event featured presentations and discussions about the prospects for exporting local innovative products and technologies, developing the innovation business ecosystem, and encouraging the use of created products and services by private and public sectors within the country.