Brainstorm begins

More companies registered in the High-Tech Park
A second stream of companies working in Big Science has been accepted under the wing of the High-Tech Park

— We observe the first positive results, says the director of the administration of the High-Tech Park, Valery Tsepkalo. — The specialists that left their companies years ago to look for big money are now getting back to Belarus. They don’t have to leave to work and make money.

The High-Tech Park will be feasible as soon as it has over 30 resident companies. As of today there are nine companies in the High-Tech Park. Valery Tsepkalo believes the park will hit the target by the end of the year.

— I believe we will first have a conglomerate of companies working in the IT segment, Valery Tsepkalo says. — A bit later we will start speaking about other promising directions, for example, biotechnologies.

When registered as a resident of the High-Tech Park, the company gets numerous preferences, for instance, it is exempted from taxes, dues and payments to the republican budget and budgetary targeted funds. Besides, it is exempted from the sales tax and intellectual property tax.

— We also invite new companies that deal with high technologies, but are not involved in developing software, to take part in the project, the deputy director of the administration of the High-Tech Park, Alexander Martinkevich, notes. — In this case we will be providing our support only to the limited group of people that directly deal with new know-how.

The park will soon have its own Council of IT Directors. The top IT managers and directors will gather to share their experience during informal meetings and discuss pressing issues and brand new developments. It is also planned to establish an independent advisory center and publish an electronic databank with comprehensive information about all participants in the project.

The first meetings of senior IT managers outlined the main problems in the segment.

— Belarus is short of programmers, Alexander Martinkevich sighs. — We analyzed the situation and it appeared that every student of Belarusian State University of IT and Radioelectronics is attached to some company starting the second year of studies. The market is so hot now that some programmers are getting pernickety about salaries and perks. So we plan to set up a center to retrain specialists of allied trades and get the specialists that left for other sectors back into this business. Some qualified engineers were once “prompted” by low salaries to trade at markets.

Belarusian programmers are very popular in the world now, because in Europe and Americas marketing professions are better-selling than technical occupations. In Belarus, nearly 50% of all people have something to do with engineering and are able to repair simple devices. Your telephone breaks down, and you try to repair it yourself, whereas in the west you would invite a specialist even if you had a minor problem. So from the point of view of the personnel potential of the country Belarus is an ideal location for high technologies and top-of-the-line products. Some European IT companies seem eager to move their think-tanks to Belarus.

— There are high-tech companies of different ownership, but it is more important that it is Belarusian rather than a privately-owned or state-controlled company, says Yury Gavrilov, the director of the company Design Bureau of System Programming, which has just been registered in the High-Tech Park. — I am quite happy that we have become the first state-owned company registered in the High-Tech Park. I am certain we will have a team of soul mates here in order not only to exchange technological experience, but also to develop corporate relations in order to boost production effectiveness and competitive power of the Belarusian economy.

by Yury Akulov
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