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Belarus High Technologies Park

 

In 2005 Belarus has launched a new ambitious national project – creation of High Technologies Park (HTP). The Park plays a pivotal role in Belarusian IT industry development and growth. HTP draws together synergies among industries and academy to create an optimal business environment where products move towards commercialization.

Belarus – Silicon Valley of the former Soviet Union

Historically, Belarus was one of the most technologically advanced republics of the former Soviet Union. Belarus' competitive strength in software and IT services is based on a unique 50 year-old tradition of multi-generational IT skills. The highly qualified workforce is trained within traditionally strong education and research and development systems. Belarus was regarded as the Silicon Valley of the former Soviet Union, manufacturing over 50 per cent of the computers and computer components in the former USSR.

Nowadays Belarusian Software and IT Services sector is one of the most successful and fastest growing industries in Belarus.

After the collapse of the USSR, the majority of skilled IT specialists were not lost and became got involved in open-market IT businesses. Besides, the main Research and Development institutions and centers managed to survive and saved their intellectual resources. In early 1990s, Belarus’ IT market and its engineering resources started attracting attention of big international vendors. A few joint ventures were set up at that time to develop international IT business from Belarusian territory.

As a result of its historical development, Belarus’ schools of information systems development and programming have accumulated profound experience which is considered to be one of the key factors in the modern IT industry. The practical business skills gained by the leading Belarus IT companies activate the above mentioned resources thus enabling the engagement of Belarus as a mature player in the global IT market.

In summer 2004 Trestle Group conducted a survey among upper-level management around the globe. Responses were collected primarily from the financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors based in 16 countries – 70 per cent from EU member states. The survey shows an increase in outsourcing activity in Eastern Europe. When asked about the preferred outsourcing destination, 22 per cent of respondents named Belarus as a preferred destination for IT outsourcing taking into account proximity, government support and reduced labour costs.

The two largest Belarusian enterprises, IBA Group and EPAM Systems, were the first in Europe to achieve the SEI CMMI® (Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integration) Level 4 Rating. A CMMI rating provides for organization's worldwide recognition as a quality provider of systems engineering, software engineering, and IT services.

Belarus hosts the largest and most established European IT outsourcing providers based east of Germany. Two of these providers, EPAM and IBA, were recognized in the Top 5 to Watch in Central and Eastern Europe list in the first annual “Offshore 100” round-up of top global offshore ITO and BPO service providers by neoIT and CMP's Managing Offshore.

Such Belarus-based companies as EPAM Systems and Itransition were listed in Software 500 which is an annual revenue-based ranking of largest software and service providers in the world.

These and other Belarusian IT companies have world-class project management infrastructure, international certification and successfully serve world-renowned clients, including IBM, Colgate-Palmolive, Samsung, Siemens, Alcatel, British Telecom, Ford-Union, Microsoft.

Over 75 per cent of all software development and related IT services in Belarus are export-oriented. The annual growth of the export-oriented IT industry of Belarus is 35-40 per cent.

The High Technologies Park

The Park was set up by the Decree of the President of Belarus in September 2005. The creation of the Park is aimed at developing modern information technologies and expanding their export, as well as attracting to the sector IT know-how.

High Technologies Park was also formed to consolidate the IT industry of Belarus by concentrating its intellectual and scientific resources within a world-class techno park. Residents and investors of High Technologies Park are exempt from all taxes.

First residents were registered in 2006. Currently, 152 companies are registered as HTP residents. More than a half of them are foreign companies and joint ventures. By the origin of investments attracted to the sphere of new and high technologies:

41% of HTP residents were set up by Belarusian investors,

24% of HTP residents are joint ventures

35% of HTP residents are enterprises with 100% foreign investments.

Since 2015, Hi-Tech Park resident-companies are allowed to get involved in new science-intensive activities. Now, any company engaged in IT and related industries (micro-, opto- and nanoelectronics, mechatronics, telecommunications, radar ranging, radio navigation and wireless communication), information protection and establishment of data processing centers can apply for residency within the HTP and benefit from tax-incentives and other advantages it provides. HTP resident-companies can work and provide services in the field of information system analysis, designing and software development (IT consulting, audit, national information networks maintenance, database development and corporate information systems implementation and support).

The export share in the total production volume exceeds 91.5%. The resident companies are successful on North American and European hi-tech markets. Today they have customers in 61 countries around the globe. Today world leading corporations, such as Peugeot, Mitsubishi, British Petroleum, Gazprom, Reuters, British Telecom, London Stock Exchange, World Bank, Coca-Cola, etc. are among major consumers of Belarusian software developed in Belarus Hi-Tech Park.

The Hi-Tech Park project stands out of other departmental projects due to the fact that the Hi-Tech Park is viewed as a national project and is supervised personally by the President of the Republic of Belarus.

To benchmark and learn from experiences of other innovative clusters the Hi-Tech Park has signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding with the parks of China, Finland, Armenia, Republic of Korea, etc. Through international cooperation the Park’s administration is seeking to transform HTP into a great innovation cluster, fostering technology exchange, technology commercialization, and technology marketing.

The administration of the Park is developing a business plan of building its infrastructure. HTP’s infrastructure will include five zones: science and production area; residential area; public, business and education area; public and sport area, and long-range area. In the first area on almost 15 hectares scientific premises and production facilities for IT companies will be built. The residential area (about 9 hectares) will include residential housing and social infrastructure. IT companies will have their offices in public and business centre. In this area IT Academy, its hostel and a hotel are also planned to be built. Social and recreation zone will consist of gyms, swimming pools, restaurant, etc.

HTP symbolizes a culture in which the fruits of growth are returned to society and educational institutions. HTP builds industry-academia programmes and bolster corporate competitiveness through the systematic sharing of information. The research-oriented universities foster practical programmes that encourage collaboration with industry. There is a multitude of cooperation between them and corporations.

The administration of the Park looks forward to taking a proactive approach to addressing the concerns and needs of various stakeholders, so that they can foster partnerships that not only endure the test of time but meet the demands of discerning consumers.

Contacts:

Administration of the High Technologies Park
Business-center XXI Century
169 Nezavisimosty Ave., Minsk, Belarus
Tel.: +375 (17) 218-1935
Fax: +375 (17) 218-1908
http://www.park.by