“Country in a smartphone” – digital transformation in Ukraine

Currently, Ukraine is on its way to implement ambitious plans to raise the economy based on innovation, tech solutions, contemporary approaches, develop the potential of people, drive the ecosystem, boost brand awareness of Ukrainian tech globally.

Meet Ukrainian program of the Ministry of Digital Transformation “country in a smartphone”. The young and experienced government team is working on the goal of turning Ukraine into a tech nation. Goals for the Ministry:

  • To increase the growth of the IT sector
  • to improve its share of the economy
  • to increase the export of high-tech products and services from Ukraine.

 

Major projects of the “Country in a smartphone” and tech initiatives you should know about: 

  • Ukraine unveiled the “Diia” mobile application in early February. This app will serve as the main channel of digital communication between the government and the country’s citizens. Within a week, it had been installed by more than one million Ukrainians. For the moment, the “Diia” app offers limited functions such as digital driving licenses and ID for domestic flights. Digital passports are set to launch at the end of March, with much more to follow. Diia’s initial digital offering is already proving popular. To the end of the first month of launch, more than 1,600,000 Ukrainians had downloaded digital driving licenses.
  •  21/01/20, the Ukrainian government launched a test version of a national program of promoting digital literacy, Diya. Digital Education. The platform offers digital literacy education in the form of free series where an expert and a celebrity explain how to use websites, possible applications of smartphones and laptops, and basic Internet safety rules. It is meant to help Ukrainians of all ages to start using the Internet and smartphones. It comes as part of the government’s pledge to transfer state services online. The ambition – to teach at least six million Ukrainians digital literacy in three years. The Ukrainian online education center EdEra created videos, the project financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the East Europe Foundation, and the Innovabridge Foundation.
  • 28/02/20, the program Diia.Business was launched by the Ministry. It works as an info platform and online service provider: a catalog of business ideas, a list of necessary legal documents for opening a business, online services, and support programs, an entrepreneur’s guide, success cases, as well as opportunities for consulting help.
  • The program E-malyatko provides 10 services of parenthood which you can get just by 1 application. Now it’s available in 10 cities: Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rig, Vinnytsya, Lutsk, Mariupol, Zaporizhya, Rivne.
  • Improving tech education: Ukraine’s state institutions turn out roughly 70,000 IT specialists per year, and private institutions produce about 15,000. This is not enough to meet the growing demands. One of the options – to improve the partnership between private institutions and government universities/schools. An example is DataRoot University, developed by two former students of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, which now partners with it to offer data science courses. Also, the Ministry would like to offer IT businesses 30% of the taxes that they already pay to the state, if they wish, to direct them to those areas that they consider priority – sponsoring universities, purchasing equipment for schools, or financing individual companies involved in educational projects. This transfer will be counted as payment of taxes to the entrepreneur.
  • Green cards for 5000 High-qualified international tech professionals from all around the world. Available in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Odesa, and Kharkiv. Benefits of the initiative: permits for work without annual prolongation; work according to the Ukrainian labor legislation; emigration with the family members; the possibility to open company as the individual entrepreneur (with 5% income tax)
  • Taxing tech specialists: revamp taxation to incentivize companies to employ more people as regular employees and change the structure of payroll taxes to make sure large companies pay their share — without scaring them off. The government is working on several alternative tax structures that will likely not go into effect until 2021.
  • Attract investments and venture capital: create a framework for investment capital, but also to introduce incentives and protections against legal and financial risks, so that Ukrainian companies don’t have to register in Cyprus or the U.S. in order to receive much-needed funding.
  • Launching The Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) – a country-wide investment program that funds the most talented Ukrainian entrepreneurs. The aim is to support Ukraine-based innovation projects and help the most talented Ukrainian entrepreneurs create successful companies at scale. The IT/ high-tech products or services on the early-stage (seed, pre-seed) with a global orientation could be granted with $25K and $50K. Already 10 Startups have been received the grant.

Via the Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ukrainian Startup Fund, Atlantic Council, KyivPost. 

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