By Rashid Shirinov
A new innovation center of the High Tech Park LLC under Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies will be ready and put into operation before the end of 2019, the LLC Director Tural Karimli said when addressing the Microsoft Innovation Forum in Baku on February 28.
He noted that the center with a total area of 7,000 square meters will be located in the Khatai telecommunication node of Baku Telephone Communication LLC.
“All IT companies to be operating in the center will be given the status of resident, which will allow them to enjoy tax preferences," Karimli said.
It was previously reported that 10 percent of the building’s area will be used for administrative needs and the remaining part is designed for start-up projects.
The project of the innovation center construction provides for the reconstruction of the building, where the head office of the LLC, business incubation center, coworking center, laboratories, etc. will be located.
The new approach to supporting startups is that residents of the LLC, as well as the startups, will be located right in the innovation center and will take a direct part in the development of innovative projects.
Elmir Valizade, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, also addressed the Microsoft Innovation Forum, saying that innovative development is of the highest priority for Azerbaijan, and it is especially important that business and the youth get involved in this process.
“As this process gains mass character, the development of Azerbaijan will grow at an even greater pace. Azerbaijan has great potential in this area, and the country can achieve significant success in it,” Valizade said.
He continued that from this point of view, the role of the information society participants is extremely important. “We are sure that all of us, whether it be the state agencies, business or students, will be able to achieve success together.”
The deputy minister noted that Azerbaijan has certain successes in this field.
“First of all, it can be noted that the innovation policy declared in the country is fixed by legal bases, which creates an opportunity for attracting investments in many directions in Azerbaijan, including in the sphere of ICT,” Valizade mentioned.
He added that to develop this direction in Azerbaijan even more, a new investment law is being developed that will meet all modern requirements and create the necessary conditions for the entry of structures willing to carry out their activities in Azerbaijan.
“Along with this, laws on innovation are also being prepared in Azerbaijan, and we think that the new legislation on investments and innovations will contribute to the innovative development of the country, Valizade concluded.
ICT is considered to be one of the crucial spheres for the further development of Azerbaijan's economy and an integral part of the economic and political reforms which are currently implemented in the country. Azerbaijan, which is a regional leader in the ICT sector, intends to further develop the sector. The income obtained in the sector in Azerbaijan is projected to hit $9 billion by 2020.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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