BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 2. Azerbaijan's Innovation and Digital Development Agency is developing the country's innovation ecosystem in six directions, the agency told Trend.
The main areas include the sectors of human capital development, technological entrepreneurship, investment and innovation ecosystems, as well as regulation of legislation and the formation of infrastructure.
"Based on the work done in all these areas, we can say that the agency is getting closer to its goals step by step. Thus, the Technest Scholarship Program, implemented for the development of human capital in the field of ICT, in 2021 provided scholarships to 618 of its students, and in 2022 more than 1,500 people became scholarship holders," the agency said.
At the same time, 60 people have already started an intensive training program at the newly established Cyber Security Center of the country jointly with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Speaking about the steps and prospects being taken in the innovation ecosystem, the agency's Acting Chairperson Inara Valiyeva noted that these initiatives are essential steps in the development of Azerbaijan as an innovation center of the region.
"Every step we take, every project we implement and support is designed to ensure the country's development in this area and turn it into the main ICT center of the region. We can express with satisfaction that 29 companies have already received the right to operate outside the Technopark as its residents," she said.
According to the chairperson, these companies are exempt from income tax, profit tax and dividends, as well as property and land tax for a period of 10 years. At the same time, they will be able to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities provided for social insurance payments.
Since the beginning of the year, the agency has been working on the development of the investment ecosystem.
"The Caucasus Ventures, a fund created in the country, has already invested in three Azerbaijani startups, and six more startups are under consideration. At the same time, the Technovate Angels Club, with the support of our agency, made investments in the amount of $125,000 for the first time," Valiyeva added.