Despite the war in Ukraine, the high technology sector has managed to save its activities.
Between the buildings that dominate a giant chessboard game, a trampoline space and a food truck, some young Ukrainians are going through the largest park dedicated to the country’s high technology sector, unit.city. Before the war, this “city in the city”, according to Denys Shymanskyi, the site communications officer, welcomed more than 3,000 employees and 110 companies. Created in 2016 on the site of an abandoned factory in the capital, space is intended to be an ultramodern center combining work, life and education with high technologies. “The idea is an ecosystem in which everything goes faster, where start-ups can find money and investors directly on site,” explains Denys Tuchkov, the sales manager.
unit.city is starting to regain colors and find a semblance of activity since its reopening in early June. At the start of the war, throughout the country, tens of thousands of employees specialized in the information technology sector, IT, were relocated to the west of the country, in regions far from fighting, where to the foreigner. If unit.city has only found 15 % of its normal activity, the apparent calm that reigns between the towers with “intelligent cameras” in no way reflects the dynamism of the environment.
In a situation where the economy collapsed and where, according to the World Bank forecasts, Ukraine could see its GDP dive by 45 % at the end of the year, the third economic sector of the country represents an important windfall for the authorities. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, for the first quarter of 2022, the IT provided in the Ukrainian budget a record amount of $ 2 billion in export revenue against $ 1.44 billion the previous year, at the same period . According to the IT Ukraine association, the volume of exports has even increased by 28 %. In addition, the association said that the number of computer specialists reached 285,000 in 2021, compared to 244,000 a year earlier. 2> “The pandemic prepared us to work like that”
For Dominique Petiot, the CEO for three years of unit. City, this sector is the one “who is doing the best”. The Franco-American entrepreneur who left the country a few days before the start of the invasion considers that companies have learned from the experience of the pandemic. “We have been a lot prepared for remote work. And tech is ready for it quite well since we don’t need to be in an office to develop.” Added to this is a second factor: “The majority Ukrainian tech customers are foreign, explains the man. Those who had Ukrainian customers must necessarily arrest. But those who had foreign customers were able to continue, because their sources of income did not stop. ”
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