On Monday (August, 24) Ukraine celebrated its 24th Independence Day. The last year wasn’t easy for the country and its economy in view of all the events that have been happening in the world economy. Nevertheless we’ve seen lots of significant events that occurred in Ukrainian IT market during the last year. The leading source for tech news ain.ua has selected the most important events of Ukrainian IT from August 2014 till August 2015.
Opening the Bitcoin Embassy in Ukraine
Last autumn (September, 2014) Bitcoin Embassy was opened in Kyiv. It has become the fourth embassy in the world; the three others were opened in Montreal (Canada), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Warsaw (Poland). The main purpose of the “embassy” is to organize the educational events about Bitcoins but there you can also buy some souvenirs and use Bitcoin ATM. The embassy serves as an information center, a place to gather Bitcoin community, and an educational center. During different events, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss the most relevant questions about Bitcoins and their place in the finance world today.
IT specialists in Ukrainian Parliament
In October 2014, there was an election to Ukrainian Parliament. Among its members there were at least 5 people who had worked in the IT industry before: Olga Belkova – ex-partner of business incubator EastLabs, Victor Galasyuk – ex-CEO of Bionic Hill Innovation Park, Oleksandr Danchenko – ex-CEO of telecom provider Data Group, Oleksiy Skrypnyk – ex-CEO of IT company ELEKS Software, Vlad Voskresensky – ex-CEO of IT company Invisible CRM. That’s the highest number of IT specialists presented in the supreme legislative institution comparing to other years. The new parliament members are going to help state authorities to develop new technologies, to introduce e-government and other initiatives.
Launching online courses by Kyiv universities
Ukrainian professors and teachers from leading Kyiv universities have launched the online educational platform Prometheus with open courses in programming, finances and history. The main idea of the founders is not only to create their own courses but also to encourage other Ukrainian universities and teachers to add their own free courses. The most interesting subjects are IT, business management, history, law, foreign languages and others. For example, right now you can attend such online courses as “History of Ukraine: from World War II to modern days”, “Programming Basics”, “Development and Analysis of Algorithms”, “Basics of Information Security”, “Internet Media” and others.
Electronic (biometric) passports
At the beginning of February, any Ukrainian citizen will have an opportunity to receive a biometric passport. Such passport differs from an ordinary one as it has an electronic chip on its cover. The chip can include fingerprints of a person, and other personal information. Issuing such a passport is one of the steps on the way to visa-free regime with Europe. Anyone can refuse the entry of their fingerprints into the memory of the chip.
Simplification of electric cars import
In May, Ukrainian Parliament voted for two laws which simplify import of electric cars into Ukraine. The first law exempts the importers of e-cars from paying VAT, and excise import duty; the second one – cancels import duty for electric cars. This law proposes to establish zero tax for import of vehicles with electric engines: trolleys, bicycles, cars with electric engines that are used at warehouses, airports, ports and so on.
Network of refill stations for electric cars
Year by year, we see more and more electric cars, and Ukraine is not an exception. The community Tesla Cars Ukraine has created a network of 34 refill stations for e-cars. If you want to refill your Tesla or another electric car, then you should ask a waiter for an appropriate type of a charging cable. This service is free of charge. The stations are universal for all the types of e-cars and are installed on the main state roads. Interesting fact is that these charging stations have been produced by Ukrainian company from Dnipropetrovsk, called E-Line.
Launch of 3G network
In February, three Ukrainian mobile providers received the state license that allowed them to launch 3G network for their users. In June, commercial of 3G appeared in Kyiv, Lviv, and Odessa. Little by little all other Ukrainian cities should receive faster mobile internet service as well.
New government initiatives about development of software industry
The bill about development of software industry was issued by the Cabinet of Ministers on June, 17. This document was prepared by the State Agency for E-Governance in Ukraine. The bill includes 4 paragraphs of state support for: creating competitive IT environment in Ukraine; stimulating Ukrainian companies to use quality management systems; improving processes of upgrading professional skills; attracting foreign investments.
Creating the Ministry of IT
That’s only in the strategic plans right now. As a part of the IT industry reforms, some state authorities propose to create a ministry that would be able to resolve such issues as: development of information society (computerization, e-government, distance learning, telemedicine etc.); development of information infrastructure (analytical computer systems, software industry, telecommunications, mail etc.); information security (cyber security, technical protection of information, cryptographic protection, state system of special communication etc.).
Web portal iGov
The team of IT volunteers from Ukraine (and other countries) with government support created the web portal iGov.org.ua where government services can be provided online. The founders of the project would like to gather all the state services that public authorities provide to the citizens and businesses. By the end of 2015, they hope that the website will be able to provide 20% of all possible government services. It’s expected that in the future the website will be able to convert any document into electronic form. In that case you should ask for assistance of a notary.
- Active in helping Ukraine? Join the Friends of Ukraine worldwide network (euromaidanpress.com)
- Ukrainian Schoolchildren Want to Study Programming (softheme-blog-2017)