In Yakutia, the IT industry is gaining steam

For the first half of 2021, the total revenue of residents of the Yakutia technology park and IT park Yakutsk grew almost 2 times, and the amount of attracted investments amounted to 60 million rubles. Yakutia IT projects are born either at home, or at IT competitions, as well as at universities, then they receive mentoring and financial support in the accelerator “B8” and the local technology park, and then they enter the markets of Russia and other countries.

“The republic relies on the IT industry, and the technology park as an object of innovative infrastructure of the republic provides territorial concentration of financial and intellectual resources. In the first half of 2021, the revenue of residents of the Yakutia technology park and IT park Yakutsk amounted to 729 million rubles, while for the same period of last year it amounted to 377 million rubles. Residents created 2.5 times more jobs than in 2020,” Minister of Innovation, Digital Development and Information and Communication Technologies of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Anatoly Semenov told.

The structure of the Yakutia technopark includes the High-Tech Park, or Yakutsk IT Park, which was created three years ago. Currently, 114 residents create projects at the intersection of IT and other industries in the IT park.

Projects from the field of medicine, e-commerce, ecology, production, agriculture, education and others were launched here. About a third of technopark Yakutia startups is sharpened to solve local issues, while 70% of startups have the potential to reach international markets.

“We provide residents with preferential rent, information about existing benefits and subsidies, we help with paperwork, we facilitate communication with large companies and investors,” Pyotr Gabyshev, director of the Yakutia technology park, comments.

Startups for external markets

According to the Minister of Innovation of Yakutia, startups have excellent examples for motivation — history of successful Yakut companies inDriver, MyTona, Fntastic, which entered the top of foreign ratings.

“We initially orient our IT workers to work with an export target — to produce software products, including in English, which will be bought not only in Russia, but also around the world,” Anatoly Semenov said.

This year, Fntastic, a world-famous game developer, introduced a new service for moving companies to a virtual office. In the virtual office, employees “move” to other divisions of the company and contact each other in real time via voice communication, as if they were in the same room. The service is already being tested by the largest companies, including inDriver and MyTona, as well as the branch of Rostelecom in Yakutia.

The company “Syberia” follows the scenario of scaling to foreign markets developing a system that allows the recognition of various pathologies in medical images with AI.

Today, the company’s diagnostic system was piloted in 16 hospitals in Russia. The founders of the startup in the spring passed the international program on innovative entrepreneurship YEDI International Program in Canada, and also received an invitation for this summer to participate in the Taiwan Technology Startup Market Launch Program A2T (Access to Taiwan). Syberia will participate in several accelerators and will enter the market of Taiwan and other Asian countries. As noted by the founder of the project Afanasy Argunov, relevant organizations of these countries are interested in implementation of medical solutions in their markets.

Another Yakut project that actively expands the geography of presence is, “Gogo Courier” — an aggregator, connecting couriers and companies. Active since 2019, this company quickly developed during a pandemic, today the Gogo Courier application is used by couriers and companies in Yakutia, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Kyzyl, Surgut, Moscow, Aktau (Kazakhstan). More than 500 organizations and 350 couriers are connected to the service, over 32,000 deliveries have been completed. Company implements machine learning and plans to forecast and schedule orders using AI.

In 2021 video streaming platform for e-commerce Boontar Live increased the team by 35% and opened a large office in Moscow. The platform allows bloggers to embed in their videos button clips for selling goods and collecting applications. With these buttons, viewers can pay for goods or services, as well as submit applications directly on the screen while the video is going on. Turnover of the company in the first half of 2021 amounted to more than 100 million rubles.

“The development of us as a team went steadily, we won in various major IT competitions, for example, in the Sber acc. elerator and 500 Startups. The technopark Yakutia became an excellent platform for the start. There teams are provided with comprehensive assistance and support, and not only local startups, but also projects from other regions,” said the founder of Boontar, resident of the Yakutsk IT park Sergey Protopopov.

Schoolchildren and adult projects

The Minister of Innovation of the Republic in his speeches often makes a comparison:

“IT in Yakutia is like football in Brazil, it performs the function of a social elevator, opens new opportunities to improve the quality of life.”

The successes of residents motivate the younger generation, more and more schoolchildren and students strive to become innovators. This is also facilitated by events organized under the technopark support. Among them, for example, there are various acceleration programs, and competition “My profession is IT.”

So, this year over 1,500 participants were announced in the competition. And the number of people wishing to start learning the IT specialty increased by 2.7 times in 2021  compared to 2020. Schoolchildren, more and more often, join the developments of residents.

At the VEF-2021, the Yakut company Serenity demonstrated the platform for holding virtual events and expositions, which was fully assembled by three schoolchildren under the leadership of Pyotr Neustroev, resident of the Yakutsk IT Park. Thanks to the service users move around the virtual exhibition hall as in a three-dimensional game and get acquainted with exhibits and with other participants of the event due to personalized avatars.

Another IT solution was developed by a graduate of NEFU Yegor Vasiliev. At the university he studied the use of VR technologies in psychology and developed a prototype VR solution for overcoming of reduced self-esteem. After graduation, Yegor came to the Yakutsk IT Park, where he is now actively developing its project. Together with the team, they modeled the exercise for working with depression: with its help the patient breaks a barrier that prevents him from praising himself.

Following Yakutsk, the technopark involves other regions of the republic in innovation, creating there IT centers. 10 district (ulus) IT centers have already been opened in the republic. This year another 5 new ones will open with the support of the Ministry of Innovation of Yakutia and the technology park: in Tatlinsky, Kobyaysky, Verkhoyansky, Oleneksky and Gorny districts. Until 2024, 17 new IT centers will be created in Yakutia.

Conducting high-speed Internet in the region has played an important role in the development of IT:

  • 99.3% of the population has access to the Internet;
  • in December 2020, for the first time we conducted the Internet to the north of the Arctic Circle (Oleneksky district);
  • 99% of the population is covered by cellular communication standard 2G;
  • 85% of the population is covered by cellular communication standard 4G;
  • 360 settlements are connected to fibre-optic communication lines;
  • 1385 socially significant objects are connected to the Internet.

By Oksana Lazarenko

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