The development of the IT ecosystem in eastern Ukraine is a priority for USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA). The IT sector engages young, educated professionals and prevents brain drain from eastern Ukraine, while also enriching other sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.
Eastern Ukraine faces a challenge because of the proximity of booming IT sectors in Kharkiv, Kyiv, Dnipro and other major metro areas. Keeping IT professionals in the east requires a holistic approach that addresses multiple factors simultaneously: modernizing IT education, developing the IT community through clusters and associations, making eastern cities more attractive for IT professionals, developing the technical ability of eastern firms while also focusing on their “front office” sales and client management skills.
The 1991 center in Mariupol was ERA’s pioneer engagement in the eastern IT sector. This dynamic hub has helped put Mariupol IT on the national map while supporting the development of IT professionals and firms throughout the city.
ERA has supported establishment of IT clusters and associations in Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk that unite IT firms and local educational institutions. The activities of the IT clusters will be aimed at solving common problems related to the availability of qualified personnel and the development of the IT industry in the region.
One cluster has the motto “You can be successful at home,” and was created in order to provide IT companies operating in Kramatorsk with personnel and young specialists. They plan to create and implement a network of educational programs for training IT specialists.
IT cluster plans to foster modern business processes, improve marketing and branding practices, attract investment for creation of incubators and research centers.
In Luhansk Oblast ERA will support establishment of a modern IT education and incubation platform to help jump-start the sector in Ukraine’s easternmost region. This platform will be based at Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University and will be developed in partnership with a leading organizations in Ukrainian IT innovation.
ERA is committed to the development of individual eastern IT at all levels: from individual professionals to firms and clusters and to the communities that the sector calls home.