A huge appetite: plans of countries and businesses for innovative development
During the EBA Innovation Day, which took place on April 15, representatives of innovative industries presented their vision of future trends. This event has already become traditional for us, as technological progress is gaining momentum, and it is important to form an active community around innovation which will enable an efficient experience exchange that helps business and society to keep up with times.
“Ukraine has every chance to become the world’s main breadbasket,” – commented Prof. Dr. Louise O. Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University and Research. Over the next century, global food demand will grow by 80%, which will allow Ukraine to benefit from food exports. But to break into the leaders, the country needs to invest in the scientific modernization of the agricultural sector. Promising improvements can be made with the help of biotechnology which can bring new varieties of crops resistant to climate change.
Daan Roosegaarde, the Artist and the Founder of Studio Roosegaarde, named four values that the future economy should have in its DNA. They are clean energy, clean water, clean air, and clean space. Mr. Roosegaarde finds inspiration for his innovative projects in nature. According to him, progress is not only about technology but also about emotions and the search for harmony. In the future, the economy must come to a model of development that will take into account the compensation mechanisms for the impact of business on the environment.
“The pharmaceutical and hi-tech industries are currently the main drivers of innovation processes,” said Dmytro Shymkiv, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Darnitsa Group. – At the same time, innovation in the pharmacy is impossible without high technology. The future of global pharmaceuticals lies in digitalization, e-commerce, and big data technology.” Mr. Shymkiv is convinced that innovations should take place in all divisions of the company, from R&D to organizational structures. For example, Darnitsa has spent about € 3 million on R&D and is actively implementing digital solutions, including e-dossiers for drug registration. In general, according to Mr. Shymkiv, there is currently the availability of money that can be used to finance innovation at the global level.
“The appetite for innovation is huge,” agrees Viktoriya Tigipko, Founder and Managing Partner of TA Ventures. – Since 2010, the company has invested $ 67 million in Ukrainian startups. Now we want to increase investment to a minimum of $ 25 million a year. There appear more founders with interesting ideas, the IT system in the country has matured and now Ukraine is the third development hub in the world. So, we look at Ukraine as an innovative bridge between Europe and America. ” Victoria also suggested the idea of creating a community of Ukrainian ex-pat funders who have succeeded abroad and can share their experience with start-up entrepreneurs in Ukraine.
” Ukraine is entering interesting times,” said Enkelejd Zotaj, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Raiffeisen Bank Aval. – We believe in Ukraine and therefore we are working to create a reliable ecosystem here, which would help local companies to grow. Banks should serve as a platform for innovation, and innovation is about returning to the basics, breaking structural boundaries, and getting capable people. Ukrainians have talent and the competition mindset, but without effective financial, legal and other systems, it will be difficult to realize the inherent potentials.”
“We see that in the cryptocurrency market there is an interest in decentralized financial services (DeFi), which are an attempt to replicate traditional financial instruments, but without the involvement of centralized agents, said Mike Chobanyan, President of Blockchain Association of Ukraine, Founder of Kuna Family. – Meanwhile, the United States and China soon plan to launch their national cryptocurrencies, which will be regulated at the state level. So, the regulation of virtual money is inevitable, and it will be interesting to watch a confrontation between centralized and decentralized cryptocurrencies, which could lead to the emergence of new black swans”.
“Over the past year and a half, our Fund has become the largest angel investor in Ukraine, financing more than 100 startups in the country,” said Pavlo Kartashov, Director of the Ukrainian Startup Fund. – “Each of the 25 startups managed to receive our funding, but, of course, we would like to have this number to be bigger.” He also added that the Fund is a unique model of cooperation between the state and business, where innovative startups are provided with mentoring support, expertise from market players, and promo opportunities. According to Mr. Kartashov, the Fund does not plan to rest on its laurels, and in the future, it plans to focus on the development of partnership projects which also involve international funds.
We thank the speakers for an exciting event, and we hope that Ukraine will become a hotspot for meaningful innovations to be generated and developed!
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