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Kazakh PM familiarises himself with Astana Hub startup projects and instructs to strengthen measures to support talented young people

Kazakh PM familiarises himself with Astana Hub startup projects and instructs to strengthen measures to support talented young people
Фото: primeminister.kz 22.04.2024 12:21 1014

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov visited the EXPO pavilion, where he toured the digital infrastructure of the Astana Hub technopark and familiarised himself with startup projects, El.kz cites primeminister.kz.

Head of the Government inspected the innovation ecosystem of Astana Hub. The key objectives of the Hub are talent attraction, training, assistance in business development and support for export of IT-technologies. Today the Tech Orda programme initiated by the Head of State is being successfully implemented. Its goal is to train 20 thousand IT-specialists by 2025. Currently, more than 15 thousand students have been trained, and 2 thousand startup projects have been launched.

A special favourable ecosystem has been created for Astana Hub participants. There are preferences in the form of a special tax regime providing for exemption from CIT, IPN and value added tax on the turnover of goods, works and services sold in Kazakhstan. IT companies are also provided with working premises and partnership bonuses. All these measures of state support allow them to reinvest their savings in the development and promotion of projects. Today Astana Hub has 1400 IT-companies, which earned 400 billion tenge last year.

Alem, the first IT-programming school in Central Asia, based on the principles of mutual learning using the French 01EduSystem methodology, without teachers and lectures, was also visited. The educational process is based on projects and interaction of talented students with each other. Alem currently has more than 900 graduates who work in local and international companies and startups.

Prime Minister also met with Astana Hub participants and NU researchers, got acquainted with a number of domestic developments in the field of artificial intelligence and discussed the prospects of increasing commercialisation of scientific projects and strengthening collaboration with the real economy. 

The Alaqan startup is a contactless payment system: transactions can be carried out by recognising palm veins using biometrics technology. The domestic project has been on the market since 2020 and currently has 3 products: Alaqan Pay, Alaqan Mektep and Alaqan HR. The Alaqan system has 100 thousand active users, 1.2 million identifications per month and $300 thousand raised investments. The project has been accelerated in Silicon Valley, and in Kazakhstan it is successfully used in one of the schools. The developers plan to further scale the startup in the country and abroad. Currently, Kazakhstan's development is of interest in South-East Asia, the Middle East and Turkey, where it is planned to install it in 500 clinics.

Another development in the field of AI is Arlan Biotech. The startup is designed to create nanobodies with the help of artificial intelligence. The project has become an important discovery for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Nanobodies are used in the creation of diagnostic test systems, as well as in the process of studying and treating cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Also, presented was the Higgsfield AI project, an artificial intelligence-based video creation and editing platform. The software is designed for more customised and personalised applications. So far, the startup has already raised $16 million. The main investor in the pre-seed round was Menlo Ventures, one of the oldest venture capital funds in the US. Higgsfield AI now offers a mobile app called Diffuse, based on a custom text-to-video conversion model. It can create videos from scratch using its own tools, including a set of pre-generated clips and a hint editor.

In addition, the Prime Minister was presented the work of the Kazakhstani studio O'games on the development of mobile games, known in the world for the project Car Parking Multiplayer. Now the game has more than 100 million downloads in Asia, Europe and America. The projects of the mobile game developer Playrix in Kazakhstan were also presented. Playrix is a world leader in mobile game development, the company's revenue last year was $2.8 billion.

Among NU's scientific developments, attention was paid to a project to monitor flood risks using AI and reduce the consequences of floods and floods, an autonomous desalination and water purification system for use in private farms and greenhouses, and an AI solution for the mining and metallurgical complex - an automated wobbler detection system based on video streaming from a drone for use in the fields.

"The President has clearly outlined the task to intensify the digitalisation of the economy and ensure widespread use of artificial intelligence technologies. The goal is to ensure that by 2026 the annual volume of exports of IT services and products is at least $1 billion. Today this figure is $529 million. Our country has successes in the field of digitalisation. Domestic IT specialists are among the best, and we must continue to help them create new breakthrough products and boost the export of IT solutions," Olzhas Bektenov emphasised.

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