Natia Turnava: We facilitate foreign investments in technology companies

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava was at the presentation of the National Tourism Administration of the Ministry on the results of 2019 and the further projects introduced by the head of the Administration, Avtandil Kasradze. The Deputy Minister Irakli Nadareishvili and the representatives of the Innovation and Technology Agency also attended the presentation.

The presentation detailed the activities of the GNTA in such areas as formation of ecosystems required for the innovation and technology development, promotion of the commercialization of knowledge and innovation, stimulation of innovation and technology use in all sectors of the economy, etc.

Special emphasis was given to the Startups Program, implemented by the Agency with the support of the international donors. In 2019, 124 startups were supported with 5000 GEL, 7 startups – with a grant of 650000 GEL and 40 startups – with a grant of 100000 GEL.

According to Avtandil Kasradze, this direction is very popular among the innovative business representatives. Kasradze noted that the agency is paying particular attention to the commercialization of winning projects at the local market as well as abroad. Private investment attracted over 1,5 million GEL in the case of 5 000 GEL start-up grants and almost GEL 7 million in the case of 100000 GEL. “We are working hard to get funding and startups backed by the agency. It is to be welcomed that a large part of Georgian startups have been able to find Georgian or foreign supporters to transform their technology projects into commercially profitable products. We are currently at a new stage of development and soon we will be introducing new startup support mechanisms to the public,” – Avtandil Kasradze commented.

One such innovation is the head of the Innovation and Technology Agency, a pilot program for technology transfer that was launched in 2019 and will continue through 2021. The program is funded by the EU-World Bank Cooperation Program and supported by scientists, public and private research institutions, universities. The goal of the program is to identify commercially profitable technologies at science centers and universities around the country and to show business interest in their development. The program will commercialize selected projects that include clinical research, intellectual property protection, business licensing, and more.

The presentation also focused on the startup accelerator business program, which aims to support startups in the early stages of growth-oriented development through education, mentorship and funding. One of the world’s top accelerators from Silicon Valley will implement the program. According to Avtandil Kasradze, the program should significantly contribute to positioning Georgia as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship in the region and helping local startups to launch their own innovative projects in international markets.

“With the establishment of an innovative and technological ecosystem, we have created solid grounds that should be based on commercialization of technology projects in the future. We will help to attract investment in technology companies, as we believe we have great potential in this direction. Each new program, which we implement, gives additional stimulus to the start-ups to commercialize their projects with support of the international mentors and find additional finances for further development inside as well as outside the country and, which is the most important, introduced the products made in Georgia at the international market,” – the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava noted.

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. 2017 ©