STARTUP MOLDOVA "DIGITAL IMPACT": DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SECTORS OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

5 August, 10:10

The ICT community is helping the Moldovan business sector, which is at a standstillmainly due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several digital solutions for the recovery of traditional sectors of the national economy have been identified within the National Startup Moldova Program "Digital IMPACT". It provides research and identification of problems in strategic sectors and aims to provide real IT solutions for their development, which could subsequently have a major impact on independent business. These are solutions to automate processes, improve business tools, facilitate the use of e-commerce and sales tools, etc., to be managed by industry associations.

Ana ChiriČ›a, TEKWILL Project Director stated: “IT innovations have become an absolute necessity to overcome current challenges. That is why in the first stage of the program we encouraged cross-sectoral collaboration and collected as much data as possible about the difficulties of the industries and about the potential IT solutions existing on the market. Within the joint working groups, the solutions, services, and products needed by the sectors were analyzed and proposed for funding. Some of them are to be developed in the next stage, as not all proposals meet the current expectations of certain sectors. We will further develop specific entrepreneurship education programs combined with elements of information technology, so that future beneficiaries can fully explore IT solutions. That's because at Startup Moldova we grow ideas that change the world."

Sectors of the economy that will benefit from"Digital IMPACT" solutions

Currently ten sectoral solutions involving information technologies have been identifiedwithin Moldova Startup "Digital IMPACT”. Some of them are dedicated to various branches of agriculture and the food industry:

• Beekeeping - digital platform for preventing bee poisoning and facilitating communication between authorities, beekeepers, and farmers;
• Fruit export - a platform for the consolidated promotional offers of local fruit producers for foreign markets;
• Online trade in agricultural products - an integrated "marketplace"platform for marketing products and services to farmers and local companies;
• Wine industry –a platform dedicated to guided wine tastings;
• Educational platforms dedicated to specific sectors to help entrepreneurs at a distance.
In the context of the pandemic, more and more companies in theconsumer-oriented industries felt the need to digitize the activity of their companies. Within the program a solution will be generated for the representatives of the private sector that will allow them to use the virtual prototypes of the product models. This will allow them to use e-commerce, make presales, and become more eco-friendly by not using physical samples.
Tourism continues to be one of the most affected sectors due to the restrictions imposed by the global pandemic. In this context, companies operating in the field also benefit from a digital solution - an integrated platform through which representatives can sell accommodation units, promote marketing offers for tourists, and manage reservations or payments for tourists.
Specific entrepreneurship education programs will be developed for all representatives of the sectors combined with elements of information technologies.

Support for the digitization of economic sectors from international partners

The national Startup Moldova program "Digital IMPACT" is developed within the TEKWILL project with the support of development partners USAID and Sweden together with the National Association of ICT Companies, Moldova IT Park, UNDP and ODIMM.

Madelene Eichhorn, Program Manager, Swedish Embassy in Moldova stated: “Sweden supports global digital transformation, and in Moldova supports innovation, entrepreneurship and the ICT sector through programs launched by the TEKWILL Project. Thus, Sweden contributes to increasing IT skills and capacity by promoting innovative solutions in all sectors, including non-IT. The integration of information technologies in different spheres of life and the creation of alternative platforms can contribute to providing multiple opportunities for business development, economic growth and improving living conditions in general in Moldova.”

Scott Hocklander, Head of USAID Mission to Moldova: “The Digital Startup Program Digital IMPACT” contributes to the consolidation of the ecosystem development effort, guided by innovation and knowledge of the technology industry. This project is part of a broader public-private partnership, which USAID supports in target sectors, to develop innovative business and support the integration of information technologies in different sectors of the economy. USAID believes in Moldova's potential and in the ability of the private sector to implement information technologies in its day-to-day work. We support the successful development of different sectors because difficult situations require advanced solutions."

The TEKWILL project - The revolution begins!

The TEKWILL project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and Sweden. "Tekwill" was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex project at national level, with the slogan "The revolution begins!"
The basic objective of the TEKWILL Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country, by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of educational institutions, in line with the demand in the IT market.

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