A strategy for the development of a Georgian ICT Cluster was discussed at a workshop recently hosted at the Tbilisi Tech Park by Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), with the support of the EU-funded SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia project, implemented by GIZ in the framework of the EU4Business initiative.
The cluster has been established as part of the project’s business clustering initiative, and will be officially registered this month as a non-entrepreneurial (non-commercial) legal entity.
Led by a team of international experts, the workshop discussed ways to ensure that the cluster initiative keeps up the momentum, stays on the right track and follows the priorities agreed between the members. The international cluster experts gave their input on a range of strategic and operational issues bringing in their respective experience and expertise. Together with the cluster members they reviewed the vision and mission of the cluster, its goals until 2025 and action plan.
The Georgian ICT Cluster aims at bringing together companies, professionals, educational and R&D institutions for improving the competitiveness of its members and addressing challenges facing the industry. Currently consisting of 11 companies, the cluster aims to raise awareness of its priorities and attract additional members.
“The establishment of the ICT Cluster is important as far as it stimulates cooperation between ICT industry players, supports industry development considering current challenges, and boosts the export of Georgian ICT services and products, which will have a positive effect on the economy and the creation of innovative start-ups,” said David Kiziria, cluster member and founder of ‘Innovative Systems Management’.
“It is very important to deploy good practice for the ICT Cluster development and cooperate closely with international professionals who have experience in the field,” said George Mzhavanadze, founder of ‘Do So’.
GITA, which is a government agency under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, is a supporter of the ICT Cluster development initiative. It works closely with Georgian ICT companies and cluster members view the Agency as one of the leading governmental partners in the process of developing the Georgian ICT Cluster.
"The establishment and development of clusters acts as a catalyst in the process of development of entrepreneurship and innovation," said Avtandil Kasradze, acting chairman of GITA. He emphasised the importance of the ICT cluster and noted that "the ICT cluster is not a standalone cluster but it offers the opportunity to connect with and provide services to any other cluster.”
The EU-funded ‘SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia’ project assists Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more competitive and adapt to the new regulatory environment created under the free trade agreement with the EU (DCFTA). The project is part of the European Union's EU4Business initiative, which helps SMEs to benefit from the DCFTA by improving the business environment, increasing knowledge and skills of businesses, and by supporting SMEs to get better access to finance.