What is the Autonomous Cluster Fund “Park of Innovative Technologies”?

The Autonomous Cluster Fund «Park of Innovative Technologies», operating under the Tech Garden brand, was established by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan by Decree No. 1087 dated October 10, 2014.

The Fund carries out its activities in accordance with the Law «On the innovation cluster» Park of innovative technologies «dated June 10, 2014 No. 207-V ЗРК (hereinafter — the Law).

According to the Law, the ACF Steering Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

ACF, according to the instructions of the First President, forms a high-tech innovation cluster (within the 63rd step of the «Plan of the Nation») — uniting subjects of educational, research and industrial-innovative activities.

As of May 2020, the Innovation Cluster unites 282 subjects of industrial innovation, research and educational activities.

What areas of innovation development does Tech Garden do?

The main directions of development of the innovation cluster are:
- attracting anchor international companies to create Technology Development Centers, high-tech industries and laboratory complexes in the form of a joint venture (50% co-financing);
- creation of a critical mass of technology companies within the framework of the international acceleration program Startup Kazakhstan;
- creation of an IT-quarter in Almaty;
- development and implementation of a corporate acceleration program;
- implementation of innovative projects at the expense of subsoil users' obligations.

What is a platform for subsoil users?

The Autonomous Cluster Fund “Park of Innovative Technologies” is the operator for the implementation of research and development work (R&D) for subsoil users within the framework of their obligations to deduct 1% of the SRS / ZND.

Tech Garden is developing a new model of interaction between subsoil users and innovative companies in the Kazakhstan market. On the basis of this model, subsoil users, within the framework of their contractual obligations, finance projects of the participants of the PIT innovation cluster, which include a set of measures to modernize production, which, as a result, leads to an increase in innovative activity and the development of high-tech SMEs.

Tech Garden forms a trust fund from the obligations of subsoil users to finance projects of an innovation cluster in the amount of at least 1% of the SRS (since 2018 — production costs).

What is the 1% gross annual R&D tax?

The adopted Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On state support for industrial and innovative activities” is aimed at forming a unified strategy for promoting innovation in the country and systemic development of the innovation infrastructure. It defines direct and indirect measures of state support, which are reflected in a number of legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In particular, in accordance with the amendments to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Subsoil and Subsoil Use”, subsoil users are obliged to finance research, scientific and technical and (or) development work in the amount of at least 1% of the total annual income from contract activities.

What is the procedure for selecting projects for financing?

The selection of projects for financing is carried out in accordance with the Rules for the examination of projects of the participants of the innovation cluster “PIT”, approved by the Steering Committee on September 12, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules).

In accordance with clause 4 of the Rules, project expertise is carried out in 3 stages:
1. acceptance by the Fund of the documents submitted by the applicants specified in clause 5 of the Rules;
2. preliminary selection of projects by subsoil users from the list of projects specified in the list of legal entities participating in the innovation cluster “Park of Innovative Technologies”, included in the unified register of participants in the FEZ “PIT”;
3. carrying out an examination of projects at a meeting of the expert commission and issuing an expert opinion on the feasibility or inexpediency of financing projects.

According to clause 5 of the Rules for the examination of projects, the applicant must submit the following documents to the Fund:

1. application for examination of projects;
2. an explanatory note (in free form), which will contain the following information: completeness of theoretical and / or applied research, readiness of the project to move to the stage of development of an industrial design, demonstration model or prototype of the project (if any); innovation of technology or compliance with the best existing world analogues, confirmed by relevant patent research, ownership and / or authorship of intellectual property;
 3. passport of the project in the form approved by the Foundation.

Why is implementing R&D through Tech Garden the most efficient way?

The main advantages of working with our company:
- reduction of the term for fulfilling obligations from three to one month;
- elimination of bureaucratic red tape in the preparation of documents;
- expanding the choice of projects and performers;
- transparency in the execution of projects and expenditure of funds;
- monitoring the implementation of projects and strict adherence to all terms of the contract.

What is corporate innovation?

Corporate innovation, or, as they are also called, “open innovation” has become an international trend. Moreover, in a variety of industries. Integration of start-ups into the technological chains of an enterprise makes it possible to make business processes more agile, to integrate innovations faster into the company, and to receive additional profits without capital expenditures. This ensures the rapid penetration of new technologies into such fundamental and traditional sectors of the economy as the electric power industry, the mining and metallurgical complex and the oil and gas sector.

What is corporate acceleration?

Corporate acceleration is a strategic move that helps large companies stay at the forefront of progress and remain competitive in such a rapidly changing economy.

Tech Garden corporate accelerator is an accelerated program for the search, assessment, training and development of innovative projects aimed at improving the business processes of industrial enterprises in Kazakhstan.

Why innovate?

The main reasons may be:
- new markets and niches, i.e. access to modern technologies of early stages allows developing solutions with a perspective for future markets and gaining a competitive advantage at the stage of launching developments;
- optimization of business processes, i.e. the introduction of innovations allows to develop the speed of development of new products (time-to-market) and qualitatively restructure the existing processes;
- smart competition, i.e. the development of technologies in an oversaturated market and the struggle for each client allows us to conduct an accurate and winning competitive policy;
- a strong technology brand, i.e. working with modern technologies forms a reliable brand that is attractive to strong partners and new employees;
- HR policy, i.e. the introduction of innovative solutions involves the development of the competencies of internal employees and the building of new systems of motivation.

What effects can corporations get from introducing corporate innovations?

Implementation effects:
- revenue growth or cost reduction due to the launch of new products and services;
- digitalization of the company’s internal processes;
- motivation and development of employees, creation of new jobs;
- the formation of a strong innovative brand of the company.

Who can take part in the program?

Only industrial enterprises that are at the 2nd stage of digitalization can take part in the program:
- the use of CAD in product development;
- recording of production data on paper;
- an automation / digitalization strategy is planned;
- training in the field of production.

What is included in the program?

Stages of the program:
- analysis of the company's business processes and preparation of technical specifications (1 month);
- search and assessment of promising projects and solutions (1-3 months);
- business assessment and selection of suitable projects (1 month);
- presentation of promising solutions to the customer company (1-2 days);
- acceleration program for selected participants (1-4 months);
- Demo Day, choosing a solution for a pilot project (1-2 days).

How much does it cost to participate in the accelerator?

Tech Garden finances a program for the selection, search and acceleration of projects for industrial companies in Kazakhstan.

Are accommodation and flight costs covered?

We do not cover travel, accommodation and other expenses for participants.

What is a pilot?

Pilot — testing a technology or product to make a decision on the applicability of a corporate customer in the business. Usually takes place within 3-6 months (depending on the industry).

What kind of startups do you invest in?

We are looking at many promising areas. For example:
- industry 4.0;
- smart city;
- fintech, banking and insurance;
- new materials;
- retail and e-commerce;
- logistics;
- edtech;
- telecom.

How do you select startups for investment?

We select startups for investment in the same way as the standard criteria for private venture funds (market size and growth rate, product/technology and its protection from competitors, startup team, deal terms).

What is the geography of a venture fund for investment?

Tech Garden Ventures can invest in startups in any jurisdiction, however, it is important that the startup commercializes its developments in the Kazakhstan market either now or in the near future.

What is the size of a venture fund investment?

Can a VC fund co-invest with other investors?

What is the IT quarter?

The IT quarter was created by Tech Garden with the support of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to promote the development of the information and communication technology industry and the effective implementation of the digital transformation of Kazakhstan.

An important advantage of this project is providing residents with access to modern technology platforms from companies such as IBM, ARM, Autodesk, 1C and other specialized platforms.

The main goal of the project is to bring together technology companies to achieve synergies from joint work. The IT quarter houses the largest innovative companies, 4 R&D laboratories, 50 start-up teams and service companies.

What are the opportunities for residents of the IT quarter?

Main advantages:
- venture financing and development of high-tech startups within the Startup Kazakhstan acceleration program;
- development and implementation of corporate acceleration programs for Kazakhstani companies in order to gain access to the best advanced technologies and breakthrough solutions, as well as assistance in transformation from classic traditional enterprises to modern digital production;
- creation of R&D laboratories in the areas of digitalization, IT, additive engineering, new materials, geology, smart solutions with partners such as Autodesk, IntelliSense.io, Metalysis, EcoDomus;
- formation of a high-tech segment of world-class solution providers;
- on the territory of the IT-quarter there are two comfortable and equipped halls for holding events.

What is included in the rental price of the halls?

Main advantages:
- active business community;
- high-quality presentation equipment, for example, video walls, duplicate screens and projectors, as well as the event zone includes professional sound equipment and free Wi-Fi;
- ready-made infrastructure, for example, a reception area, a catering area, a lounge area, a coffee shop, convenient overground and underground parking;
- additional services, ordering catering / coffee breaks for any budget.