The creators of the IT-Park in Kazan’s Sukonnaya Sloboda have capitalized in a timely and effective manner on the most important asset of the modern economy, humanity.
The underlying technological effectiveness of Kazan’s IT-Park rests on a timely idea that the economy of the 21st century does not only rely on capital, but rather an economy of people exchanging ideas. Curiosity, creativity, and the ability to develop new projects and markets that did not previously exist are the qualities most important in determining the “residents” of the Kazan IT-Park. For this reason, the management of the IT-Park offers space in the business incubator to both large corporations, such as Microsoft, as well as smaller, but promising, firms.
The selection of talented candidates who are enthralled with big ideas did not end with the opening of the IT-Park in 2009. The instincts of IT-Park managers and their ability to explain the applied nature of new ideas have contributed to the continual growth of the percentage of Russian software developed at technology parks. Many well-known projects have been developed at technology parks, such as the “electronic government,” which allows many bureaucratic issues to be solved without waiting in tedious lines; the GLONASS+112 system, which monitors the state the Republic of Tatarstan’s roads and alerts the Ministry of Emergency Situations about any emergency incidents; and various automated processes in the fields of both healthcare and education. To help create user-friendly technology, the IT-Park has its own impressive resources, including a data center, and a center in which young programmers and project managers create, test, and passionately debate new applications.
The IT-Park’s 250-person conference hall serves as a venue for large-scale professional events. For several years, the IT-Park has hosted Kazan Start-Up Week, a large festival of start-up companies, about which professional businesspeople always speak favorably. The IT-Park also features a hotel located in the former dormitory of a cloth manufacturer, which in the 19th century served as the heart of the district. The manual labor of past eras has now given way to the intellectual work conducted here today. Developers of the online school CleverBear are interested in teaching web design, even to those who know little about the web. The company SmartHead develops corporate websites and complex online competitions that involve users from all over Russia. These companies also strengthen social ties between residents of the technological park, regularly organizing garage sales and various quizzes.
Other companies in the business incubator are busy creating applications that recognize speech, motivate sports training, and even analyze complex geophysical data. Their list of clients range from teenagers that might open up an app on their smartphone while bored to large, state-owned companies working on complex tasks.
Each employee of the technological park must have a clear understanding of his goals and objectives while also remaining open to new ideas, as this intersection is where the ability to predict and capture future trends can really be worth its weight in gold. The popularity of the Kazan IT-Park, which can no longer accommodate all those who wish to work there, has led to the opening of a second technological park in Naberezhnye Chelny, which has provided 150 jobs for 50 startups. The lobby of the main building in Kazan features a layout of Innopolis, a new research and science city currently under construction outside of Kazan in the Verkhneuslonsky District. More than 20,000 information technology professionals will live, learn, work, and dream in Innopolis.
Kazan’s IT-Park has been becoming a symbol of the transformation of urban areas and the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan. This technological park presents a new business model based on talent rather than profits.