UK-Ukraine ‘tech bridge’ launched to ‘open digital borders’ and support investment
A UK-Ukraine ‘tech bridge’ has been unveiled as part of government-backed efforts to open up digital borders and support IT investment in the war-torn country.
The scheme was announced as part of the UK Government’s Ukraine Recovery this week in London, and supported by Ukraine’s digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
Business secretary Kemi Badenoch also revealed details of a £20m funding package to offer insurance to companies operating in Ukraine, to help unlock investment into the country.
The cash support will be tied to a scheme operated by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantees Agency (MIGA).
As a result investors will have greater access to MIGA’s SURE Trust Fund to de-risk investments in projects which address Ukraine’s immediate reconstruction needs.
Badenoch said: “Rallying businesses to action is at the heart of Ukraine’s recovery and tackling the war insurance gap is fundamental to providing companies with the security they need to unlock their full entrepreneurial and ambitious potential.
“The UK stands firm in its support for Ukraine and its recovery from Putin’s illegal invasion. We must work together, in collaboration with global partners and organisations, to succeed in this unparalleled reconstruction effort.”
Trade minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Our announcements today give businesses and investors the fundamental tools they need to get directly involved in Ukraine’s recovery from this horrific war.
“From war insurance, building connections between businesses, and deepening collaboration in tech, the Department for Business and Trade is committed to supporting Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction needs.”
The UK-Ukraine TechBridge was one of two initiatives from the Department for Business and Trade to support Ukraine’s economy, and will be rolled out from October to 2025. The scheme follows on from a proposal that pre-dated Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
It will bring together the UK and Ukrainian tech sectors in a “permanent physical space in London” to harness opportunities for innovation and collaboration. The programme will have a focus on digital and business skills, ensuring ongoing professional development across the tech sector.
The department has also created Business Bridge Ukraine, a digital platform which connects Ukrainian businesses to global companies, enabling virtual networking and supporting recovery through sustainable and long-lasting commercial relationships.
Julian David, CEO at techUK, said: “We are delighted to announce today that we are taking our partnership with the Ukrainian tech sector to the next level. Through the launch of the UK-Ukraine Tech Bridge and our Memorandum of Understanding with our sister association, IT Ukraine, techUK is committed to help supercharge a tech-led recovery for the Ukrainian economy and society.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era of close cooperation between the UK tech sector and an incredibly dynamic, resilient, and competitive Ukrainian digital economy.”
Ukraine’s digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on LinkedIn: “🇬🇧&🇺🇦 are launching UK-Ukraine TechBridge. Ukrainian IT-entrepreneurs will be able to present their developments to British investors and raise funds. Starting from October and till 2025. Opening digital borders for IT businesses.”
Andriy Dekhtyar, founder of Ukrainian company Rozdoum, said: “The acquisition of Rozdoum by Adaptavist highlights the potential success of cross-border tech collaboration between the UK and Ukraine. Our relationship with Adaptavist has developed since 2017 and we’ve learned that our shared values make us a valuable partnership.
“Becoming part of The Adaptavist Group has provided Rozdoum with the security of being part of a larger, international group company, which has enabled us to accelerate our growth and strive for more with their added support and expertise.”