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Top 9 Digital Innovations in Ukraine

Dr James Gough
January 4, 2024
Read: 4 min

Attention. Air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter. Don’t be careless. Your overconfidence is your weakness.

Air raid alert app voice-over using the voice of actor Mark Hamill

 

Europe is at war. There is a palpable denial about this fact, particularly in business. In December, I went to Ukraine to better understand the challenges, and to seek ways that Infinite Lambda and the tech sector more broadly can participate in countering this existential threat.

What I found was a country full of exceptional people, unrivalled ingenuity and a resilience far beyond that I have seen before. As with so many crises, the war has been a catalyst of innovation. Some of these innovations, such as the air raid alert systems, became a regular part of my daily life whilst in Ukraine. A nation that already sought to become the most digital on earth has accelerated this ambition in its fight for national and human survival.

 

Using tech to build lifelines

This short article is to give you a snapshot of some of the work being done, but also to impress upon our sector that part of the responsibility for winning this war is ours.

1. State: Diia App

Дія

The Diia app is perhaps the most famous application to gain traction and attention. As Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation puts it, the country has the ambition of “building a digital state and becoming the world’s leading country in terms of providing services for citizens and businesses”.

The app now boasts over 21m users, supports 70 government services and features an approved digital passport. This gives Ukrainians freedom of manoeuvre and access to critical information at all times.

2. Business: Diia.City

Diia.City

Diia.City is part of the Дія service above. It allows companies from around the world to register businesses and trade in exceptionally short timelines.

Competing with Delaware, Singapore and Estonia, Ukraine seeks to become the European Hub of IT companies. This digital innovation can help companies such as ours make Ukraine a place to do business, despite the war.

3. Security: єТривога

єТривога

This is a life saving application that provides immediate alerts to the user in the region of their choosing. It integrates with Alerts in Ukraine and Telegram channels that give community-gathered information on the type of threat e.g. drone, missile or aircraft attacks. Whilst in Ukraine, I used this app daily. In a relatively ‘quiet’ week in Kyiv and Lviv, it went off once per day. My Ukrainian colleagues would help translate some of the Telegram messages so that I could better understand the exact threat.

Hey James, I hope you are up. Russians have launched missiles. For now here is safe, but they might reach Lviv. Explosions in Kyiv now 🙁

– A text from a Ukrainian colleague, translating information from Telegram

 

4. Security: air alert mapping

Air Alert Mapping

The app provides real-time data on air alerts across Ukraine as well as insights and trending data. It integrates with єТривога to give citizens maximum information for remaining safe.

5. Intelligence: live occupied territories map

DeepStateMAP

This is an open-source intelligence map of Ukraine. This provides daily analytics of battlefield data, explaining the movement of both military groups and occupied territorial borders. It is created by the Deep State UA non-governmental organisation.

6. Logistics & communications: Postal Service Innovations

NovaPost

Ukraine’s postal service has accelerated its digital enablement to become one of the most reliable postal services in the world, despite the conflict. NovaPost, a private company, is revolutionising the way post is delivered in conflict.

 

Ukraine's railway system, one of the top digital innovations from Ukraine

7. Travel & logistics: Ukrainian Railways App

Ukrainian Railways App

The Ukrainian word for railway, zaliznytsya (залізниця), is derived from the Slavonic word for iron. And indeed, Ukraine’s railway has become the symbol of iron will.

The ability to get in and out of the country, as well as across the country, makes this a lifeline app. My own experience of the train in and out of the country was profound. Each carriage contains a self-selecting group of human beings willing and daring to protect the country. Each had their own story and I could have spent an entire week on the train and in some way connected with every corner of the country. It is a microcosm of the national spirit. And a lifeline.

8. Monobank Innovations

Monobank Innovations

This has been a triumph of enablement for Ukrainians. The first digital bank in Ukraine, users can open accounts simply through the Дія App, requiring no other checks. It enables free money transfers as well as micro-lending. It is digital banking that saves lives and livelihoods.

9. Spend with Ukraine: A marketplace for Ukrainian goods

Spend with Ukraine

Educating the world on Ukrainian goods and services is a way to ensure businesses in Ukraine thrive in these uncertain times. The phrase “It's the economy, stupid” was first used by Bill Clinton in 1992 in his Presidential campaign. However, the very same applies in war. In 2024, the Ukrainian government has a $40bn budget deficit and requires US$28-30bn to keep external accounts balanced. The direction in which the flow of money moves will most likely determine the outcome of this war.

Be a part of it. Get in touch.

There is no denying that military force is front and centre of stopping and pushing back the Russian advance. However, keeping people safe, allowing freedom of movement, promoting a stable economy and fostering international investment are key components of a Ukrainian victory. Digital innovation is at the heart of these.

If you are looking to help drive digital innovation in Ukraine and tap into the business potential of the sector, drop us a line. We would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, browse the Infinite Lambda blog to learn how we leverage the latest in the data and cloud world to deliver business value.

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