The IT country project is aimed at creating a modern digital economy in the Republic of Belarus. The main driver of the project is the business community of the country, and its mission is to make information technology the main source of income for citizens, businesses and the state.
Belarus has developed and is improving a system to provide state electronic services; electronic interaction is expanding beyond the borders of the Republic of Belarus:
- a unified technological infrastructure for electronic interaction between government agencies and organizations has been created. It includes the national automated information system, the Belarusian integrated service and settlement system, the interdepartmental document management system, data processing centers, and the unified national data transmission network;
- the necessary legal framework has been developed to operate a system to provide electronic services; unified mechanisms for identifying participants of information interaction have been developed;
- a universal mechanism for providing electronic services through a single website of public electronic services has been created;
- the authenticity of electronic documents can be verified in interstate electronic interaction;
- a single access point has been created for all electronic government users – a single website of electronic services. It provides more than 500,000 electronic services every month, both for government bodies, businesses and citizens.
Every citizen can have a personal account here. This solution makes it possible for a citizen to receive a full range of electronic services. Electronic services can be provided in an interactive mode – from ordering a service in the user's personal account to receiving a response and paying for it.
This helps introduce new solutions to healthcare, trade, industry, agriculture, transport and other sectors.
By the end of 2019, 592 healthcare institutions switched to electronic prescriptions.
The unified telemedicine system for digital fluorography in Minsk is run by consulting centers of Minsk City Tuberculosis Hospital No. 1 and Minsk City Tuberculosis Hospital No. 2.
There is a telemedicine system for digital mammography operated by the consulting center of Minsk City Cancer Hospital and seven municipal polyclinics.
Belarus is actively working to promote electronic healthcare and to switch to integrated electronic medical records containing all medical information about the patient, starting from the day of birth.
The Electronic School project offers online services Electronic School Diary/Electronic Class Register to maintain electronic records of students’ academic performance and to store these data in archives.
The country's schools are implementing access control systems that allow real-time identification of all school visitors, students and staff.
Development of the common information space continues. It involves a wide use of electronic learning tools (educational content), development of information and analytical services to facilitate cooperation between educational institutions, management and the public, upgrade of material base (interactive whiteboards, personal computers, tablets, and other devices) across the country to guarantee the application of new technological solutions.
Housing and utilities
The website “Moy Gorod” or 115.bel, which has been successfully operating since November 2015 in Minsk, is meant for processing online applications and resolving issues related to housing and utilities. The website was updated in 2019 and received a new name “Moya Respublika”. Today it is accessible to residents of all regions of the country.
The automated system Dispatcher Service is used to manage the work of dispatcher services of housing and utilities enterprises, to monitor and improve their efficiency.
In order to save resources (electricity, gas, water, heat) in residential buildings and to optimize the process of taking their readings, work is being undertaken to develop a single unified platform for smart buildings to provide remote collection, analysis, storage of readings from all resource meters in residential buildings and their transfer to interested departments.
Belarus has introduced electronic toll collection, cashless payments, dynamic weighing of vehicles and other advanced solutions.
Belarusian Railways use cargo tracking technologies (electronic seal) and sells trains tickets with unnumbered seats through self-service terminals, the Internet and mobile devices.
Belarus has introduced a precision farming system, which allows improving the quality of fields in several ways:
- agronomic – taking into account the actual needs of crops in fertilizers;
- economic – increasing productivity and efficiency of agribusiness;
- environmental – reducing the negative impact on the environment.
This system also offers electronic storage of field work history and crop information, which allows farmers to accurately forecast yields.
The short-term plans are to process at least 30% of farmland using integrated precision farming systems.
Fuel and energy complex
A pilot project (based on Smart Grid technologies) for autonomous generation, transmission and distribution of electric energy is being implemented at substations now.
Creation of a full-scale automated system for controlling and accounting of electric energy (ASCAE) is under way. It is designed to collect, process, store and visualize information about production, import, export, transfer (distribution) and sales (marketing) of electric energy (capacity).
Belarus is on the path of digital transformation of life cycle management of construction projects, in particular the transition to BIM-technologies (building information modeling) and 3D design.
Pilot projects based on 3D design have been launched by three enterprises: MAPID, Minskmetrostroy, and GomelskyDSK.
As part of the digital transformation of the forest industry, a unified state automated information system for wood accounting and transactions is being developed. It is expected to ensure the sustainable use of forest resources and maximize profits from logging and wood sales by improving management and reducing labor costs.
Nature and environmental protection
A project to develop electronic environmental maps of cities is being implemented. It will assess, analyze, and develop measures to reduce emissions of pollutants, which will improve air quality in localities with a population of more than 100,000.
As part of the ambitious task set by the Head of State to turn Belarus into an IT state, all the regions are working towards comprehensive digital transformation of cities of the Republic of Belarus.
Work on regional informatization in Belarus is carried out through the consistent implementation of the Smart Cities project, which was launched in eleven cities (districts) of the country with a population of more than 80,000 people (Orsha, Baranovichi, Pinsk, Novopolotsk, Polotsk, Mozyr, Lida, Borisov, Soligorsk, Molodechno, Bobruisk) identified by the Head of State as potential centers of economic growth. These efforts are part of accelerated development plans that provide for further systemic digitalization of all regions.
Regional informatization is carried out by adapting a standard concept of smart city development for each city (regions). This concept takes into account their territorial and socio-economic characteristics and provides for the development of a plan (roadmap) to meet the growing information and communication needs of citizens, introduce advanced IT solutions in urban infrastructure and modern solutions in housing and utilities, construction and territorial planning, transport infrastructure, healthcare, education, law enforcement and other areas.
The new solutions and electronic services are implemented across various industries and regions annually bringing the level and quality of life of the population to a fundamentally new level. The result of these transformations is an individual equipped with new knowledge and new economic ties.
The main center of the Belarusian IT industry is the Hi-Tech Park
It was created by the decision of the President of the Republic of Belarus in 2005. Thanks to the continued support of the Head of State, the HTP has become the leading IT cluster in Eastern Europe and the CIS.
In 2017, the President launched HTP 2.0, a new stage in the development of high-tech sector in Belarus.
Broad public debate and the new decree gave a new lease of life to the HTP, the export of which exceeded $1 billion for the first time in 2017.
The Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe, the ‘international hub for the development of artificial intelligence’, and ‘a paradise for programmers’ are just some of the names given to the HTP and Belarus by foreign media.
At the end of 2019, the HTP output amounted to Br5.315 billion, showing a record growth of 57%. Currently, about 61,000 people work in the park. This is 1.4% of those employed in the economy of Belarus, and they produce more than 3% of the country's GDP.
The most important factor is the export orientation of the HTP. In 2019, the HTP exported products worth $2.200 billion.
The number of the HTP resident companies has grown four times to reach 818 within two years. Today, the park offers equal opportunities for both industry giants with thousands of employees and small businesses of 3-5 people.
The Hi-Tech Park contributes to the development of regions. Eighty-two companies employing about 4,000 people operate as part of the HTP outside Minsk.
The Hi-Tech Park attracts foreign investment. More than 40% of the HTP resident companies are enterprises with foreign participation. The amount of foreign direct investment in 2019 was $263.2 million.
Thus, previously the status of a state, its international or economic standing were determined by its access to natural resources, in the modern world it is all about the level of its technological development.
Such changes are definitely a challenge. After setting an ambitious goal to create a hi-tech country, the Republic of Belarus is persistent in its work to achieve it.