The European Investment Bank (EIB), as part of a joint initiative with the European Commission – InnovFin Science, has agreed the issue of a loan of EUR 50 million for the UNIT.City innovative park.
According to a joint press release, the loan is provided as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and is managed by the EIB.
“Ukraine and more specifically the Kyiv urban area lack a proper ecosystem for R&D and IT companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to expanding high-tech companies. With its dedicated InnovFin Science support, the EIB is now helping Ukraine to bridge this gap. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the country and its capital city and enable it to take full advantage of its skilled workforce,” EIB Vice President Lilyana Pavlova stated.
“The EIB credit line provides up to 10 tranches of at least EUR5 million each. The funds are allocated for nine years with a very competitive annual interest rate for Ukraine. Money will be allocated for the construction of new campuses of the innovation park – B15, B16, B17, U1 – with a total area of 70,000 square meters. The total cost of the project (including components financed by the EIB) is estimated at EUR 110 million. Thus, about half of the estimated costs will be financed by the EIB,” the report on the bank’s website says.
“The project promoter and the EIB loan borrower is Unit Holdings LLC, a company established by UFuture Group. The project is expected to be completed by 2023 and it will generate up to 2,400 temporary jobs and increase permanent employment within the promoter’s business by 549 full time jobs. Indirectly, the project will support around 15,000 jobs in the tenant companies present at the UNIT.City innovation park,” according to the report.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a loan for the UNIT.City innovation campus development. The bank said on its website that its Board made the decision at the end of April 2020.
The details about the amount of the loan and the borrower are not disclosed.
Earlier the Ukrainian government said that this concerns a EUR 50 million loan to Unit Holdings LLC.
The EIB said that the project is part of an urban development and comprises the design, renovation and construction of carefully selected sub-projects that are part of the innovation campus. The project includes the extension of a private non-profit IT training facility, multifunctional flexible floor space offering a variety of office accommodation, fablabs, communal and interaction spaces as well as seminar and meeting room spaces for events plus other supporting facilities and infrastructures.
In November 2019, EIB Vice President Vazil Hudak said that a loan for development of UNIT.City could be provided.
UNIT.City Innovation Park officially opened in April 2017 on the territory of the former Kyiv Motorcycle Plant.
Unit Holdings LLC was established in November 2017. The main activity is the development of construction projects. According to the unified public register, participant in LLC is CJSC Dinpero Investments Limited (Cyprus). The ultimate beneficiary is the founder of UFuture holding Vasyl Khmelnytsky.
Building B12 of the Kyiv innovation park UNIT.City has received the silver certificate LEEDv.4 Core & Shell of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Building B12 is the first commercial building in Ukraine to be awarded such a certificate. The developer of the project was KAN Development, the contractor was KAN Bud. Delta Ukraine performed the LEED certification of the building,” Delta Ukraine’s press service said.
In particular, the following features of the building were noted: good location relative to the public transport network and social infrastructure, the availability of an underground parking lot with electric car chargers, energy-efficient design, engineering equipment, LED lighting, water-efficient plumbing and landscape irrigation system, separate waste collection, a ban on smoking in and around the building, two-stage air purification and quality control.
As reported, with reference to UFuture, in general, until 2021 the amount of investment in UNIT.City will reach EUR 245 million, and by 2025 the total area of real estate in the park should be 500,000 square meters.
The UNIT.City Innovation Park officially opened in April 2017 in the territory of the former Kyiv Motorcycle Plant. By the beginning of 2019, some 50,000 square meters were already built up in the technical park, and more than 100 companies became its residents.
UNIT.City also started the construction of residential buildings, which should occupy about 30% of its area. It was planned to commission the first facilities in April 2020. By 2025, the total area of UNIT.City should be 500,000 square meters.
On the basis of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship School (SME School, the project of Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund), UFuture opens UNIT School of Business in UNIT.City. The first open day at the new educational institution will take place on October 10 in UNIT Factory, Kyiv.
UNIT School of Business works in a new format for Ukraine: the program includes 119 hours of practical work on each participant’s real business instead of theoretical lectures. Entrepreneurs bring their daily tasks and look for profitable ways to solve them together with teachers. For this, the school’s experts have developed short practical programs for business modeling, marketing, sales, brand building, effective innovative tools that are easy to apply in the work of a small and medium Ukrainian business.
“We’ve created UNIT School of Business because in Ukraine, we haven’t found any entrepreneurship school organized at a really great level. We understand how difficult it is for an entrepreneur to take a break even for two months, not to mention two years. Therefore, our programs are short and effective,” Artem Makeev, CEO of the project, said.
Creators of UNIT School of Business have taken into account the experience of the educational business project “Superludi” (“Superpeople”) and SME School (1.5 thousand graduates in the past three years). The mentors of the institution are market experts and business practitioners of UFuture, UNIT.City innovation park, UDP development company, Biopharma innovative pharmaceutical company, ITernal group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions, Lean Institute Ukraine, and “Superludi”.
“Nine out of ten businesses in Ukraine are closed during the first year of existence. Not because of external reasons, but because of the lack of knowledge. We’ve collected the necessary knowledge and will help to apply it in business,” Vlad Nozdrachev, partner of UNIT School of Business, Founder and Project Manager of “Superludi”, said.
UNIT School of Business is a part of UNIT ecosystem which includes, in particular, Ugrow (a closed community of entrepreneurs with regular events, group coaching and mentoring support, access to which is available to students of UNIT School of Business), INDAX accelerator (helps to build production, including investments), Sector X accelerator (finds clients and partners in IT field and helps businesses enter the western market).
The open day at UNIT School of Business will start on October 10 at 16:00. The program of the event includes speeches by representatives of the business school and Ugrow, informal communication with graduates of SME School. The first 100 people who register at https://forms.gle/nGUDtomazJ3B7KXL7 will be able to take part in the open day.
The launch of the new curriculum of UNIT School of Business will take place on October 21.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky that integrates his business and impact-investment projects. The company has a diversified portfolio of assets in the fields of real estate, infrastructure, industry, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. Currently, UFuture’s assets are estimated at $550 million, and the total capitalization of the businesses it invested in is more than $1 billion. UFuture is a majority shareholder in UDP development company (specializing in large infrastructure projects), Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport (the second international airport in Ukraine by passenger traffic), national operator of outdoor advertising RTM-Ukraine, and a group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions ITernal. UFuture is a strategic investor in the pharmaceutical company Biopharma and UDP Renewables, renewable energy investment and development company. UFuture is also developing new business projects including UNIT.City innovation parks in Kyiv and Kharkiv, LvivTech.City in Lviv; Bila Tserkva industrial park and a manufacturer of modern electrotechnical systems, Plank Electrotechnic. UFuture supports social projects in the fields of education and economics, including the Kyiv International Economic Forum (KIEF), Lean Institute Ukraine, UNIT School of Business, UNIT Factory innovative IT-schools in Kyiv and Kharkiv, Secondary education institution Novopecherska School, the all-Ukrainian online platform iLearn, and others.
By 2021, the first Ukrainian innovation park, UNIT.City (a project of UFuture), will be built at 20%, and the amount of investment in it will reach 245 million euros.
“UNIT.City must integrate into the international innovation ecosystem. To do this, we are ready to actively invest in the project, attract global technological leaders, and interact with global financial institutions. The park has reached a new level and is an understandable partner for key industry players,” Vasyl Khmelnytsky, Founder of UFuture, said.
Today, about EUR50 million have been invested in the innovation park and 36 thousand square meters of infrastructure have been built. Three campuses, an IT-school for gifted youth, UNIT Factory, coworking Chasopys.UNIT, a free sports complex and several cafes have been opened. By the end of this year, EUR70 million will be invested in the construction of two business campuses and the first phase of UNIT.Home with a total area of 60 thousand square meters. The construction of five new business campuses, the second phase of UNIT.Home, and a school (with a total area of 110 thousand square meters) is planned to start next year with EUR125 million of investments. Thus, a fifth part of the territory of the innovation park will be built.
According to UNIT.City’s CEO Dominique Piotet, in 2020, comfortable conditions for 150 resident companies as well as for education of more than 1,200 students will be created in the innovation park. Partnership with two of the world’s leading universities is planned. Five venture capital funds, eight laboratories, and ten accelerators are expected to operate in UNIT.City next year. The top manager hopes that international events such as Web Summit, IT Arena, CES, and Davos will be held at UNIT.City in 2020.
“My goal is to ensure that in 2025, when 90% of UNIT.City is built, the world appreciates Ukraine no longer for outsourcing, but for the high quality of innovations, startups. I would like the world to perceive our ecosystem as a place where ideas grow into world-famous companies. Where billion-dollar unicorn startups appear. I would like the next Tesla or iPhone to be born here in UNIT.City,” Dominique Piotet said.
The symbol of the “New Era” of the innovation park’s development is the opening of the unique “Beacon” art object at UNIT.City square. With the onset of darkness, light gradually rises along the two sides of a 60-meter factory pipe lighting a bright beam at the top. The diameter of its base is 3.5 m, and the length can reach 100 meters.
Inside the art object, a dome screen and a projection system were installed by a Ukrainian company, developer of visual solutions and technologies for planetariums and museums, Front Pictures. The image on the screen is being created by four projectors under the control of the Screenberry media server. The planetarium can be controlled remotely through the application on the tablet. “Beacon” was designed by a British artist, Sebastian Kite. The concept of the project was implemented by UDP development company.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky that integrates his business and impact-investment projects. The Company has a diversified portfolio of assets in real estate, industry, infrastructure, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. As of today, UFuture’s assets are estimated at $550 million with total capitalization of the businesses invested in exceeding $1 billion.
UNIT.City is Ukraine’s first innovation park. It is the location where matchless infrastructure and all-inclusive ecosystem enable high technology, innovative and creative businesses to happen and flourish. The goal is to become the center of innovations and a one-point entry into Ukraine for investors, partners and new technology from all over the world. The mission of UNIT.City is to create a unique innovation platform where advanced companies, start-ups and mavens get an opportunity to cross paths and work together ramping up their growth.
UFuture and UDP companies of businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky in partnership with KAN Development (both based in Kyiv) plan to begin the construction of 70,000 square meters of new offices and the second phase of the UNIT.Home residential complex in the Kyiv innovative park UNIT.City in 2020.
“Currently, two office buildings are being built in UNIT.City, which will be brought to the market in the first quarter of 2020 … Next year we plan to begin the construction of 70,000 square meters of business campuses and the second phase of housing,” CEO of Unit.Holdings Kostiantyn Yevtushenko said at a presentation on launching home sales in the UNIT.Home project in Kyiv.
According to him, currently 36,000 square meters of offices have been built as part of the UNIT.City project (three business campuses). As of 2019, another 20,000 square meters of offices and 40,000 square meters of housing are under construction.
According to Ihor Nikonov, the founder of KAN Development, the UNIT.Home project is being implemented in accordance with the requirements of the international system of the green standard BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). Currently, the construction of the first stage of housing with an area of 40,300 square meters is being carried out. It includes sections of houses for 580 apartments. The number of floors ranges from six to 20. The project participants plan to complete the construction of the first stage in 2022.
Nikonov said the residential part of the UNIT.City project will occupy about 20% of all areas of the innovation town. In particular, in the end, the total housing area will be 174,900 square meters, while the area of the entire park is about 850,000 square meters.
UDP and KAN Development are the co-investors and developers of the UNIT.Home project. The project management company is Unit.Holdings.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky, which combines his business and social projects. It has a diversified portfolio of assets in real estate, infrastructure, industry, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT.