Azerbaijan: Knowledge Partnerships

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Azerbaijan: Fostering Development of Local Tech Startups

Partner Search: Four selected institutions from Ganja and Shamakhi

are ready to develop synergies with foreign partners

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Azerbaijan strengthens the non-oil sector. An efficient, diversified and more market-oriented economic structure is to be created. An important measure is the promotion of technology-oriented startups. Special attention is paid to the regions outside Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. Promising R&D potentials are still largely untapped here. The commercialisation of research results is at a low level. The development of a functioning startup ecosystem is a complex process which require a strong collaboration between government, academia and economy. Four Implementing Agencies in two pilot regions will build the capacity needed for an efficient startup support.

The involved Implementing Agencies and the pilot regions are presented below. Strategies and action plans are under construction with the support of international team of Technical Assistance. The good progress in the project and the attractiveness of Azerbaijan in general make the Implementing Agencies becoming interesting partners for collaboration.



Foreign institutions are invited to develop knowledge partnerships with the Implementing Agencies in two pilot regions of Azerbaijan.

In the frame of knowledge partnerships, the partners jointly

  • design and implement an exchange program for experts
  • establish a mentorship program on startup incubation and acceleration
  • present business opportunities for tech startup companies in counter-part markets
  • collaborate in creating competitions (e.g. Hackatons) or similar events


Azerbaijan: Pilot regions Ganja and Shamakhi

“Azerbaijan’s tech sector is booming.” Some of the most successful tech startups from Azerbaijan were born in Ganja. They found their way to international markets and are recognized as highly innovative enterprises. Ganja is the second largest city in Azerbaijan, is located in the western region of the country and is both a university and industrial city. Shamakhi is much smaller, is more agricultural and touristy. Startups in Shamakhi are in short distance to Baku.

Business opportunities for tech startups – and their partners – exist in both regions. For the development of tech startups, classic sectors such as mechanical engineering, textiles and agriculture are therefore just as important as new cross-sectoral approaches, e.g. in the areas of ICT, energy efficiency or smart and cities. Azerbaijan’s program on resettlement and reconstruction of liberated region Karabah – close to Ganja and Shamakhi – offers additional opportunities for startups.

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Implementing Agencies: Potential Partners in Azerbaijan

Foreign institutions will benefit from cooperation with following Implementing Agencies:

  1. Azerbaijan State Agricultural University, Ganja 

Education system of the university consists of Agronomy, Soil science and agro-chemistry, Veterinary medicine, Zoo-engineering, Engineering, Agrotechnology, Agricultural economics, Agribusiness and Management faculties. The university provides education in Azerbaijani, Russian and English languages for more than 6000 students from the different regions of the country and abroad. Continue reading

  1. Azerbaijan Technological University, Ganja

About 3,000 students are enrolled in four faculties: IT and ICT, Business Administration and Economy, Machine Industry and Transport Logistics, Food Engineering. Incubation services for startups are at an early stage. Continue reading

  1. Ganja State University, Ganja

More than 6000 students study in 8 faculties, among those: Chimistry-Biology, Physics and Technical Sciences, Mathematic-Informatic. A Department of Innovation is active since 2017. Its technology transfer office is responsible for business incubation, technology transfer, intellectual property protection, startups, and related projects. Continue reading

  1. Incubation and Acceleration Center “INNOLAND”, Shamakhi (

Innoland Shamakhi is part of a strong network of Azerbaijan’s startup development centers. Those centers provide incubation and acceleration services, physical space for co-working as well as virtual residence and mentoring.


Project details

Project „Fostering Development of Local Tech Startups” started in January 2021. The ongoing technical assistance supports INNOLAND, an incubation, acceleration, and research center, to set up effective and efficient institutional arrangements at the local level for tech startups support. INNOLAND belongs to the Innovation Center at the State Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan (Executing Agency). Technical Assistance consulting team is composed of Steinbeis GmbH & Co.KG for Technology Transfer (Germany) and Ekvita Consulting LLC (Azerbaijan). Project is funded by Asian Development Bank.