Some 5 million manats ($6.3 million) is expected to be allocated to start-up projects in Azerbaijan in the coming year.
The Azerbaijan State Fund for Development of Information Technologies will provide the capital for the start-up projects in 2014 from the state budget, Fund Executive Director Elchin Zeynalov said.
"The first contest for start-ups is expected to be held in late November, early December," he said.
The contest aims to select the most effective and promising projects in the field of ICT. Banking and non-banking credit organizations will be involved as authorized agents in financing the IT projects, Zeynalov said.
During the contest, preference will be given to projects that envision the creation of innovative products and "green" technologies, as well as projects on the development of the ICT sector and the Internet.
The fund is considering giving funds to the banks with minimal interest rates. Financing the production of innovative products, business projects in the field of Internet banking, online trading, and the creation of a new generation of communications technology will be implemented with the assistance of authorized credit institutions.
At present, the fund is in the process of selecting authorized credit institutions, and is ready to cooperate with those who are interested in funding projects in the field of ICT.
Each Azerbaijani citizen can avail himself of the advantages of the ICT Fund's financing. The initial capital for 2013 is 15 million manats (over $19 million).
Financing the projects is expected to start in 2014. The maximum grant available is up to 300,000 manats, provided for a period of 36 months. The amount of small grants is designated at 10,000 to 100,000 manats, while medium grants could be from 100,000 to 200,000 manats and large ones could be from 200,000 to 300,000 manats.
2013 was declared the ICT Year in Azerbaijan. The action plan in the ICT Year include the activities of the State Fund for ICT Development, the High Technologies Park, Information Security Center, Virtual Qarabag ICT center, and the IT University.
The State Fund was established to implement the state policy on the development and support of small enterprises in scientific and technical fields, and defines three ways of financing: investments, grants, and credits.