Collaborating towards the reconstruction of Ukraine
In the summer of 2022, about six months after the start of a full-scale war, Itera's leadership asked how we, as a company, could contribute to rebuilding Ukraine. How can we help - directly, as an IT company, or by other means, having contacts and connections in Norway?
Written by Igor Basanskyi, Ukraine Public Sector Lead, Itera
Itera's portfolio includes a number of implemented projects in the energy sector. Based on our experience and competencies, the energy sector is a priority for development and investment. And the infrastructure, which at that time was damaged throughout the country.
Hearing about the company's ambitions, I asked myself what I, as a Ukrainian, could do for the country at this difficult time.
I have a desire to benefit the country and join the reconstruction process, so I wrote to my manager about it, and together, we planned our first informal visit to the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine last July. Basically, we just came to the ministry and asked if we, as an IT company and as a Norwegian private business, could help. "We have resources and competencies; can we be useful?".
This is how we started the discussion; it turned out that there are different needs, and at the end of September, we held a formal meeting, which was attended by the Minister of Energy and his team. The priority areas of cooperation were outlined, important contacts were obtained, and the next steps were planned.
At the end of 2022, we started cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and worked on potential joint IT projects with Ukrainian private and state energy companies.
Meeting with the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy
Current projects and involvement
All Itera's work in this direction can be divided into IT and non-IT sectors.
During 2022 and until this spring, all our work and collaboration took place in the non-IT sphere. Thus, closely working with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, it was possible to deliver 300 meters of pontoon bridges from Norway to Ukraine.
We are currently negotiating with a large manufacturer of modular houses in Norway about the construction of temporary housing in Ukraine. We cooperate here with the Ministry of Infrastructure, the State Agency for Reconstruction, and the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.
There are several parallel areas of work with the Ministry of Energy: We help to issue an application to the European Commission for obtaining gas turbines for the needs of the population for the upcoming heating season.
In the IT field this spring, we had 2 potential client engagements. Together, we are working on a proposal for a joint project related to energy balancing and studying the possibilities of cooperation in grid management projects.
My main task is to ensure that the activities of Itera and Norwegian partners benefit our country, whether it is in the field of IT projects in the private sector or humanitarian aid to the public sector. My list of tasks includes basically everything, starting from correspondence and daily communication, organizing meetings and filling out applications, to finding information and funds necessary for the implementation of IT projects and reconstruction projects, finding partners, and the like.
– Itera, together with its partners, is committed to joining the process of rebuilding Ukraine.
Ukraine Public Sector Lead
After the counteroffensive and victory, reconstruction is probably the next and the most anticipated process. Itera, together with its partners, is committed to joining the process of rebuilding Ukraine, so our daily work is building the foundation for the work that will begin after the war.
An important message that Ukraine promotes at all international conferences is that it is necessary to act now and not wait for the war's end. And although we see certain examples of infrastructure reconstruction, the war is currently scaring off most investors.
Itera takes a proactive position - we actively participate in international conferences on the reconstruction of Ukraine to understand the main priorities and direction of movement and, accordingly, plan our activities based on this logic. We involve intermediaries and private businesses, get to know people, develop plans, and discuss financing.
It is important to note that there is some progress in this direction on the part of the international community. If international conferences asked about investment guarantees during the war at the beginning of the year, already in June, at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, loud mechanisms were voiced, including, for example, high-risk insurance.
National states are committed to the reconstruction of specific regions or objects. Italy announced that it will reconstruct the destroyed temple in Odessa, and Denmark wants to rebuild the port of Mykolaiv. There are many such examples. But it will be difficult for governments and nation-states alone to do this on their own, so much of the focus is now on how private businesses can and should be involved in this process.
Of course, people are still determining what the future will hold. But after our victory, together with reforms and investments, economic growth and a great reconstruction await our state. And the foundation for this is already being prepared.