Jun. 8, 2015


Idris Mustafayev

Azerbaijan

Idris Mustafayev

Executive Director, Sumgait Technologies Park (STP)

TBY talks to Idris Mustafayev, Executive Director of Sumgait Technologies Park (STP), on the facility's effect on the industrial sector, innovation and new technologies, and the 2014 Year of Industry.

BIO

Idris Mustafayev has a background in technical science as an engineer, and he graduated from the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. He was a lecturer there after graduating, and in 2014 he received an award for Engineering. He is now the Executive Director of STP, having previously been the head of STP’s testing and quality department.

How important has the establishment of STP been for the modernization and development of Azerbaijan's industrial sector?

The opening ceremony of STP took place in December 2009 and was commissioned by President HE Ilham Aliyev. The participation of our honorable President in this event was an indication of how important the role of STP would be in the development of our country's industrial sector. It was anticipated that the capital gained from the successful oil strategies of our country would be directed to the development of non-oil sector and industrialization of the country. The foundation of STP jumpstarted activities that created the opportunity to produce equipment for different uses in the country and various other industrial products.

Can you tell us the significance of some of the recent developments that have been made, including the installed equipment for high-voltage cables?

Our main production section is in cables and great priority is given to the development of this sector. In 2014, we began the production of high voltage electrical cables up to 500kV, optical cables, coaxial cables, telephone, and internet cables, and we increase the range of our products from year to year. These new high voltage cables are particularly important considering the high demand for this product in markets around the world, along with other types of cables.

How do you determine which products and lines of production to focus on?

We have a special group that carries out market research and assesses what the market needs, and how we can provide the products for which there is greatest demand. We then direct our production and research accordingly.

Innovation is a key goal of STP. What new technologies have been launched in 2014?

STP constantly gives priority to the implementation of new technologies in production. From the first day of our establishment, our primary goal has been the implementation of new technologies in production and offering new products to the market, and 2014 was no exception. Last year, STP started new lines for production up to 500kV cables, and became the first such product producer in the region. Alkopon production and reconstruction of the sandwich panel production line is a new achievement as well. All equipment used at our facilities is of a high standard and modern, using the top brands of European and American producers. We use the latest and newest technologies, because only with that can you produce the kinds of top technology products that we provide for the market. We have to be at the cutting edge at all times.


How does STP manage its workforce to ensure that the best services are provided?

We have always been more interested in quality rather than quantity. Our purpose is to transform STP into an innovative engineering center. A lot of work has been done in this direction. We are more interested in providing the younger generation with intellectual knowledge and experience. We want to recruit young, talented, and well-educated engineers who can lead STP and the country into the future. Most of our employees are recruited from universities, which also send a lot of students to STP for internships and experience. We have internships in all fields, allowing students to get hands-on, practical experience.

What role can STP play in the preparations for major events like the upcoming 2015 European Games?

STP has contributed significantly to preparations for the 2015 European Games. It has offered its services either by presenting its produced industrial products or by preparing, assembling, and installing metal constructions. STP has directly participated in construction works of several projects and the reconstruction of existing infrastructure. We can be involved in any and all upcoming big projects like this.

STP works closely with the German company, Kaeser. How did that partnership come about and in what way has it benefited operations?

STP has extensive experience in the operation of equipment offered by different local and foreign companies. We have our own criteria for quality assessment of such equipment. The best quality and cost of compressors that are offered by Kaeser gave us an opportunity to build a strong partnership with them.

How important was the 2014 Year of Industry for STP?

It was very important for STP and the country as a whole. The main problem for Azerbaijan leading up to 2014 concerned the standardization of industrial products. We have a huge industrial legacy from the Soviet times, so the big challenge is standardizing new foreign technologies and products with former Soviet ones at international standards. In 2014, a technical committee for the standardization of industrial products was created on the basis of STP in Azerbaijan, and we have since acquired more than 20 international standards on types of cables and polymeric pipes, which we have adopted as a national standard. In 2015, the committee is expected to adopt an additional 30 international standards, so we are on the right track.

How far has Azerbaijan come in terms developing the non-oil sector, and what still needs to be done in to strengthen this?

In order to achieve this goal of diversification and development of non-oil industries, creating technological parks like STP is crucial, because these parks are where industry and academia meet and converge, and where research, innovation, new ideas, and new practices and strategies can be discussed, developed, and applied. It is also where various institutions and businesses can pool their resources and join forces. At STP, we will continue to diversify our products and expand our lines of production for the non-oil sector of the economy.

How has STP maintained its success despite the challenges of the global economy?

A decrease in oil prices in world markets did not affect STP directly to a great extent. However, the decrease creates problems in the implementation of large projects in our country and thus it affects STP indirectly. In order to neutralize this effect, STP aims to take part in more projects and enlarge its client's portfolio and compensate by finding new markets.

What are your targets and expectations for 2015?

In general, our aims for 2015 include renewing our existing technological equipment, implementing new technologies, and increasing the diversification of our products. Most importantly, our biggest aim is to present STP to the world as a production company with high quality products.

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