TBY talks to Olzhas Sartayev, Chairman, Astana Innovations, on the sector.

Olzhas Sartayev

What role has Astana Innovations played in realizing Kazakhstan's goal to elevate Astana to one of the top 50 cities globally?

Astana Innovations was established in 2011, and since then the company's focus has been integrating smart city concepts and developing innovation ecosystems in Astana. In August 2017, we adopted a framework concept for a smart city. Among the recent projects that we implemented, the first, and biggest, is a video surveillance system. We are installing around 10,000 cameras across the city. This project is the first of its kind across the IT and security sectors in Kazakhstan.

How important is it to have an international outlook to gain the right experience and technologies?

We cooperate with companies such as Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft on joint pilot projects such as Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and such. We are also working with companies from Singapore that are extremely advanced in construction and architecture. Foreign experience is certainly important and, perhaps, there are certain things we would not have been able to do without international expertise. However, we focus on local companies. Due to the fact that every city has its own peculiarities and there are different problems and different risks.