Not by outsourcing alone: top-5 major R&D-centers in Ukraine

The places in Ukraine to engineer the future. Major Ukrainian research and development centers guide.

The term “Hi-tech potential of Ukraine” commonly refers to an army of outsourcing programmers. But this seems to be an erroneous interpretation: in our country there are also engineers, electronics engineers, cyber security specialists and other specialists. Such “knowledge asset” traditionally attracts major western IT companies. But if just several years ago the main tendency was “brain drain” to the West, today foreign developers of hi-tech products and electronics are ready to open R&D centers directly in Ukraine.

Samsung is not the only major player to place its R&D centers in our country. For example, not so long ago the investment company Siguler Guff announced the sale of its portfolio company Slice to Japanese internet corporation Rakuten. Slice is a famous eСommerce-startup, which has attracted more than $30 mln investments from venture capital funds. The company has developed an application which helps the users to track the delivery of goods as well as to store their purchases activity. The project has an immediate relation to Ukraine: the major part of the Slice engineering team works in Odessa.

AVentures Capital Fund named five major research and development centers in Ukraine.

1. Samsung Electronics


  • Specialization profile: electronics
  • Headcount: 425 000
  • Headquarters: South Korea
  • R&D in Ukraine: Kiev and Kharkov

Samsung has opened in Ukraine one of the major R&D-centers in Europe. In May of 2013, when the center was launched, it had more than one thousand specialists working in Kharkov and Kiev branches.

The information about the engineering activity of the Ukrainian division is strictly classified. The common knowledge holds that some research in the field of “computer vision” including engineering of target tracking, surveillance, identification and classification devices, as well as generation of graphical 3D-interfaces and applications for multimedia is underway. Besides, some solutions on devices convergence and information security are also being developed.

2. NetCracker


  • Specialization profile: engineering of SW for telecom-operators in the USA, Canada, Western Europe and Australia
  • Headcount: over 2000
  • Headquarters: Boston, the USA
  • R&D in Ukraine: Kiev, Odessa and Sumy

The main developments on engineering of multi-module telecom-operators service management systems are carried out by 750 Ukrainian specialists in three R&D-center divisions located in Kiev, Odessa and Sumy.

3. Aricent


  • Specialization profile: industrial design, engineering of SW for telecom-operators and service providers
  • Headcount: 10 000
  • Headquarters: Redwood, the USA
  • R&D in Ukraine: Kiev and Vinnitsa

This is one of the major companies with such specialization profile. One of its latest products is the new Android smart phones interface for the Japanese corporation Sharp. Famous companies from Fortune 500 list, such as Disney, Microsoft, AT&T, General Electric, HP, Logitech, MTV, Yahoo! and UBS are among its clients. 700 Ukrainian specialists, who engineer SW for telecom, medicine, mass-media, energetics, consumer electronics and other industries, work in Kiev and Vinnitsa centers which form a part of Frog Company that belongs to Aricent.

4. SysIQ


  • Specialization profile: engineering of eCommerce-solutions
  • Headcount: unknown
  • Headquarters: San-Francisco, the USA
  • R&D in Ukraine: Kiev, Vinnitsa, Chernigov, Lugansk, Uzhgorod and Mariupol

SysIQ was founded in the USA by a former Ukrainian Igor Gorin in 2000. The company opened sales offices in the USA and Germany, where the main SysIQ clients are concentrated. All engineering and clients support services are carried out in Ukraine by 400 specialists working in SysIQ offices located in Kiev, Vinnitsa, Chernigov, Lugansk, Uzhgorod and Mariupol.

5. Wargaming


  • Specialization profile: development of online games
  • Headcount: 3 400
  • Headquarters: London
  • R&D in Ukraine: Kiev

Byelorussian computer games engineering company has entered the world game industry; World of Tanks (2010) has ranked the company as the major studio in CIS. Today WoT active users exceed 60 mln and the company’s last year income totals 218 mln euro. The founder, Victor Kislyi, plans to double it this year. In 2011 WoT purchased “The First Studio” in Kiev, which is known as the major outsourcing studio in Eastern Europe. While the company headcount totals 3 400, 315 employees work in Kiev at online battle World of Warplanes.

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