Artificial intelligence, digitization and innovations expand in the Republic of Moldova and the world and the pandemic has only favored this. In 2019, the IT sector in Moldova totaled about US$390 million, over US$280 million of which were export services. During the past three years, the figure doubled and rises are expected in 2020 too, even if it was a pandemic year. The sector has about 30 ICT specialists and over 15,000 IT specialists. Approximately 70% of the households are connected to the Internet, but the speed of the Internet should be improved. Work is yet to be done to improve the capacities of the staff, Ana Chirița, strategic projects director at the National Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies (ATIC), stated in the debate “New Digital Era and Innovations: EU’s Support for Education, Businesses and E-Services” that was staged by the Institute for European Reforms and Policies, IPN reports.
According to Ana Chirița, when it goes to digital transformation, content and digital services accessible to the citizens, services centered on health, public electronic services and online financial instruments are needed. It is also necessary to ensure security in the cyberspace. Currently, investments in human capital are being made in the IT sector so that the staff acquires skills and qualities of the highest level.
Vitalie Eșanu, founder of privesc.eu, said the first innovation in the media sector bought to Moldova in the 1990s was the optical character recognition that laid the bases of our nation. Later, the media democratized and local newspapers that could cheaply print news appeared. But the Internet thwarted the plans. The social networking sites appeared later. The epoch when few people communicated information to many people ended and the media should pass from “mass” to cooperation with the readers. Education is the second area where artificial intelligence was used to create a website for distance learning. “Owing to COVID-19, we made a huge jump in the education sector,” stated Vitalie Eșanu.
Sergiu Handraman, a teacher of mechatronics at the Strășeni College of Engineering, said their institution is the only one in Moldova with dual German style. 50% of the students are physically present at classes, while 50% are involved in internships at the representative offices and partners of the college. The college’s teachers make effort to transmit practical skills based on theory to students, but these should also know aspects that would help them when they are employed. There are robotics labs where there is a robot that can be programed. The students also work with 3D printers. The college established employment partnerships with companies in Moldova and Germany.
Timotej Soos, deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Slovenia in Bucharest, noted that digitization is part of general social development. In the new digital era that is coming, we should think how to help the teachers acquire better skills to work with information technologies. As the population is aging, not only digital services should be offered, but also methods and options for different parts of society so as to enable them to use digital instruments. While Slovenia will hold the presidency of the EU starting with July, it will center on the implementation of the recovery plan and will hold negotiations for the legislation in the field to focus on broader development. Digital economy can be extended by new jobs, by a better business environment, by supporting innovations and new innovative companies and by a higher level of cooperation.
Benjamin Bobe, director of the Hanns Seidel Stiftung for Ukraine, Moldova and Ukraine, said the human resources are the most valuable ones and innovations should go hand in hand with the people. The pandemic, in a negative context, brought us close to digitization and new technologies appeared in robotics, biotechnologies, digital industrialization. The concerns about technology security should be yet deal with.