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Developing university students’ skills for the future

Release date:
6 July 2023


  • Access to skills for the future – innovation, technology, digital and entrepreneurship
  • Contribution to a startup ecosystem in the country


bp on behalf of its co-venturers in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Shah Deniz and South Caucasus Pipeline projects – TPAO, SOCAR, SGC, LUKOIL, NICO, MOL, Equinor, INPEX, ExxonMobil, ITOCHU, Eni, TotalEnergies, ONGCVidesh - yesterday held a final event to recognize the best startup ideas from participants in an educational project aimed to develop skills for the future and promote innovation.


Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, bp’s vice president for the Caspian region, communications, and external affairs, said:


“We are pleased to bring this important project to a final close and are proud that the final event of the project “Skills for the Future” took place under the motto of the 100th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev. The project had a special focus on developing the skills and capabilities that will help the younger generation take this great man’s vision and ideas into the future.

The event was a great opportunity for the participants to present their excellent ideas and projects. Also, it was encouraging to see the students’ hard work, one team collaboration and new skills – all required for them to build their own and the country’s future. In a wider sense, the project is in line with the country’s goals to expand and enhance the infrastructure and support mechanisms for startups.”


The project, which started in June last year, focused on promoting an innovative and entrepreneurial environment in 13 local universities in Baku, Ganja and Mingachevir.


The project scope consisted of two main programmes - mentoring and incubation. The mentoring element included a six-month training programme for 130 selected university teachers. It aimed to train the participants to become effective mentors to help students develop startup and entrepreneurial skills.

This was followed by an extensive incubation programme which covered 728 students – from a pool of 2,256 applicants. This programme enabled the participants to progress their initial startup ideas into final presentable projects based on the entrepreneurship, creative and other critical skills they had learned.

A “Pitch Day” event was held yesterday to hear project presentations from 19 successful finalists selected from among 181 teams. At the conclusion, three best startup teams and their mentors received prizes at the jury’s decision.


The project was implemented by Innovations   Centre LLC – a local educational organisation.

The duration of the project was one year (June 2022 – June 2023) with a total value of around 82,000 AZN ($48,235).


Notes to editors


bp has been present in Azerbaijan for 31 years safely, efficiently and reliably operating major oil and gas exploration, development and transportation projects. To date, together with its co-venturers, bp has invested around $84 billion into projects it operates in the country. In Azerbaijan, we are committed to supporting sustainability efforts focusing on the areas where we believe we can make the most difference. 


bp’s extensive social investment activities and capacity-building efforts in the country have had a positive impact and brought tangible benefits to people, improving their lives and making a difference.


The company’s social investments target such areas as building local capabilities, education, development of communities, local enterprises, the environment, sporting potential as well as research into and promotion of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Overall, since the start, bp itself and together with its co-venturers in the joint ventures that bp operates in Azerbaijan, has spent more than $108 million on social investment projects in this country.


In Azerbaijan, bp directly employs around 2,307 Azerbaijani citizens who make over 90 per cent of the company’s professional staff.


For more information about bp and its co-venturers’ social investment projects please visit the bp Azerbaijan site at www.bp.com/azerbaijan.


Further information


Tamam Bayatly at bp’s press office in Baku. 
Telephone: (+994 12) 525 58 95