Selcuk Bayraktar, the man behind the Turkish drone system ravaging Russian forces in Ukraine, attended the opening ceremony of the Azerbaijan Aerospace Engineering and Technology Festival in Baku on Thursday 26 May. 'Teknofest', as it is known, began with the performance of the Natig Rhythm Group. Speaking at the official opening ceremony, the Minister of Digital Development and Transport, Rashad Nabiyev, said holding TechnoFest in Azerbaijan -- for the first time outside Turkey -- is a message to the world. The minister noted that the festival is a youth competition. Mr Bayraktar, technical director of the Turkish company Baykar, said he was proud to host the competition in Baku. The Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said holding Teknofest in Azerbaijan was of particular importance. The Minister noted that more than 1,000 teams and more than 6,000 participants have applied for participation in Teknofest Azerbaijan. Teknofest has been held annually since 2018 and was organised for the first time in Azerbaijan this year. The organisers of Teknofest Azerbaijan are the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Industry and Technology of Turkey and the Turkish Technology Team - T3 Foundation. The event will be attended by startups with potential access to global markets, local and foreign mentors, foreign investors and venture funds. In all, 287 startups from 32 countries applied to participate in the event, while 50 startups made it to the final, of which 15 are foreign and 35 are local. On the first day of the festival, an air show was held in Baku with the participation of Turkish fighters and training aircraft. Teknofest Azerbaijan brings together a number of separate events, including technology competitions, the Take Off Baku startup summit, the Smart CARATHON hackathon, the meeting of ICT ministers of the Organization of Turkic States, the Rocket League Europe Cup and TEKKEN games, exhibitions, air shows, concerts and entertainment attractions.
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