Armenia as a Technology Hub?
By Sassoon Grigorian on April 22, 2014 in Featured, Headline, Opinion
Armenia'with its highly educated population, an entrepreneurial
spirit, a legacy of research and development during Soviet times, and
high growth digital sector'can become a technology hub or `Silicon
Mountain' in the region.
According to the Enterprise Incubator Foundation, in 2012, Armenia
exported $120 million worth of IT software and services, mostly to the
U.S., Canada, and the European Union. There were about 360 IT
companies in Armenia, with an average annual growth of 23 percent.
Revenues accounted for 3.3 percent of its national GDP, with the
industry contributing 8 percent of total exports. About 1 in 10 of the
companies had a turnover of more than $1 million.
Armenia used to be a hub for the Soviet Union's scientific and
research and development (R&D) activities, including industrial
computing, electronics, and semiconductors. Since independence, the
country's focus has been towards software development, outsourcing,
and IT services.
Although Armenia has around 90 percent coverage of 3G network
nationally, only around 40 percent access the network.
Students experiment in robotics during a workshop at Tumo.
That is why places like the Tumo Center are so important. Tumo is a
new kind of after-school learning environment where thousands of
teenage students are put in charge of their own learning, in a place
where there is access to the internet and technology. The Center
teaches skills necessary to succeed in the digital industry, for
example in animation, video game design, web development, and digital
video and audio.
Another organization helping prepare Armenia for digital future is
Armtech, which promotes Armenia's high technology economy and
encourages investment; allows for the networking among high tech
professional worldwide; and organizes a leading Armenia tech
conference every year.
Then there have been the technology investments. In 2011, Microsoft
Corporation established an Innovation Center in Yerevan, and in the
same year India set up a joint Center for Excellence in Information
Communication Technologies at Yerevan State University. In response,
the Armenian government opened an information and high-tech office at
the Plug and Play Center in Silicon Valley in December 2012.
The latest accomplishment came in December 2013, when Technology and
Science Dynamics Inc./Armtab Technologies Company, an
American-Armenian joint-venture, announced the first tablet and
smartphone made in Armenia.
A country that has made the most of its small land mass while
leveraging the intellectual capacity of its population has been
Israel. The percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific and
technological inquiry, and the amount spent on research and
development in relation to gross domestic product, is the highest in
A number of factors have contributed to this, including investing
within the country to patent technologies and attracting foreign
investment to build research and development centers. The Armenian
government should consider these and other models to further enhance
some its natural resources'its people.
Perhaps it could appoint an Advisory Board (including diasporans) to
work alongside these existing organizations to set and implement
Armenia's digital plan, to not only develop the sector but identify
new opportunities to leverage.
Armenians are no strangers to the digital sector, with Avie Tevanian,
a former senior vice president and former chief software technology
officer at Apple; Alexis Ohanian, co-founder the social news website
Reddit; Vahé Torossian, corporate vice president of Microsoft's
Worldwide Small and Mid-market Solutions and Partners (SMS&P)
organization; Katherine Safarian from Pixar, and an Oscar recipient;
Zareh Nalbandian co?founder and CEO of Animal Logic, one of the
world's leaders in digital animation; and many others.
The opportunities that are available are huge. For example, WhatsApp
Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app, was recently
acquired by Facebook for $19 billion.
Armenia's most valuable commodity is before us, we just need to open our eyes.
Armenia as a Technology Hub?
Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:38 AM
Armenia as a Technology Hub?
- MosJan likes this
Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:39 PM
it can be, yerevi e eli ..
hnaravora... yete lav yerazenq ..
Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:30 AM
JAPAN CURIOUS ABOUT ARMENIAN IT SPECIALISTS
YEREVAN, June 17. /ARKA/. Japan is interested in getting Armenian
IT specialists involved in its IT sector, executive director of
Armenian-Japanese Association Junichi Nakazawa said.
Nakazawa said he studied Armenia's potential in the field during his
visit to the country and stressed Japanese companies were interested
in getting Armenian IT specialists involved in their companies.
He expressed belief Armenian IT developers could work both in the
territory of Japan and at a distance - for performing their tasks
for Japanese companies while being in Armenia.
Armenia's IT sector records about 20-25% growth every year. Its share
in the country's GDP is 3.8%. IT growth was 22% as of the end of 2013.
Annual turnover of the sector is $380 million. According to the
country's IT development strategy, the turnover is expected to rise
to $1 billion by 2018. -0--
- See more at:
Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:10 AM
JAPAN MAY USE ARMENIA-DEVELOPED ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
YEREVAN, June 17. / ARKA /. Japan is ready to use alternative energy
technologies, developed by Armenian researchers, Junichi Nakazawa,
the executive director of the Armenian-Japanese Association, said
today in Yerevan.
He said in Armenia he was shown a technology developed by Barva
innovative research center for processing of biomass. He said it
could be used in his country.
Aram Vardanyan, head of Barva innovative research center, said the
technology can produce gas, identical to natural gas, imported from
Russia, from any biomass, but its cost is 10-15 times cheaper.
He said this technology could be used to build small power plants
able to produce up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year,
as much as consumed by Armenia annually.
According to him, Armenia may build 2-3 thousand small power plants,
each costing about $3,000. He said the cost of one cubic meter of such
gas will be $20-30, and the cost of a kWh electricity -5 drams. He
said this technology is expected to be introduced in Armenia in a year.
Barva research center's focus is on production of anti-hail systems,
photovoltage power plants, as well as development and production of
equipment to combat early spring frosts. -0-
- See more at:
Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:38 PM
aren't these can's and could's and may's tiring already? where's the beef??? where are the special tax incentives for these sectors? where are the government and private grants for r&d? where is the line of investors who can't wait to be the first ones to pour money into the next start-up from "technopark"? where is the culture of hard work? where is the superfast wan throughout the country? where are the f'ing COMPUTERS in public school classrooms (and I'm not talking about the written-off junk from last century that the shitbrain ministers so proudly beg from overseas corporations)???
any country can becoming anything... what ARE we becoming???
- Yervant1 likes this
Posted 21 June 2014 - 09:00 AM
DIGITEC BUSINESS FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN YEREVAN
The DigiTec Business Forum kicked off in Yerevan today under the slogan
"Smart solutions for smart businesses." Sixty-four IT Companies,
including 13 foreign ones, participate in the event.
Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan noted in his opening remarks that
"the information and communication sector has become one of the most
developed branches of Armenian economy, contributing to innovation
and formation of knowledge-based economy."
"Our achievements in the IT sector are trustworthy, and Armenia could
become a leader in the region in the foreseeable future," he added.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of the DigiTec Forum
in the development of Armenia's business environment, as such events
provide an opportunity to get to know the privileges of application
of ICT tools in businesses, contribute to the popularization of
innovative technologies and promote cooperation.
The Prime Minister pledged the government's support to the further
development of the IT sector.
Hovik Abrahamyan later walked about the booths of the participating
companies to learn about their production and services, proposals
Two international conferences are planned to be held within the
framework of the DigiTec Forum. The Armenian-Dutch and Armenian-Russian
conference will be devoted to promoting cooperation and exchange
Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:38 AM
ARMENIA RANKED 'THE BEST COUNTY" IN SOUTH CAUCUSES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY
YEREVAN, June 24. / ARKA /. Armenia was given the 50th position among
'the best countries" in the category "Science and Technology" and
was recognized as the leader in this category among the three South
Caucasus countries, according to Good Country Index rating, the first
ever index, which ranks countries by combining 35 separate indicators
from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international
In the category "Science and Technology" Armenia's neighbors Georgia
was ranked 63rd and Azerbaijan - 95th. The leaders of Good Country
Index in this category were Great Britain, Austria and Cyprus. The
outsiders were Libya, Angola and Iraq.
To create the list, researchers considered the size of a country's
economy, and then assessed its global contributions to science and
technology, culture, international peace and security, world order,
the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and
well-being of humanity.
Ireland secured the overall top spot by finishing in the top 10 in
four of the seven categories and it was six places ahead of the UK
and 20 ahead of the US. -0-
- See more at:
Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:02 AM
SOMEONE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE ARMENIA ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT GROWTH - EXPERT
June 25, 2014 | 12:47
YEREVAN. - Someone does not want to see a growth in Armenia's
alternative energy development, economist Tatul Manaseryan said at
a press conference on Wednesday.
He noted that solar energy development activities were conducted in
Armenia back in the 1980s, but in the 1990s, the models for the solar
power plants, which were designed at the time, were not improved upon
and not built.
"The same can be said for geothermal and other forms of renewable
energy. I unwillingly am becoming convinced that some circles just
don't want for this domain to develop in Armenia, no matter how good
the prerequisites for it are," Manaseryan noted.
News from Armenia - NEWS.am
Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:07 AM
Meet HIVE, the Armenian LinkedIn with a Powerful Twist
No Armenian online project in recent memory has generated as much global buzz as HIVE, a website launched earlier this year.
HIVE is the first virtual network designed specifically to accelerate the inception and growth of Armenian (and even part-Armenian) Internet startups. It enables them to pitch their ideas; matches them with advisors, mentors, and investors; and gives them opportunities to secure major funding.
While this all would be enough to consider HIVE as a giant step forward for Armenian startups, there is an all-important kicker, as HIVE also strongly encourages emerging companies to hire tech talent from Armenia. The goals here are as straightforward as they are ambitious: to help create jobs in Armenia, thereby boosting the republic’s enormously promising tech sector and the economy as a whole; to help stem the tide of migration from the homeland, specially of talented youths; to build bridges between the diaspora and Armenia through professional and creative synergies; and to help proliferate Armenian web entrepreneurship on an international scale.
In terms of functioning as a connective tissue between professionals, HIVE is similar to LinkedIn. But the comparison ends there. That’s because, beyond the obvious fact that it’s envisioned as a network for Armenian professionals, HIVE provides members with a set of unique advantages, including opportunities to form teams; connect with mentors, mentees, and advisors; pitch ideas; and secure seed funding. In short, the things that can be done through the site are far less impersonal, and potentially much more immediately engaging, as the platform is nothing less than the global Armenian community.
To date, the HIVE portfolio includes five startups, all on their way to making good on wonderful ideas brimming with audacious innovation. And momentum is building. Following launch-and-pitch parties in New York and Yerevan’s landmark Tumo Center, and others planned for San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles, HIVE has seen an explosion of new membership — a sure testament to an idea whose time has come.
A Hovnanian Foundation project, HIVE ‘s architects are a small team of young, highly dynamic professionals whose collective accomplishments — in education, finance, community development, and entrepreneurship — is simply breathtaking. No less impressive is the team of tech entrepreneurs and Internet visionaries who serve as HIVE’s advisors, mentors, and facilitators extraordinaire.HIVE director Glen Dalakian II.
The following interview was conducted with HIVE’s creative team, comprising Nina Kouyoumdjian, Laura Bilazarian, and Hrag Hamalian as well as HIVE director Glen Dalakian II.
Q – In view of your individual professional accomplishments prior to teaming up to launch HIVE, you seem to share a distinct passion for empowering communities, irrespective of ethnicity or geography. Do you feel that a context of social responsibility can and should be a key ingredient in the success of the next wave of Internet startups?
A – Our generation of diaspora Armenians feels a great deal of gratitude for the opportunities that have been afforded to us. This gratitude comes from the realization of sacrifices that have been made by our parents and grandparents, allowing each of us to enact our respective goals and dreams. So it’s true that each of us has felt an obligation in some way or another to contribute and empower others, irrespective of ethnicity and geography.
Unfortunately, our tragic history as Armenians has created a disconnect between diaspora Armenians and our homeland. As diaspora Armenians, we all at some point have wondered how we can effectively and tangibly re-connect with fellow Armenians of Armenia and help uplift our country to new heights.
HIVE was imagined in the country of Armenia, when a small collective of thinkers and philanthropists challenged us [Nina, Laura, and Hrag] to find ways to use technology as a medium to improve the Armenian economy and outcomes for the Armenian youth.
Through our collective experience, we proposed a number of different ideas and, during a presentation we made in Yerevan, the Hovnanian Foundation quickly identified HIVE as the clear winner, and set as its priorities three distinct goals:
1) To create jobs in Armenia;
2) To connect Armenians from around the world;
3) To provide direct support to startups in order to put Armenian entrepreneurship on the map.
Visiting Armenia and imagining HIVE was a euphoric experience for all of us involved.
By functioning as a virtual network and accelerator for startups, HIVE is in effect fostering a global community of creative collaborators — all, whether investors, entrepreneurs, fresh talent, or advisors, engaged in the generation of innovative Web enterprises. From what you’ve experienced through your work with HIVE so far, would you say there is universal enthusiasm for what you’re trying to accomplish, or have you encountered instances of skepticism? If the latter, where do you think they stem from and how would you respond to them?
Overwhelmingly the response has been positive and it’s clear that we Armenians have entrepreneurial blood running through our veins! All parties have been eager to contribute and get involved. Our launch in New York sold out, and since then our membership has been growing exponentially. It’s hard to be skeptical about something that is so clearly capitalizing on Armenian talent at all levels.
In recent years, there has been much talk about Armenia’s technological potential. As professionals with experience in numerous countries, how would you rate Armenia’s tech talent as a whole? For instance, whenever you connect with prospective colleagues in Armenia, do you feel as though you’re speaking the same “language,” in terms of an advanced level of knowledge and aptitudes?
The talent in Armenia is on par if not better than many other places around the world. However, resources, networks, and exposure are limited. That’s where HIVE is stepping in. We are creating an avenue for Armenians around the world to support one another, utilizing our collective experience and talents to help each other rise above the rest.
As HIVE has garnered notice not just from Armenia, but the diaspora as well, what’s your initial assessment, generally speaking, of the latter’s state of dynamism, in terms of level of interest, innovation, and tech acumen?
We think diaspora Armenians are ecstatic to be part of HIVE. We’ve created the equivalent of the Armenian LinkedIn but with even better features: allowing for the ability to build teams, find mentors or mentees, or pitch ideas and get seed funding and advisor support. There has never been a cleaner or clearer way for Armenians to connect across the globe to support each other in their professional development. It takes less than 30 seconds to sign up (through Facebook or LinkedIn), and within seconds you are exposed to a global network of individuals who are at different points in their career trajectory. For the tech community, this is an invaluable resource if you are looking for that integral team member or advisor who can support your endeavor.
To date, your portfolio of companies comprises five startups. What does it take to make it into the HIVE portfolio? What, would you say, are some of the core attributes shared by the startups you have selected?
The basic qualities for making it into the HIVE portfolio are simple:
1) A company needs to have an innovative and scalable tech idea;
2) A company needs a strong team (with at least one member of Armenian descent).
Aside from these, a company needs to demonstrate its value by addressing the same components any startup should be thinking about: need for product/idea, competition, market, ability to scale, financials, risks, etc.
In addition, the company needs to resonate with our advisors, who, as seasoned professionals, have years of expertise in a variety of fields.
Finally, every company that gets accepted into the HIVE portfolio would also be in some way or another interested in giving back to Armenia. Whether that means hiring developers from Armenia, creating avenues for other Armenians to be involved in the company, or simply putting Armenia on the global technology map, we hope that each company has a mission and vision of enhancing HIVE’s priorities.
What would an outstanding startup pitch sound like? Any particular “do”s and “don’t”s you might offer to aspiring startups?
Outstanding pitches easily identify the problem the startup is addressing and its proposed solution. We also want to see why a team is most qualified to build the company. A good team is the most important piece of the puzzle, but we also want to see a clear vision, early adoption, and a strategy for customer acquisition. While we do ask startups to pitch to our team a few times to receive our feedback and answer preliminary questions, for our first investment round we gave each company five minutes to pitch their startup to our advisors.
This is an incredibly short amount of time to cover all the key points of what will make a company successful while being confident, collected, and concise. Boiling down to the basics of what will resonate with advisors and funders is a skill set that is only sharpened with a lot of feedback.
We encourage all HIVE hopefuls to solicit feedback from a wide pool of constituents before presenting their pitch. Creating a masterful pitch is like creating any work of art. It takes time, commitment, and practice.
You seem to place considerable emphasis on mentorship. How do you envision the mechanics and desired benefits of HIVE’s mentorship component?
If selected to be part of HIVE’s portfolio, companies will be paired with an expert advisor who will be available for consultation, networking, and development.
For the remainder of HIVE’s members, initially we are interested in simply connecting Armenians to one another. We facilitate this by offering a powerhouse search engine that allows Armenians to search for one another through a variety of different keywords and methodologies.
In the next few months, we will create further structures around mentorship. Message boards will allow mentees to solicit advice and feedback from potential mentors who are willing to advise in certain arenas.
Eventually, we will have very structured ways in which mentors will be selected and tagged on our website. Mentees will have clear pathways to pair up with willing advisors. HIVE will help structure these meetings and their desired outcomes.
Talk a bit about HIVE’s online and offline events as well as any educational programs you have planned.
HIVE’s first launch event, in New York City, was a great success and sold out within a week of its posting. We have a number of additional launch events, during which like-minded Armenians will meet and mingle, scheduled for July in Yerevan and August in San Francisco and Boston (check out the HIVE website, at hivestart.com, for more info).
HIVE is also constantly working in the background to advise, facilitate, and run programs that enhance our mission of driving technology and improving outcomes for Armenia.
Although HIVE is geared mainly toward entrepreneurs, startups, fresh talent, and investors, can non-stakeholders, so to speak, join the site? If so, how would they benefit by being members?
Of course! The site isn’t limited to tech-minded individuals. People who join HIVE can benefit from the network in a number of ways. First and foremost, founders of companies are looking for people with a variety of skill sets to become team members or simply just to advise. A skill set in law, education, media, marketing, etc., could be of interest to the next big company looking to fill a gap in their team. Additionally, any HIVE member has the ability to link to another member who is currently operating in their field. You’d be surprised as to how many fellow Armenians are working in similar fields, who are looking to help you advance in your own career or to learn from your experiences.
What does a good day’s work at HIVE look like?
Every day is a good day for HIVE. We’re so excited to see our membership rise, and to see how the connections made on our website are leading to friendships, partnerships, and the next wave of change that will be good for Armenia and the world at large.
We’re regularly posting relevant content, fielding investment applications, connecting members, and planning for our next events. It’s a busy time as the network grows faster than we expected.
Where do you see HIVE five years from now?
We are going to go where our user base takes us. Our ideas as a startup have gotten Armenians around the world excited to utilize our website, pitch to our advisors, and come to our events. Based on the feedback we hear from our membership, we are going to continue to enhance our features to meet their needs. We have also discussed with the Hovnanian Foundation the potential need to help step up the scope and breadth of the educational infrastructure in Armenia to ensure we continue to expand the employable talent within the country. The foundation continues to remind us that its support of HIVE is contingent upon a focus on implementing its desire to help develop the IT sector within Armenia and halt the tide of promising talent leaving the country.
Just like any startup, we are here to serve a market: Armenians around the world.
Top photo: HIVE co-founders Nina Kouyoumdjian, Laura Bilazarian, Hrag Hamalian.
Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:56 AM
Armenian company to assemble new high-speed 3D printer
Zecotek Photonics Inc. (TSX-V: ZMS; Frankfurt: W1I.F), a developer of
leading-edge photonics technologies for medical, industrial and
scientific markets, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary
Zecotek Display Systems Pte. Ltd. has contracted LT-PYRKAL of Yerevan,
Armenia, to assemble and test its first compact, high-speed 3D printer
which will use high-performance metal alloys and offer technical and
commercial advantages over other 3D printing technology, the Wall
Street Journal reports.
Zecotek and LT-Pyrkal previously announced a partnership in February
2014. Since that time a number of key technical challenges have been
solved and LT-Pyrkal will now proceed with the assembly of the new 3D
printer, which will be used for both prototyping and distributed
manufacturing with specific applications in electronics, aerospace,
automotive, mechanical and healthcare industries.
"With our partner LT-PYRKAL, we are assembling and testing our first
3D printer which will have the ability to use an extended and varied
list of alloys to "print" metal components for targeted industries,"
said Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President, and CEO of Zecotek
Photonics Inc. "Our technical team of scientists have identified a
unique approach to handle high-performance metal alloys with our
compact high-speed 3D print technologies. The advantage of our design
is the compactness, speed and quick transition from prototyping to 3D
manufacturing at all levels of production. Add the ability to handle
high-performance metal alloys and the size of the market grows
considerably. We are excited about the prospect of being a key leader
in an industry that will revolutionize manufacturing."
LT-PYRKAL is a long time contract partner of Zecotek which developed a
number of key electro-mechanical elements for Zecotek's patented 3D
display technology. The company is known for its experience in
automation systems, component design and product development across
many industries. It has working relations with both small and large
organizations and has completed large projects for local government
"We look forward to continuing to build on our growing relationship
with Zecotek by completing the assembly and testing of their first
compact high-speed 3D printer and assist them to move to full
production and sales," said Mr. Gagik Buniatyan, General Director of
3D printing is the process of making three dimensional solid objects
from a digital model by laying down successive layers of material in
different shapes. Zecotek and LT-PYRKAL have identified a unique
method of printing with high-performance metal alloys with its
proprietary compact, high-speed 3D printing technologies. This will
provide companies to evaluate a broader range of product models in
less time to improve design throughout the product development
process. Rapid prototyping enables faster more efficient production,
while rapid manufacturing enables higher productivity, economical
customization, improved quality and greater efficiency.
Total annual sales and service of 3D printers has reached $2 billion.
Leading industry analysts predict continued significant growth with
annual sales of 3D printing reaching $4 billion by 2015, and over $10
billion by 2021. The rapid growth in the 3D printing market is due to
the improving performance of additive equipment and the expanding
range of materials being used. Although 3D printing has now become
cheaper and more customizable than regular manufacturing methods,
Zecotek and LT-PYRKAL have identified a number of opportunities to
improve 3D printing technology. Patents will be filed as required.
LT-PYRKAL is a Greek-Armenian research, development and production
company, specializing in crystal growth, laser accessories and
components, lasers and systems. LT-PYRKAL was established in 1999 and
today employs over 250 highly qualified specialists and occupies over
30,000 square meters of industrial facilities for synthetic crystal
growth, opto-mechanics and laser electronics manufacturing, and laser
and EO Systems development.
Posted 11 October 2015 - 07:36 AM
Robots made by Armenian students can extinguish fire and detect mines
18:12, 10 October, 2015
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 10, ARMENPRESS. `AYB' high school robotics group
students, who can bring their projects into life in the first
workshop-laboratory `Fab lab' in the region, have already created
robots able to solve different problems, which were demonstrated
outside `AYB' school. Student of `AYB' school Ashot Margaryan
introduced a robot to the journalists, the main function of which is
to pass through a labyrinth, find the source of fire and extinguish
it. `The labyrinth is the model of a house, and finding the source of
the fire, the robot must extinguish it and return to its starting
point', `Armenpress' reports, the boy said, adding that it is possible
to create a bigger robot that can be used by fire brigades without
risking human lives. `AT present, I am working over a drone. We invent
our algorithm for drones which are quite new algorithms', Ashot
Nane Arshakyan designed a line follower robot, which, according to
her, can be used in military operations as a mine detector.
Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:57 AM
SPECIALIST: ARMENIA IS BEST PLACE IN WORLD TO DEVELOP SOLAR ENERGY
18:24 October 19, 2015
Armenia is the best place in the world to develop solar energy, as Dr.
Peter Gevorkian, American of Armenian origin, international expert
in designing solar energy plants, engineer-consultant said in his
interview with EcoLur, "Solar energy in one square meter here in
Armenia is much higher than in other countries, which is conditioned
with the location of Armenia. Armenia is located at high latitude,
which is important to produce energy."
He has arrived in Armenia to share his experience with the specialists.
Peter Gevorkian is going to introduce projects aimed at developing
solar energy technologies in the Armenian universities. "Here
engineering experience is missing. New specialists and engineers need
to be trained to develop these technologies," Peter Gevorkian said.
According to him, solar energy is the most sustainable and it's
the most economically beneficial. Doctor Gevorkian is sure that the
sun may turn into a main source of energy for the humanity due to
development of technologies.
Posted 21 October 2015 - 10:00 AM
VISION TO TURN GYUMRI INTO TECHNOLOGICAL CENTER BECOMES REALITY
21:20, 20 October, 2015
GYUMRI, OCTOBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Gyumri Technology Center (GTC) is a
place where ideas become reality making Gymri a technological center.
The number of both companies and employees operating at Gyumri
Technology Center has increased. Instead of the initial 6 companies,
there are now 23 companies, 4 of which have educative nature. And
all this within one year of activities.
Gyumri Technology Center has created such an atmosphere of services
that fosters job creation and gives the youth and the companies to
bring their innovative business ideas into life.
In general, Gyumri Technology Center aims to develop not only the
IT sector but also the entire city. The proof of the success is the
number of jobs created.
Business Development Manager of the center Hrayr Aramyan told
"Armenpress" that the number of employees in different companies of
the center exceeds 100 but it is a fact that there is a demand for
good specialists: the companies operating in the center have a lot
of vacancies. Good specialists of the sector no longer need to look
for a job for a long time or do another job. "Today there are a lot
of young people in Gyumri wishing to receive technological education
as they see they will have a job", Hrayr Aramyan mentioned, adding
that currently there is a demand for 2500 specialists in Armenia,
and there is a demand for specialists in Gyumri, too.
The fear of many Gyumri citizens that the GTC would be unproductive,
fortunately, does not correspond to reality.
Posted 21 October 2015 - 10:00 AM
40 ICT SPECIALISTS PRESENT ARMENIA'S TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
18:42, 20 October, 2015
BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Nearly 40 high-tech Armenian
specialists presented Armenia's fast growing information and
communications technologies sector in Brussels, covering 4 thousand kms
by bus. Armenian delegates also informed the European entrepreneurs
about their unique investment opportunities in Armenian high-tech
companies. "Armenpress" correspondent reports about this from Brussels.
Director of "Enterprise Incubator" Foundation Bagrat Yengibaryan
mentioned that information and communications technologies sector
flourishes in Armenia, ensuring 20% annual growth. "Global companies
establish their offices in Armenia not only for conducting outsourcing
but also for utilizing the local potentials. Armenia has become a
regional junction", Bagrat Yengibaryan said.
Founder and executive director of "Art Solutions" company Henry
Blundell, who recently established an office in Yerevan, has conducted
numerous interviews with his potential employees and highly appreciates
their skills. He also added that Armenia is famous to the world for
its rich culture and heritage, stating that great aspirations of ICS
specialists bring forward hopes that Armenia will soon become famous
also as a country of innovations and creative solutions.
Representative of "Technology and Science Dynamics" company Julieta
Nikoghosyan hoped that the Belgian audience will reveal Armenia's
potential in high-tech sector and Armenia will be identified not
only with Charles Aznavour, Armenian Genocide or an ancient country,
but also as a country with developed information and communications
The touring exhibition of Armenia ICR sector will last 32 days and
will be introduced in 15 countries. The next stop will be in the
French capital, Paris.
Posted 28 June 2018 - 11:03 AM
YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. Co-founder of Reddit social network Alexis Ohanian posted a video from TUMO’s garden, saying that he is inspired by the students of TUMO center for creative technologies. ARMENPRESS reports he greets in Armenian and says, “Every time I come to Armenia I get more and more inspired by what happens at TUMO. It’s a world class institution. I am an entrepreneur and investor in the technological sphere and I am proud to see such a wonderful institution here, in Armenia. It’s so good and power like I have seen at Silicon Valley or other major technological hubs. I am so proud and inspired to see the changes that bring Armenia to the 21st century in this wonderful way. Continue to be so smart, you inspire me”, Ohanian said.
Alexis Ohanian posted a photo on his “Instagram” page, writing that one of his best friends presented him with an Armenian copper coin, with Noyan Tapan and Ararat decorations. “Since then I keep it with me wherever I go”.
Posted 28 June 2018 - 11:05 AM
YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. Armenian-American internet entrepreneur and co-founder, executive chairman of social news website Reddit has planted a tree in the park outside Yerevan’s TUMO Center For Creative Technologies. Ohanian arrived in Armenia on June 26.
“Planting the first of hopefully many trees outside TUMO with the Armenian Tree Project. I named this one "Olympia." She's got two trees now, one at each of her homes: Florida & Hayastan [Armenia]”, Ohanian said on Instagram, referring to his baby daughter.
Alexis Ohanian has already had a meeting with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan during the day. During the meeting, speaking about the recent democratic government change in Armenia, Ohanian said he has never been so proud of being Armenian.
Posted 09 November 2019 - 09:47 AM
PanARMENIAN.Net - Using the first new method in half a century for measuring the size of the proton via electron scattering, the PRad collaboration has produced a new value for the proton's radius in an experiment conducted at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
The result, recently published in the journal Nature, is one of the most precise measured from electron-scattering experiments. The new value for the proton radius that was obtained is 0.831 fm, which is smaller than the previous electron-scattering value of 0.88 fm and is in agreement with recent muonic atomic spectroscopy results.
"We are happy that years of hard work of our collaboration is coming to an end with a good result that will help critically toward solution of the so-called proton radius puzzle," says Ashot Gasparian, a professor at North Carolina A&T State University and the experiment's spokesperson.
Gasparian is an Armenian physicist who got his PhD from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia.
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Posted 04 February 2022 - 09:57 AM
Noubar Afeyan, Ruben Vardanyan call for uniting efforts to advance science in Armenia
16:16, 3 February, 2022
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 3, ARMENPRESS. The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) is hosting its inaugural fundraiser Advance Armenia Gala 2022 - to support the ADVANCE STEM Research program providing competitive research opportunities to 10 research teams and up to 50 local scientists. FAST marks its 5th anniversary with the Gala that will take place on March 31, 2022, in Los Angeles, CA, with the aim to build network capacity and unite enthusiastic Armenians over the idea of building innovative Armenia.
The evening's keynote speaker is Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of FAST, Co-Founder and Chairman of Moderna, Inc.
“We founded the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) in 2017 with the belief that Armenia’s prosperity and sustainable future lie in the advancement of science and technology. Since then, FAST has taken steps to help transform the education, science, and technology ecosystem in Armenia, including through its ADVANCE STEM grant program, which is actively bringing top-notch STEM expertise to elevate Armenia as a technological and scientific hub for discoveries”, wrote Noubar Afeyan on his Linkedin page.
The ADVANCE STEM Research grant program connects the prominent international scientists with the local researchers to form new research groups and work jointly on globally competitive research projects. FAST and its partners ensure comprehensive long-term institutional and financial support for the salaries of local researchers, capacity building activities, travel costs, laboratory supporting materials, publications in journals, patenting costs, etc.
Co-founder of FAST, entrepreneur, and investor Ruben Vardanyan also spread the word about the Advance Armenia Gala on his social media accounts. He highlighted the importance of consolidating the efforts of all Armenians and working together to boost Armenia’s innovation potential. “I believe that the Diaspora should take a significant role in transforming the future of Armenia by being actively involved in various projects aimed at fostering the advancement of Armenian science and technology", noted Ruben Vardanyan.
“By taking part in the Advance Armenia Gala, you will support fundamental scientific research and contribute to the development of a strong Armenia”, said Artur Alaverdyan, co-founder of FAST, engineer-physicist, serial entrepreneur and tech-investor.
Many joined the movement, including Lord Ara Darzi from the UK, Dr. Yuri Oganessian from Russia, Dr. Naira Hovakimyan from Illinois, Drs. Mary Papazian and David Yang from Silicon Valley, Dr. Garo Antranikian from Germany, Serj Churuk from France, Hovhannes Avoyan from Armenia, and Dr. Armen Orujyan from Los Angeles as the organization’ Founding CEO.
Armenian famous footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan from AS Roma donated two of his signed jerseys for the event's silent auction. World-known rock musician, System of a Down frontman, activist Serj Tankian is among the supporters of Advance Armenia Gala too.
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Posted 14 April 2022 - 10:56 AM
Scorpion: Armenian company makes lethal UGV capable of replacing soldiers on battlefield
09:05, 13 April, 2022
YEREVAN, APRIL 13, ARMENPRESS. A family-run Armenian robotics company has rolled out its new unmanned ground vehicle (UGV): a military-grade, universal, remote-controlled, all-terrain fighting machine designed to engage in battle, or as its maker says to “substitute a soldier on the battlefield”.
The lethal machine is by no coincidence named Scorpion.
Made by Isatech Robotics, the Scorpion’s prototype was first unveiled in 2017.
Isatech Robotics founder Vahan Isajanyan says they came up with the idea of making a UGV in the early 2000s.
After completing his military service, Isajanyan, a graduate of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Armenia, teamed up with his brother and launched an engineering company. Initially, they were making civilian remote controlled devices such as gates. In a few years they began making more sophisticated machines, for example they designed and assembled an industrial robot for an American company used in polishing synthetic diamonds. Programmers, engineers and mechanics joined their team.
Now Isajanyan is working with his father and brother.
“I remember when I returned from military service me and my brother decided to make a remote-controlled robot for the military. After the 2016 war we realized that we must accelerate the process. The 2016 war was the main reason why I left my family in Belarus and returned to Armenia. We already had a prototype of the robot in 2017,” he said.
Isajanyan presented the final model of the combat UGV and the transport UGV – a tracked all-terrain vehicle designed for cargo transport and medevac operations.
The combat vehicle, or as Isajanyan says a "robot-soldier", the Scorpion, is a man-sized 400kg machine capable of engaging targets on the battlefield. Isatech Robotics says it can do anything the soldier can do.
“The device has a remote-control range of up to 10 kilometers and maintains quality of the video feed. The operator wears VR goggles and sees the live video in HD quality, easing target acquisition. If the operator fails to notice a target the device automatically acquires the target,” Isajanyan said, highlighting the importance of avoiding live stream delay. “If there is stream delay it’s impossible to engage in battle online. If the video appears on your screen even half a second late you won’t be able to hit a moving target. If contact is lost with the Scorpion it automatically returns to base. The Scorpion is capable of being operational without re-charge for quite a lengthy period of time. It can move in all terrains, including high incline slopes, which is important in conditions of Armenia’s terrains. Moreover, in the event of flipping over the Scorpion can lift itself back on tracks and continue working,” Isajanyan said.
The Scorpion features a recoil absorber.
The first 2017 model was designed to carry only an AK74 assault rifle, but the new Scorpion can be equipped with a machine gun and a grenade-launcher simultaneously.
Isajanyan argues that the American and Russian-made equivalents of the UGV have numerous flaws compared to the Scorpion, for example they are controlled only with a remote control and without the VR goggles.
The Scorpion’s armor is capable of withstanding small arms fire and offers 90% protection, while the American and Russian variants have only 30-60% protection.
According to Isajanyan, the Scorpion can’t be hit at nighttime. It is thermal resistant.
The Scorpion can even easily enter 1-meter depth waters.
“The Scorpion is ready for serial production. It can be used in wars,” Isajanyan said, adding that he has received many offers for cooperation while working on American projects.
“In 2017 a businessmen came to us from China and said that he is very interested in the Scorpion. He offered to make a large investment and launch production in China, noting that he’d cover all expenditures. I refused, I told him to wait, if my country would not want the robot-soldier then only we’ll speak,” Isajanyan said.
Isatech Robotics tested the device many times and presented it to the Armenian military, but the Ministry of Defense turned them down.
Now, Isatech Robotics intends to consider foreign offers in case of being turned down by the Armenian military again in 2022.
The cost price of the Scorpion ranges between $40,000-$45,000, and Isatech Robotics is willing to sell it to the Armenian military even at the cost price.
Isajanyan says they are planning another round of tests in a month, and the Ministry of Defense has preliminarily agreed to send representatives for viewing.
The Isatech Robotics UGVs can also be used with civilian applications, such as by firefighters or law enforcement agencies.
Posted 19 April 2022 - 07:08 AM
The potential of Armenia’s diaspora offers the country a unique chance to become a major tech power, but only if the political will exists to make the most of it.
A recent meeting between Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels highlighted, once again, the challenges facing a region ripe with political tension.
After months of intermittent border incidents, Yerevan finds itself in an unenviable position: In March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) drastically cut its forecast of Armenia’s economic growth for 2022, which it now projects at 1.5 per cent, rather than 5.3 per cent as previously expected.
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The diminishing outlook comes in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has fundamentally altered global economic parameters for the worse – at a time when Armenia is still struggling to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With trouble brewing at the Azerbaijani border, it’s evident that the current government can hardly afford more destabilisation if the rather optimistic yet adamantly defended goal of seven per cent economic growth this year is to be achieved.
And yet the question remains if the government has the vision, or the means, to ramp growth up to such levels: Armenia’s economy requires not merely a revival, but a transformational reset that is only possible if the country’s vast diaspora is included in the process.
“We need more business developments with members of the diaspora who own tech businesses overseas – promoting joint ventures will be a good opportunity for the empowerment of local start-ups, and most important, we need diaspora tech talents to support the digitalisation and automation of government-related processes as well as to apply high-tech solutions in traditional industries,” Amalya Yeghoyan, executive director of Gyumri IT Centre, tells Emerging Europe.The need for economic transformation
The Covid-19 pandemic caused Armenia’s real GDP to contract by almost eight per cent along with a concomitant increase in unemployment. A recovery is underway, though it’s arduous and slow, and hampered by “long-standing structural issues”, according to the World Bank.
These include an economic structure centred on export of agricultural products and mineral resources. The country is traditionally highly vulnerable to fluctuations in Russia’s business cycle as well, with the fallout from the Ukraine war now threatening to wipe out most of the progress made since 2021.
What Armenia does have are the necessary resources to deeply reform its economic structure in a way that would result in the entire country becoming more modern, resilient and relevant in a tech-driven globalised world.
Its potential for an economy based on sustainability, tech solutions and innovation is well-recognised by international institutions. While Emerging Europe ranked Armenia 18th of 23 countries in the region in its latest Future of IT report, there are reasons for optimism.
The start-up scene, with some input from the diaspora, is thriving. According to some estimates, there are over 500 start-ups in the country — an impressive feat in a country of under three million people.
Indeed, the World Bank, in a seminal 2020 report, identified “biotech solutions, cleantech and seismic engineering” as some of many examples of vertical applications in which Armenian software and hardware developers could find a global niche.Armenia’s greatest resource: The diaspora
Armenia is already extraordinarily well-positioned to succeed in establishing a new economic model, especially so when Yerevan’s arguably greatest resource is taken into consideration: its large diaspora. With almost twice as many Armenians living abroad than in Armenia itself, the diaspora is important not only as a source of personal remittances, but also as an intermediary for investments, ideas, skills, and networks important for broad experimentation with new ideas. In other words, they are much needed amplifiers for innovation.
“The diaspora is both a source of inspiration, intellectual capacity, and funding. Entities such as Service Titan from Los Angeles and mega entrepreneurs such as Noubar Afeyan, the co-founder of Moderna out of Boston provide guidance, jobs through their local affiliates in Armenia, and others in VC space along with individual angels respond to the local needs with funding and network,” Armen Orujyan, founding CEO at the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology tells Emerging Europe.
Levon Ohanesyan, CEO of Enterprise Armenia, agrees. “The diaspora plays a key role in shaping Armenia’s vividly vibrant and rapidly-growing IT ecosystem,” he tells us.
“Innovative educational initiatives, technology transfer, providing linkages with and securing the presence of the global tech giants in Armenia and pushing locally-grown start-ups global transform Armenia into a technological hub of the region. We are witnessing the momentum of Armenian start-ups emerging on the map of foreign venture capital. This would be impossible without the strong and talented diaspora.”
There are question marks, however, over how much Pashinyan wants to get the diaspora meaningfully involved.
Other Armenian politicians have been much more vocal in their support of diaspora involvement, such as the country’s former President Armen Sarkissian, president from 2018 to 2022, and prime minister from 1996 to 1997. He was also a professor at Cambridge University and Armenia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, and has worked as a business consultant as well, for companies such as BP, Alcatel, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
This international exposure has undoubtedly contributed to Sarkissian recognising early on the diaspora’s role in turning the country into “a hub of new ideas and technologies”, since it would allow Armenians “to do business in many places.”
Importantly, this is a view shared among many of the diaspora’s most prominent and influential members. A full-page ad in the New York Times in 2016 paid for by 23 important diaspora figures made this explicit, when they called on their countrymen to make “a long-term commitment toward collectively advancing” Armenia.
More recently, other prominent expats from the business community have spoken out by emphasising how the entrepreneurial mindset of the diaspora could positively affect Armenia.
“With one million Armenians in the US, Armenia’s IT landscape is living the momentum with these people becoming Armenia’s sales managers, lobbyists and influencers in Silicon Valley. And IT giants like NVIDIA, Service Titan, DISQO opening their offices in Armenia,” Hovsep Patvakanyan, CEO of Invest in Armenia CJSC tells Emerging Europe.Removing barriers, enabling brain gain
Embracing this community further will offer its members an opportunity to act – a crucial pre-requisite. The country’s constitution heavily restricts who can serve in public positions, making it only possible for individuals who have held citizenship of Armenia and have permanently resided there for the preceding four years. This is a serious barrier crippling the diaspora’s positive potential. During his presidency, Sarkissian called for a change in the Armenian constitution to embrace the diaspora. This approach was apparently not shared by the government, which some observers have claimed to have played a role in Sarkissian’s decision to resign from the presidency in early 2022.
Removing constitutional barriers would go a long way in preventing the rift between the transnational community and the homeland from widening, a major threat to the sense of common belonging within the diaspora. This is also important in light of the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan meeting, in the run-up of which Armenian rhetoric indicated intent to let Azerbaijan gain control over ethnic Armenian areas in Nagorno-Karabakh, clashing with the diaspora’s past support for the region’s independence.
“The Armenian diaspora that lives abroad creates a ripple effect; one conversation with the right VC, one lunch with a potential client opens doors for Armenian tech companies to expand their horizons. Let’s not forget that the new world pioneers of the Armenian tech ecosystem that started the ‘movement’ were Armenian diaspora representatives,” Armen A. Avakian, chief business development officer at Hexact, Inc tells Emerging Europe.
The benefits for Yerevan if it can further harness the power of the diaspora are endless. Only then can the “brain grain” lead to innovation incubators on Armenian soil to kick off the much-needed transformation.
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