NCIE presented a new model of its activity

07 June, 2021

On the initiative of the RA Ministry of Economy and the National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NCIE), a strategic conference was held in Dilijan on May 29,2021, with the aim to have extensive discussions on the vision of the NCIE’s future efficient model, commercialization of innovations, and business and investment support programs.

The primary task of the conference participants was to propose actions that will enable the formation of a national innovation system, knowledge-based economy, as well as offer joint solutions for regulation of the key problems of the sector.

The conference was attended by the Acting RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan, the Acting RA Minister of High-Tech Industry Hayk Chobanyan, the Acting RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports Vahram Dumanyan, the Chairman of the Central Bank Martin Galstyan, high-ranking representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Central Bank, and other state entities, local and international experts in innovation, business, science, and education.

The Acting RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan stressed the importance of the topic discussed during the conference in terms of creating and strengthening the close connection between science, business, and the stable future of Armenia․ “We do not see any future for Armenia other than having a technology-based, knowledge-based economy”. He emphasized the importance of the Diaspora’s large-scale participation in the process of regulating the issues under discussion. Assessing the current situation, the Acting Minister noted that businesses have many scientific needs, whereas science, in turn, offers interesting research activities that can be useful to businesses.

The Acting Director of NCIE Hayk Margaryan presented to the conference participants the future model of the Center’s work and main directions of its activity: technology transfer, brain gain, assistance to startups, stimulation of Armenian production and facilitation of export.

He also presented the programs initiated by the Center for investments and business promotion, noting that an efficient and transparent modern system will be created.

Vardan Gevorgyan, the Head of the Center’s Technology Transfer Unit, spoke of the role innovations play in a country’s development process, emphasizing that serious investments are needed by the state for the sector’s development. He also stressed the importance of cooperation of all stakeholders, in particular, the private-public cooperation. “We have set a task for our Center to create a national innovation system in Armenia by 2025, and we cannot act alone here, this shall be the cooperation of all of us”, said Vardan Gevorgyan.

The Chairman of the Central Bank Martin Galstyan stressed the ability to achieve development goals through innovation and accumulation of knowledge․ “There is no innovation ecosystem without research, scientific and educational excellence. And there can be no innovation ecosystem without world-class education, science and other infrastructure”. He, too, emphasized the role of the Diaspora in the economic and social life of Armenia, stressing that the Diaspora’s knowledge and experience are the main leverages that we shall use: “The transfer of the Diaspora’s knowledge and the process of jointly finding solutions to problems should be the basis of the new social contract between us”.

The RA Acting Minister of High-Tech Industry Hayk Chobanyan noted: “The most critical area in Armenia, where radical changes must be made, is education. There is a need for radical changes, and this challenge must turn into a movement, for which everyone shall unite”. According to Hayk Chobanyan, the issue of qualified specialists has been raised for more than 10 years, and this problem will not be solved unless the rising generation experiences significant changes in terms of its worldview, the level of its literacy, the level of education, public consciousness, and responsibility.

The Acting RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports Vahram Dumanyan emphasized the role of education in the country’s security, and noted: “We have great potential, smart Armenians with great achievements are all over the world, we have good specialists in production and industry, too. We always talk about the fact that theory and practice are in separation. I think that the message of today’s convention is that, while complementing each other, it is this specific problem that we want to solve”.

In his speech, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Strategy Levon Mazmanyan stressed the necessity to combine the human potential and opportunities provided by technologies. “In the next 30 years, Armenia must become a new industrial country, ensuring rapid economic growth”.

The conference was also joined by international specialists and experts, including those from Harvard University and San Francisco University, and various countries, who shared with the conference participants their approaches to innovation development in Armenia, international experience, and opportunities for its application in Armenia by considering the development of intellectual capital as a priority problem.

During the discussion, issues related to the development of intellectual capital in Armenia and the opportunities for improving the working conditions of scientists were addressed. The necessity to launch a campaign for national excellence was emphasized.

Summing up the discussion, Vahan Kerobyan expressed hope that with joint efforts it will soon be possible to achieve tangible results in the field: “We are very open and will be happy if those people, who are capable of doing that, add value to our infrastructure. I am sure that very soon we will be able to lift the “plane” off the ground and take it high in the air”.

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