SAN JOSE, Calif. — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is cultivating Armenia’s next generation of entrepreneurs, technology leaders, and world-class researchers, said AUA President Dr. Bruce Boghosian on Monday, December 10, while speaking at ArmTech Congress 2012 about the university’s latest initiatives to foster the development of a knowledge-based economy in Armenia.
This year’s ArmTech conference, hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, brought together more than 120 technology executives, entrepreneurs, academic researchers, venture capitalists and senior Armenian government officials to discuss and explore the development of Armenia’s technology sector.
Boghosian outlined AUA’s current and new programs during a panel focused on the state and direction of research and development in universities, research institutes, and laboratories. Bringing the focus to higher education in Armenia, he introduced AUA’s new Master of Science Degree in Economics and Bachelor of Science Degree in Computational Sciences, emphasizing the potential impact of these two programs on the development of business, technology, and entrepreneurship in Armenia.
“With the bachelor’s degree in computational sciences, we are leveraging Armenia’s existing expertise in physics and mathematics, and combining it with software development to help Armenia produce scientific and engineering software for the world,” explained Boghosian. “Our master’s degree in economics, meanwhile, will prepare business leaders and economic professionals to help guide sustainable economic growth in Armenia and strengthen its position in the global and regional economy.”
Boghosian illustrated how these changes have already begun taking shape in the halls and classrooms of AUA, with students coming together to imagine and create new and innovative businesses.
“We have had two business plan competitions in the last month,” he said. “Some of our students have gone further and actually started new high-tech companies. For example, the latest AUA student startup is called Verium, and it is working on cryptographic solutions to combat counterfeiting and identity theft.”
AUA is the early stages of planning a cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship center to inspire and incubate new businesses such as these, explained Boghosian, adding that it is the university’s intention to bring to Armenia the model of integrating education and entrepreneurship in universities.
Among the many other successes stories highlighted by Boghosian during his presentation was AUA’s Turpanjian Rural Development program, which has trained 600 people and helped developed 60 new rural businesses.
Since opening its doors in 1991, AUA has graduated more than 2,000 professionals, noted Boghosian, adding that the vast majority of those graduates have remained in Armenia to become valuable leaders of its society and economy.
Today, the university is gearing up to launch an undergraduate program for the fall of 2013, offering bachelor’s degrees in business, English and communications, and computational sciences. These new programs will provide Armenian students access to a liberal arts education focused on building a foundation of general knowledge, specialization in skills and career preparation.
“But to make all this work, we are constantly looking for funding opportunities, foreign research collaborations, and grant partners,” Boghosian said, urging members of the audience to join the University’s mission. “Consider this an invitation to come join us in this effort. This university is worth your involvement and your investment.”
ArmTech 2012 is organized through the joint efforts of the Government of Armenia, the USAID-funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project, Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), ViaSphere Technopark, Armenian Development Agency (ADA), Synopsys Armenia, the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce and Groupement Interprofessionnel International Armenien (G2IA).