From startups to techno-education and science, and Armenia is the center of Mars research. "DigiTech 22" is already history
The reporting event of the year brought together the start-up and leading companies of the technological sector under one platform. More than 120 companies, 30 speakers from 9 countries and 2000 registered visitors participated in the 17th Digitech. This year's techno exhibition was the largest in its history with an area of 2000 square meters. Simultaneous conferences and panel discussions, distinct zones: the exhibition area itself, startups, educational organizations and projects, green technology zone, sponsors' section.
According to "Armenpress", the largest technological event of the region was attended by both start-up and experienced companies from different countries: Iran, Georgia, Russia. How will DigiTec22 be remembered, what were the most interesting events and what to expect after the end of the techno event?
During the conference, representatives of various countries took part in panel discussions, discussing the experience of their country and comparing it with the applicability in the technological field in Armenia.
RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan spoke about problems in Armenia and plans to solve them, mentioning a number of programs that should make both state and private companies "digi" as much as possible in the near future, and Yerevan, one of the main technological centers of the region or the world.
DigiTech22 featured the most exciting new startups and established businesses, from banking to crypto, from restaurant solutions to mechanical engineering, from AI painting to anti-hail systems.
ZEVIT, a data management company in the field of green energy, was presented with a separate booth. The company mainly works with wind energy companies. They aim to make green energy more affordable.
Aram Manukyan, the founder of the Sceyt company, also mentioned that the company he founded in 2020 is engaged in providing services in the field of communication. The company provides an opportunity to integrate multi-functional chat in existing applications within minutes, which will allow exchanging messages, audio, video files between users of the given application.
The EU-funded project "Cooperation of the Capitals of Yerevan, Warsaw, Tirana on the Common Challenges of Hazardous Waste Management" presented the principles of waste prevention and management expressed in the concept of 5R (elimination, reuse, recycling, recovery, final waste management) at the exhibition.
And in 2024, Armenia will become the center of Mars research. Astronauts from Germany, Austria, Israel, Italy and Great Britain will arrive in Armenia. Space experiments will be conducted in preparation for Mars research missions.
"AMADEE-24", the organizational team representing the Austrian Space Forum in Armenia, was also presented to "DigiTech" for the first time. According to the organizers, the forum will be presented in 2024 under the title "From Garni (RA) to Garni (Mars)". The simulation of the AMADEE-24 analogue of the flight to Mars is for scientific research purposes. These flight tests occur every two years. To carry out the mission, a country is chosen, where a crew of six supposed astronauts participates in the flight to Mars and the test of landing on it.
The most creative technology center in Armenia also had news. Together with the European Union, TUMO will build a complex of engineering and applied knowledge.
Ohanian Educational Complex was also represented at the booth, where, in addition to basic school subjects, robotics and engineering subjects are also taught, within the scope of which children assemble and program robots.
A major part of the program was robotics and automation. Many projects of Armat engineering workshop were presented. from drones to robots and earthquake-resistant building and cantilever bridge design.
"Our earthquake-resistant building will not collapse during an earthquake. The third floor is built against the rest of the floors, which ensures the earthquake resistance of the building. We made the project in 3 days, it also passed tests," the authors of the project, Karine Ghazaryan and Rita Amiryan, presented.
The first "graduate-startup" of Armat, ProtoLab created in Noyemberyan city, was also presented at DigiTech.
"We offer companies their individual, unique office supplies. Whatever people imagine, we can make it happen. Apart from all this, we are also working on a separate startup product," said Mane Poghosyan from ProtoLab.
More than 10 scientific pavilions were gathered around the Science Power initiative, the goal of which is the popularization of science. Scientists mentioned that it is the first time that they are present at "DigiTech" with such a number of booths.
It is noteworthy that not only Armenian, but also Georgian startups, which presented a number of SaaS products, Russian startups offering solutions from AI to machine tool construction, as well as Iranian startups - "Union of Iranian Companies Global Innovation Center" - had booths this year. from someone. the latter has been a member of the National Union of Trade Unions since 2022.
"Union of Iranian Companies Global Innovation Center" presented the activities and products of its member companies during DigiTech. One of the organizers mentioned that about 10 companies represented by the center have prospects of finding new cooperation edges in Armenia.
This year, "DigiTech" had the theme "Ambitious Tech: Confronting Open Economies in the World's Growing Presence."
"In the modern world, technologies are one of the most important tools for ensuring confrontation, and starting this year, Armenia should position itself, DigiTech, in particular, should position itself as a place and the conference as an event where small countries of the world discuss the problems they face," he said. Hayk Chobanyan, the executive director of ATZM.
The first ATS airport is being built in Armenia. various drones will be tested
In the summer of 2023, Armenia will have an airport for unmanned aerial vehicles. it is being built in Lernapat community of Lori marz.
For this purpose, in 2021, money was collected on the "Facebook" social network. The fundraising was organized by the Union of Leading Technologies Enterprises, the "Karen Vardanyan Educational" and "Startup Armenia" foundations.
iTel.am spoke with Suren Vardanyan, the director of the "Karen Vardanyan Educational Foundation", about the goals of building the airport, its construction works, current difficulties, public-private sector cooperation.
The idea arose during the 44-day war
Designing and operating an ATS requires complex engineering knowledge, so continuing Karen Vardanyan's dream of making engineering education accessible from an early age, we decided to contribute to children's technical education by working with more complex devices that can later be used in government sectors such as emergency situations. , agriculture and, in the best case, the military industry. The annual "Hawk" ATS competition also serves this purpose.
The 44-day war proved once again that we are in a never-ending war and we must continue what we started.
The necessary amount was collected from the first round of fundraising
Around 2,800 people participated in the event. We also had separate transfers from our friends and colleagues through non-Facebook fundraising
The money has been collected from the first stage, but now we are facing certain difficulties due to dram appreciation. In general, we had a loss of about 35%.
The building will be ready in 2023.
We have completely completed the construction of the runway, which is 9 meters wide and 120 meters long. The area adjacent to the runway is also ready, the sewage treatment plant has been installed. Although there was a great desire to enlarge the original project of the building and build a bigger and more comfortable building, it was postponed due to dram appreciation. I hope we will realize that dream later.
Since it took more than a year to get the proper building permits, we started construction on the building late. Taking into account the weather conditions, the works are stopped at this moment. As soon as the days get warmer, we will resume construction and welcome the "Hawk" 2023 competition in a comfortable building.
It was important that the ATS airport should not be in Yerevan
It was important for us that the test station should not be in Yerevan. again we followed the dream of Karen Vardanyan. Karen connected her professional activities in the last years of her life with the decentralized technological development of Armenia, starting from the Armat engineering laboratories and holding the world's largest technological conference on decentralization WCIT2019 in Armenia. The selection of the Lernapat village was due to the availability of landscapes necessary for the operation of the test station, as well as transportation and other infrastructural expediency.
The main purpose of building an airport
Success in a war situation nowadays is essentially and largely related to the design and successful use of high-tech devices.
I think it is the dream of all of us to have a state that will be able to place military-industrial orders directly to groups and companies operating in the technological sector. Now, however, we cannot talk about those ambitions, so we direct our efforts to school-aged children and teenagers, emphasizing their contact with high-tech devices from school age.
The most important thing is that we don't just want to give technological education, but we want to convey thinking that the most correct and necessary place for the final application of that knowledge is the state and state security systems.
"Hawq" competition is also the best example of this. the problems of the competition are completely and exclusively taken from emergency situations. We have been implementing it for two years in a row with the Ministry of Emergency Situations. we attach importance to the involvement of state bodies in the competition in any format, because the best private-state partnerships are born from such events. We hope that in 2023 we will see at least three ministries among our partners: high-tech industry, defense and emergency situations.
What types of UAVs is the airport
designed for? The area will always be open for all those groups that need to carry out any kind of work and testing.
Active cooperation with state bodies
As I mentioned, within the framework of the "Hawk" competition, we are trying to actively cooperate with state bodies. Continuous and stable cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs is still successful. We hope that next year we will have a wider participation from the state. we have already started working in that direction, having meetings.
There is still no cooperation with the armed forces.
«Revolutionary platform» in medicine launched by Armenian experts in India to expand to other countries
Many patients are seeking a second opinion regarding their diagnosis and treatment plan. Docus – the highly acclaimed platform created by two Armenian experts offers a revolutionary approach to medicine and a solution to this problem.
Docus is a US-based VC-funded startup committed to enabling access to top medical expertise for everyone.
By fostering collaboration between medical professionals, Docus enables access to the highest level of medical care for patients.
“Our goal is to enable access to top medical expertise for everyone. In any corner of the world, any healthcare provider can provide high-quality medical treatment for patients by relying on world-class experience and knowledge,” Docus CTO and co-founder Gevorg Nazaryan told ARMENPRESS.
Co-founders Gevorg Nazaryan and Robert Sargsyan began developing Docus in 2021. The entrepreneurs left their highly successful business in Moscow and moved to Armenia to work on Docus. Nazaryan credits Artavazd Minasyan, the co-founder of Krisp, 10Web and BigStory venture capital fund for greatly contributing in the phase of generating the idea.
“We felt that there’s a demand for this kind of a platform. Patients often seek second opinions from various doctors to understand the best treatment option for them. Sometimes they even need to travel abroad to seek opinions from leading doctors in Europe or the United States. We conducted studies and realized that this happens a lot more often than we thought,” Nazaryan said.
Presently, Docus collaborates with over 250 top medical experts from Europe and the United States, who contact doctors from partner local healthcare providers in written form or via video call to provide the patient with the best possible medical care.
“We are choosing the doctors very meticulously, with focus on their experience, education, reputation, expertise and circle of collaboration. We have doctors specializing in the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological and other diseases, and we plan to expand the list,” the CTO and co-founder said.
Each of the doctors involved in the platform sets the cost for their rendered services. However, some of them have set a symbolic price because they attach importance to exchange of experience and humanitarian mission.
Upon launching the startup, the co-founders considered the Armenian market but are now focused on India, where the market is significantly larger. Docus provides a user-friendly, all-in-one platform to organize the consultation and communication process between top Indian doctors and top Medical Experts from the US and Europe, ensuring the highest level of medical care for patients.
“It’s difficult to start from Armenia in terms of investments. Investors pay attention to market size and potential growth, that’s why we began from India. We plan to access new markets in the next one or two years, and Armenia will be among them,” Nazaryan said.
The startup was supported by the Formula and BigStory venture capital funds and angel investors. The one-of-a-kind startup has already covered its pre-seed phase investments.
Docus plans to enhance its team, which currently consists of eight specialists including high-class consultants.
Nazaryan said that realizing that their startup can save lives is an “indescribable motivation” for the Docus team.
Docus recently received acclaim from India Today, which described the platform as “a revolutionary approach to medicine, which aims to democratize medical knowledge.”
Armenia's technology sector will have its new branding
The presentation of Armenia's new technological branding will take place at the largest IT industry exhibition "DigiTech" to be held in March 2023.
According to " Armenpress", Hayk Chobanyan, executive director of the union, said this at the press conference of the beginning of the year, adding that after presenting the new branding of the IT sector, the ITSU plans to carry out large-scale public awareness activities.
"2022 we have started quite extensive work on the design of technology branding. In the last 5 years, quite a lot of changes have been made in the field, and we need a new branding, to present ourselves to the world in a new way," said Chobanyan.
Branding will include the messages of the RA technology sector to the world, which will allow stakeholders and decision-makers around the world to form a clearer approach to Armenia's potential and opportunities.
Chobanyan also emphasized that their goal is to raise the reputation of the sector in RA both inside the country and outside its borders. According to Chobanyan, consolidation of the sector and dissemination of national values is one of the tasks before them, and every program created and implemented by the union has a national component.
Armenia introduces Generation AI program in schools to help children become top professionals in future career
Students at several schools across Armenia will have the chance to study the compelling world of artificial intelligence through Generation AI - an initiative of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) designed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports.
Generation AI is a multi-stage program that starts at the school level. It will be integrated into the public education system to ensure sustainability and support systematic change.
Generation AI is aimed at fostering a new generation of AI researchers equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in an AI-driven world.
Susanna Azatyan, the Head of the Division of Development and Implementation of General and Extracurricular Programs at the Department of Public Education in the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports tells ARMENPRESS that they welcome the implementation of such programs because it will contribute to school students making the right career choice. She said that the Armenian labor market needs the professional resource of AI.
“It is planned to test the program in two levels. Level one will start from the 10th grade and will be aimed at developing a group of students with mathematical and algorithmic mentality who will obtain the necessary skills and will receive professional orientation for choosing their future educational path. The pilot stage will be launched in September of 2023. Level two will start from the second semester of 11th grade and will enable students to obtain advanced theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in AI. We plan to launch the pilot program of Level 2 from January of 2023 in high schools of Tavush province as part of the ministry’s crediting system of secondary education,” Azatyan said.
Azatyan added that this program is in line with the targets of the 2022-2026 action plan of the education reforms.
Meanwhile, FAST Educational Programs Lead Anush Ayvazyan said Generation AI is still under development and the program envisages the improvement of the quality of general mathematical skills in the 10-12th grades, improvement of programming and computer science education, which are the preconditions for learning AI and choosing a profession.
“It’s important that students understand AI’s essence and what an AI researcher does at the school level. Tutors will be trained and after finalizing all these components the program will be tested in 10 schools starting September 2023,” Ayvazyan said.
Ayvazyan highlighted that AI education must begin at the school level in order for students to have the chance of becoming globally leading, competitive specialists in their future careers given the fact that AI is one of the most rapidly developing directions in the world. She said there are various flaws in the school level which eventually lead to deeper problems when the students should become professionals.
“That’s why our program is starting at the school level, we are mainly emphasizing the skills which are the preconditions – math and programming. Then, the children who will be able to do more will be offered an advanced AI direction in the 12th grade.”
After building this foundation, the students who will display motivation and the skills in AI will be guided into the sector. Aside from changing the teaching methodology, the program will also involve professionals from the AI industry and academia as tutors in a hybrid format.
Ayvazyan noted that there’s been much interest for the program by both private and public schools. The FAST Educational Programs Lead highlighted the fact that Generation AI is a state program, and it will be an approved national curriculum instead of an extracurricular group.
“And overall this program is based on collaborations. We don’t seek to repeat or develop something entirely again, if there are organizations specializing in various components we cooperate with them, for example AYB, COAF, Teach for Armenia. Our desires and plans have matched with many of them and we already have preliminary agreements,” Anush Ayvazyan said.