02.06.2016 - 03.06.2016 | Yerevan, Armenia

Horizon 2020 Association Launching Workshop and Info Day in Armenia

The Horizon 2020 Association Launching Workshop and Information Day devoted to Armenia's association to the European Union Framework Programme on Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 was held on 2-3 June 2016, at the conference hall of Matenadaran in Yerevan. The main objective of the events was to present to the Armenian authorities and STI stakeholders the additional opportunities arising from association of Armenia to the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

photo of the panel on the stage of the association event
Horizon 2020 Association Events in Armenia | © Shahane Hovhannisyan

The Agreement on association of Armenia to European Union Framework Programme on Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 was signed in Brussels on 19 May 2016, by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Levon Mkrtchyan; and EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas.

The Association Launching Workshop organised on 2 June 2016, was mainly dedicated to Horizon 2020 National Contact Persons and information multipliers from various scientific and research institutes and universities, as well as representatives of SMEs, NGOs and other concerned organisations. It was attended by around 75 participants, including  a delegation of the European Commission, experts from Belgium, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, and IncoNet EaP partners from Austria, Belarus and Greece.

The welcome speeches were delivered by the Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Academician Yuri Shoukourian, by the Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Science of the Republic of Armenia, Prof. Vardan Sahakyan, and by the Representative of the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, Mr. Stephen Sadler. The workshop agenda included presentations on the general scope of H2020 and new opportunities for the EU associated countries. They also portrayed IncoNet EaP’s contribution to the process of association, new tools and networks for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and Joint Research Center grants for science research and innovation.

Representatives of Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine shared their experiences and recommendations on the activities to be implemented by relevant Armenian authorities for a smooth association process  and on tackling possible problems in advance, which was followed by good practice cases of participation in EU programmes from Armenia. A summary of the learning circle for the association and participation as well as a long list of activities to be implemented towards association were presented by Dr. Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director of the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Austria.

to of the panel on the stage of the association event
Horizon 2020 Association Events in Armenia | © Shahane Hovhannisyan

On 3 June 2016, a Horizon 2020 Information Day was held with main focus on Climate Change, SME Instruments and the COSME Programme. The event evoked high interest in the stakeholders’ community and was attended by more than 150 participants representing research institutes, universities, SMEs and industries, agencies and associations, NGOs and international organisations.

The event included keynote speeches by the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Academician Radik Martirosyan, the Ambassador and Head of European Union Delegation to the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Piotr Antoni Switalski, the Chairman of the State Committee of Science of the RA Ministry of Education and Science, Mr. Samvel Haroutiunyan,  and the First Deputy Minister of Economy Mr. Garegin Melkonyan.

All the high level Armenian officials stressed the importance of the association of Armenia to the largest in the world collaborative research and innovation programme which will allow Armenian scientific and research institutes, universities, SMEs and individual researchers to be part of European Research Area, and get involved and benefit from participation in joint research projects together with advanced European research organisations and SMEs.

'By joining Horizon 2020 Armenia has chosen to invest in developing knowledge and its citizens. Today, the Armenian government is making a commitment to strengthen the research, scientific and innovation foundations in-country in order for universities, research institutions, and businesses to compete with the best in the world. Armenia has an admirable scientific and cultural history and is worldwide recognised for its contributions in physical sciences, nanotechnology, and in high performance computing.

I welcome the commitment of the Armenian government and the leadership shown by the National Academy of Science and the State Committee for Science for realising this initiative. Their active participation in Horizon 2020, their commitment to bring the scientific capacities and entrepreneurship to a new level in Armenia means that brilliant ideas and thinking can now be further explored and receive substantial EU funding', said Ambassador Piotr Switalski, Head of the EU Delegation.

The agenda included a general introduction towards the association to Horizon 2020 by Mr. Sadler. The EU4BUSINESS Panel presented various EU initiatives and mechanisms, which will support the SME sector development in Armenia in addition to the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.  Representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ministry of Economy of Armenia, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and Enterprise Incubator Foundation of Armenia took part in this session.

The panel was followed by a more practical session on Horizon 2020 with a focus on MSCA Actions, ERC Grants, IncoNet EaP activities to support the NCP network, legal and financial issues, and a more detailed presentation of the work programme 2016-2017 for Climate Change, the SME Instrument and the COSME Programme.

The infoday was organised by the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia in close cooperation with the IncoNet EaP project coordinating teams from ZSI and CeRISS, the EU Delegation to Armenia, and the Enterprise Europe Network. A contribution to the agenda was also made by Ms. Tania Van Loon, Impulse Brussels, Belgium, as a part of twinning visit within the SiS Net Project-Network of Science with and for Society NCPs.

The event was widely highlighted by nearly all major TV channels and mass media agencies of Armenia.

For more information on Armenia-EU cooperation in science, technology and innovation please also visit the website of the Horizon 2020 National Information Point of Armenia

Author & contact

Tigran Arzumanyan
Head of International S&T Programs Department
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
24, Marshal Baghramian Ave.,
0019 Yerevan, ARMENIA
Tel/fax: +37410525432
E-mail: tarznip@sci.am