Discovering the Future
An academic course aimed at providing knowledge and skills to Armenian Masters and PhD students on Research Design and Science Commercialization.
General Information
About the program

In November 2020, FAST, in collaboration with the British Council, launched a new program - SciNova - aimed to create a practical course on "Research Design and Science Commercialization''. The course will introduce Masters and PhD students in Armenia to the basics of research design and methods, as well as the fundamentals of science commercialization.

Why develop such a course?

In general, R&D outputs are a key sign of innovation performance, however, their real-world benefits and values are negated without commercialization. The commercialization of Armenian scientific outputs is currently at a nascent stage. Thus, further work and investment are needed to augment education around the commercialization of science, along with boosting technology transfer process.

Some essential lessons have been learned from FAST’s previous and ongoing programs, such as the Fellowship, ADVANCE STEM Research Grant program, as well as entrepreneurial initiatives. The final conclusions have highlighted the number of important challenges for ecosystem players that could be overcome through the provision of a curriculum on how to conduct quality scientific research and how the commercialization of scientific outputs takes place.

Indeed, such a curriculum is crucial for two main reasons:

  • to ensure that Masters and PhD students in Armenia are equipped with basic knowledge on how the research is conducted,
  • to nurture competencies among the students to translate research outcomes to innovation outputs,
  • to recast the image of science among Armenian youth from something abstract and academic to something of practical relevance and tangible benefits.
Plans for 2021-2022

The course will be piloted at the Armenian National Agrarian University and will introduce Masters and PhD students to the basics of conducting quality research and creating commercial value from scientific inventions. After a thorough evaluation of the pilot, a final coursebook will be published to guide the effective integration of the curriculum into academic programs of 2021-2022 and to ensure its long-term impact. When the curriculum will be subsequently finalized, it will be opened up to all the interested Armenian universities.

In order to support academic staff in successfully delivering the curriculum a training of trainers will be made available providing STEM education for all Armenian academic institutions.

Besides, In the scope of the program, a special diagnostic tool will be developed to evaluate the readiness of the universities to engage in the commercialization of science and research. Additionally, in order to apply suitable interventions, this tool will also aim to identify specific barriers to the industrial application of research outcomes that are currently experienced by Armenian researchers.

Master and PhD students
Academic staff members in the training of trainers
Program partners

This project is part of the Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme and funded by the British Council.

This is already the third year of fruitful cooperation between FAST and the British Council with 2 programs successfully implemented in 2019 and 2020 namely:

- Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs Program

- InVent

The curriculum development is implemented in close cooperation with Aston University (UK) which has extensive expertise in technology transfer and business incubation processes.

As the program’s key academic partner, Armenian National Agrarian University will be the first institution to pilot and later integrate the curriculum into its formal academic programs.

Anastasiya Tyurina
Founder and CEO, Digital Spring Agency
Dr. Smbat Gevorgyan
Senior Researcher, FAST
Dr. Astghik Hakobyan
Researcher, RA NAS Institute of Molecular Biology
Dr. Anahit Hovhannisyan
Researcher, RA NAS Institute of Molecular Biology