YEREVAN — The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), is launching its 2023 global Advance Armenia campaign focused on driving support and engagement for programs to foster and accelerate the advancement of science and technological innovation in Armenia and beyond. The “Advance Armenia” Series will take place in Boston on March 2, and in Los Angeles on May 11. Funds raised will accelerate progress in two key programs of the foundation: the ADVANCE Grants program and Generation AI.
The Advance Armenia Series will be attended by Dr. Noubar Afeyan, founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering, co-founder and chairman, Moderna. Inc. Also participating will be Dr. Ardem Patapoutian, 2021 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor, Scripps Research as the Los Angeles gala keynote speaker.
“We founded the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) with the belief that Armenia’s prosperity and sustainable future lie in the advancement of science and technology,” said Afeyan. “Since its inception, FAST has taken steps to help transform the education, science, and technology ecosystem in Armenia, including through its ADVANCE STEM grant program, which is actively bringing top-notch STEM expertise to elevate Armenia as a technological and scientific hub.”
The ADVANCE Grants Program connects international scientists with local researchers in Armenia to form research groups and work jointly on globally competitive research projects in computer vision, drug discovery, materials science, and vine bioinformatics. FAST and its partners ensure comprehensive long-term institutional and financial support for local researchers, capacity-building activities, travel costs, laboratory supporting materials, publications, patent-related costs, and other expenses. In 2022, the program was scaled thanks to the generous contributions of the FAST supporters.
Generation AI is a new program launched by FAST in 2022 to create an educational and professional pipeline for AI researchers and innovators in Armenia. The program is designed in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of the Republic of Armenia and will be integrated into the public education system, first as a pilot project and then scaled at the national level. The inaugural Generation AI pilot program, “Generation AI: High School,” commences in September 2023 in 10 schools in Yerevan and other regions of Armenia, with an objective to eventually expand to all high schools. Hundreds of high school students will have opportunities to deepen their knowledge and skills in math, programming, and the foundations of AI.
FAST aims to support Armenia’s transformation into a science-driven innovative country by 2041 through scientific discovery and innovation. The organization’s long-term vision is Armenia’s transformation into a top-10 global innovator nation and top five in data science and artificial intelligence. FAST has designed and structured numerous programs and initiatives to become independent parts of the STI ecosystem, ensuring their continuing sustainability.