Categories: Economy

Armenia’s most extensive third “Empowering regions through High-Tech” forum supported by the European Union through the EU-SMEDA project and other partners will take place in Gyumri

Enterprise Incubator Foundation and Gyumri Technology Centre in partnership with the Government of Armenia, Gyumri Municipality and the “Support to SME Development in Armenia (EU-SMEDA)’’ project which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by German Development Cooperation GIZ through the Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme are organising the third  “Empowering Regions through High-Tech” two day forum in Gyumri on November 23-24th, 2019.

The main objective of Armenia’s most extensive high-tech forum is to bring together young people from all Armenian regions, local and national government representatives, higher educational institutions, as well as private sector and international organisation representatives to discuss the current strategy and challenges of creation and development of innovative educational and business environments in High-Tech and related disciplines. During the forum the success stories of regions already implementing high-tech strategy will be showcased and the participants will have the opportunity to meet industry’s leading specialists, gain new skills during workshops and exchange their experience with participants from other regions.

Empowering Regions through High-Tech 2019 will be focused around the topic of creation of unique regional higher educational models in Armenia in partnership with international organisations and universities, as priority for regional economic empowerment and development. 

Event beneficiaries are 200 young people from all Armenian regions who are interested or already have background in high-tech, engineering, programming and digitalization/innovation fields. The invited guests and speakers include national and local government representatives, higher educational institutions, international partner organization, leading Armenian and international experts.

The forum will launch on November 23rd with opening speeches by high officials and then will be followed by three panel discussions “Young professionals in large tech companies: opportunities and challenges”

“Tech Development in the regions: Priorities and Challenges”, “Higher Education, as important prerequisite for tech developments in the regions ”. Throughout the second day of the forum Armenian and international experts will lead workshops and business leaders will share their success recipe with the participants.

The forum is supported by  “Support to SME Development in Armenia (EU-SMEDA)’’ project which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by German Development Cooperation GIZ through the Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme.


The Center was established by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation, the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the World Bank. The mission is to transform the city of Gyumri into a regional and international center for information and high technology by creating an evolving environment of opportunities and services that will support job creation, support talented young people and companies to bring innovative business ideas to life.

The Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) is one of the largest technology business incubators and consulting companies of the region. The projects implemented by the Foundation are related to all the key areas of IT development. The objective of EIF is to create an enabling environment for IT development in Armenia, make international knowledge and funding available, train high-quality IT professionals and a workforce, to create opportunities for local companies to get involved in global networks. The above mentioned objectives are implemented in a variety of initiatives, such as the Armenian-Indian Excellence Center in ICT (AITC), Armenian National Engineering Laboratories (ANEL), Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC), Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center (ISTC), Regional Mobile Application Laboratory (mLab ECA) and Kapan Center, Gyumri Technology Center, Vanadzor technology Center, etc.

The “Support to SME Development in Armenia” or SMEDA project commenced in 2016. It is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and it is implemented by GIZ’s “Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme”. SMEDA is part of the EU4Business ( and EU4Innovation initiatives of the European Union. The objective of SMEDA is to improve the business and investment climate and support the creation and development of SMEs to enable broad-based growth in Armenia along five result areas. The project is implemented in cooperation with different partners aiming at strengthening the private sector, strengthening the capacities of Armenian SMEs to foster competitiveness, linking research and economic institutions, ensuring proper implementation of innovation business management practices, promoting and developing economic clusters, free economic zones, incubators, and techno-parks. The focus of SMEDA is in general the support to small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Armenia. To do this, SMEDA works on different levels to strengthen the business environment – for example through supporting the development of national strategies for private sector development, the implementation of the SME strategy in Armenia and the development of a statistical overview over the SME in Armenia in order to target strategies and initiatives on their particular needs. The key partner in this area is the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments (MEDI) as well as the SME Development National Center (SMEDNC). SMEDA also focuses on the support for business associations so that they may better advocate and lobby for SME relevant topics. Another focus is on improved linkages between research institutions and the private sector in order to achieve a better rate of commercialisation of ideas. A key partner in this field is the National Academy of Science. The development of economic clusters, techno-parks, incubators, free or industrial zones are another field for activities. The objective here is to improve the management of these entities and turn them into stronger hubs for economic development throughout Armenia. An additional field of activities targets the development of alternative funding mechanisms for innovative start-ups and existing companies. The Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) is a key partner here.


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