Jan 31, 2017
Where to Find Tech Treasures in Armenia
The euphoria that comes from discovering a treasure is a universal human experience. Now, imagine what it feels like to find a cultural treasure in a teeny-tiny country you’ve probably never heard of before! Sounds pretty exotic, right? Then, mix culture with technology and you are ready to start a journey leading to the discovery of a real treasure: Armenia!
For the few who have heard of Armenia, the most common images that come to mind are Mount Ararat, where Noah’s Ark landed in the Old Testament, and the Armenian Genocide in the beginning of the 20th century. However, times have changed and it is time to take a look at Armenia’s treasures from a radically different perspective. Technological traditions are embedded in the genes of Armenians. It's not coincidental that even during the Soviet times, Armenians, constituting only 1.5% of the Soviet population, were the creators of 30% of all Soviet military equipment.
Looking at the situation now, here’s a snapshot of what the modern Armenian treasure looks like:
- a gaggle of 14-year-old teenagers creating minesweeping robots,
- a 15-year-old creating anti-drone defense systems,
- Picsart, the world’s #1 mobile photo editing app,
- Shadowmatic, which won Apple’s 2015 design award for the world’s best game,
- Mathematical wizards who are creating the primary algorithms that drive the world’s high-volume trading systems and who invented the backbone of all modern encryption systems.
Sound interesting? Then where can we find these treasures? Here are some starting points:
- Digitec Expo
Digitec Expo, Yerevan’s annual tech expo, is a place where the best and the brightest come to showcase their innovative thinking in the spheres of custom software development, mobile app development, IoT, EDA, big data, AI/machine learning, hardware design, and more.
Image credit: Armrobotics
The annual ArmRobotics competition is one of the best places to start exploring tech in Armenia. This competition explores new thinking from a variety of angles, with several categories for participants. In one of the categories, participants can present their robots in the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle contest,” aimed at discovering the best and most effective robots capable of accomplishing all sorts of tasks, from video capturing to military purposes. Another interesting category is “Robots in Everyday Life,” which aims to find out how technology can help facilitate the everyday life of people in all spheres.
- Integration of robotics into schools
Image credit: Tert.am
Another attention-grabbing fact about robotics in Armenia is its integration into schools. At the moment, there are more than 197 robotics clubs at schools in Armenia that teach the essentials of robotics and give children the background for further advancement by triggering their imagination and providing them with space to create. The results are evident: Imagine a robot librarian fetching and organizing books on shelves and getting everything arranged in no time. This is actually an Armenian high school student’s idea!
Image credit: UITE
The Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) is the industry association that connects more than 500 IT companies in Armenia. As such, it is an incredible resource to discover who is doing what in which industry sector.
Image credit: TUMO
TUMO Center for Creative Technologies is the next creative hub of innovation, all carried out by teenage kids under the supervision of experienced professionals. What makes the work and education here so great and productive is the atmosphere and freedom to create provided to every student. The Center has extremely promising and impressive students and graduates now, participating in different competitions not only in Armenia, but also abroad.
With the number of engineering labs, start-ups, and foreign investors here increasing each year, Armenia, while still largely undiscovered, has become the de facto innovation hub for cutting-edge companies looking to benefit from Israeli innovation style without an Israeli price tag.
Are you looking for a tech treasure? In Armenia you’ll strike gold!