National Polytechnic University of Armenia summarizes the implementation of the CIF Grant Project
In December 2015 the Armenian National Polytechnic University launched the implementation of "Technological Innovation Platform" Grant Project within the framework of Competitive Innovation Fund (CIF). Today, the activities of the project have been summed up, on the occasion of which on December 25 final monitoring visit was made to National Polytechnic University of Armenia by the representatives of the RA Ministry of Education and Science and the "Center for Education Projects" PIU. Vice-rector on Science and Scientific-Technological Cooperation of National Polytechnic University of Armenia, Grant Project Manager, Areg Grigoryan, and Grant Project Coordinator, Armine Avetisyan presented the activities implemented within the framework of the project. Grant Project Manager, Areg Grigoryan spoke about the enormous volume of work done, about the implementation phases of the project, partners involved, additional and in-kind investments done during the implementation, as well as about the expected outcomes and goals of the project. The long-term plan of scientific-educational innovation activity of the University, the concept of innovation activity have been developed and published, the Innovation Council has been established and operates within the framework of the project. Besides the aforementioned strategic framework, specific tools - innovation service and innovation portal have been created for commercialization of the results of the University's scientific activity. The Innovation Service will function as a link connecting the university to the business sector and other beneficiaries, which will regulate the issues of supply and demand related to the commercialization of the results of scientific research. The Innovation Service staff has been trained, including training in relevant institutions abroad, the area allocated to the service has been repaired, has been equipped with the necessary furniture and equipment. Innovation portal provides a complete picture of the university's research activities and services by implementing a unique inventory of infrastructures, capacities and potential of the University. The Grant Project Coordinator, Armine Avetisyan presented the creation activities of the innovation portal within the framework of the project. Web-based innovation portal combines study and research bases, laboratories of the university in one unified information environment by clearly presenting the description of the equipment available therein, the list of possible scientific and research activities in the laboratories. Calculation and presentation of unit prices for the services available at laboratories will be implemented in the near future for external beneficiaries. The portal also combines the results of scientific research of National Polytechnic University of Armenia, lectures, educational programs, at present about 1700 scientific articles are available electronically at I.polytechnic.am. In the near future, the innovation portal will also be used as a tool for the presentation and peer-review of scientific articles. The other direction of the grant project was the development of a laboratory base that is necessary for the innovation activity of the university and that is missing in the university. Within this framework, a Center for Expertise has been established, which includes seven laboratories re-equipped or fully established under the project.
Particularly, this center equipped with up-to-date equipment, combines the following laboratories: "Telecommunication and Information Technologies", "Science and Production" (three separate laboratories), "Alternative Energy" and "Structural Research". The above mentioned laboratories are used for theoretical and practical training, for scientific and research activities with almost daily frequency. Mr. Grigoryan spoke about the importance of laboratory equipment acquired, stating that they will contribute to raising the efficiency of scientific and research activities. "We are convinced that these infrastructures established as a result of the grant project will further expand the creative atmosphere created in the University," he added.
The attendees completed the tour in the "Structural Research Laboratory" where the X-ray diffractometer was installed on August 17 within the framework of the project. It enables exploring the structures of various materials with great precision and within wide boundaries. At the same time, it is possible to carry out research for nanoscales. The device is unique in its nature in Armenia, which is evidenced by the existence of a large number of contracts in a short period of time.
Establishment of the Center for Expertise and presence of such modern equipment at the University will increase the quality and effectiveness of the implemented educational and research activities, will contribute to the promotion and development of new research areas, the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with the business sector, the development of scientific and innovative activities of the University and its further commercialization, as well as implementation of strategically important projects for the state. Steps have been taken to introduce innovation tools in the educational process in order to complete the grant project. In particular, the Grant Project Manager, Mr. Areg Grigoryan highlighted the establishment of the "Innovation School" and the organization of two-month courses within the framework of the grant project, which was successfully implemented in the second phase of the program.
The subject syllabus of relevant "Innovation" course based on "Innovation School" has already been introduced in the educational process of the University at the level of postgraduate education, it will also serve as an important component of training for lecturers from the next academic year.
Thus, the implemented project makes it possible to substantially enlarge the role of the Polytechnic University, which is of strategic importance for the country, in the areas of economy requiring technological development. The further indicators of the effectiveness of the performed work should be the use of the opportunities created under the project and promotion of the participation of young professionals in them.