Monitoring visit to Armenian National Agrarian University
On January 18 a working meeting was held in Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU). The representatives of the Ministry of Education Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, the Higher Education and Science Committee and the Centre for Education Projects PIU were present at the meeting. The aim of the meeting was the monitoring of the ongoing grant project of Competitive Innovation Fund (CIF) for higher education institutions of Armenia. The working group was welcomed by the Acting Rector of ANAU Hrachya Zakoyan, vice-rectors Aram Hovhannisyan and Mariam Movsisyan, head of the grant projectAraAmiryan and the project-coordinator Arman Simonyan. Professor AraAmiryan, the Head of the grant project “Establishment of a Center of Excellence for Agricultural Robotics and Mechatronics in Agrarian Engineering” presented the ongoing activities of the establishment of "Center of Excellence for Agricultural Robotics and Mechatronics" totheparticipants of the visist.. The main goal of the project is to establish a Center of Excellence for Agricultural Robotics and Mechatronics in Agrarian Engineering (AGROBOT Center of Excellence) at the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU), which meets modern requirements, will provide an impetus for the reform and modernization of educational and scientific processes in this field. It will also contribute to the training of competitive specialists in the field and strengthen the university-labor market connection. By creating the AGROBOT Centre of Excellence, an opportunity will be created to train competitive personnel, implement scientific programs, and provide educational services to farmers.
The Head of the grant project Ara Amiryan noted that the university is currently undergoing important and turning-point reforms in the direction of modernization of education, science, and management systems. In the context of these reforms, the university emphasizes the radical reform of the current state of agricultural engineering education, asit has a highly strategic significance for our republic.
“Artificial intelligence is gaining popularity in the agricultural industry and is steadily integrating robotics developed for this field. As automated technologies enter the market, we aim to answer the important questions that business leaders are asking today. This project will contribute to the further development of the agrarian sector of the RA economy through the application of robotics in the field of agricultural mechanization and its special applicability in the context of sustainable development’’- added the Professor.
It should be mentioned that “AGROBOT Center of Excellence will have three main departments: Agricultural robots (agrobots) development and design laboratory – AgrobotLAB,
Programming laboratory: ITLab, Re-equipped and new educational classrooms and laboratories for agricultural engineering.
Professor AraAmiryan also informed that in order to study the best practices, a business trip was conducted to the city of Magdeburg in the Federal Republic of Germany in order to participate in the workshop on mechatronics organized by the Otto von Gerike University and to get acquainted with the mechatronics laboratories of the Fulda University of Applied Sciences.
During the visit the working group toured the area allocated for the Center of Excellence in Agricultural Robotics and Mechatronics Agrarian Engineering, where Agricultural Robots (agrobots) will be located..The activities planned in the grant-projectschedule and the process of their smooth implementation were also discussed..
During the visit, the renovation and reconstruction works of the area envisioned for the newly established center of the university were in progress. The university representatives assured, that the construction works of the center will be completed before the end of the current phase of the project.
The Head of the grant project noted that the process of acquiring laboratory equipment/robots for the center has been started, their technical specifications are being prepared, and an additional market study is being carried for organizing the proper and timelypurchase.
Mariam Movsisyan, the Vice-rector for international relations and educational reforms, presented the collaborative steps implemented within the project. In particular the process of cooperation with the partners which are The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), the non-governmental organization, “Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises” and the company “Instigate Robotics” was introduced. They provided technical and narrow professional support for the implementation of this project, being convinced that the implementation of the project will contribute to the the sustainable development of the agriculture sector of Armenia. The support will be aimed specifically at the development of the field of smart agriculture in Armenia and at the reform and modernization of educational and scientific processes in that field, the training of competitive specialists in the field, the development of the new “Robotics and Mechatronics” academic program, the strengthening of the university-labor market connection and the use of smart agricultural equipment in the field. The members of the monitoring working group have stressed, that awareness activities related to the objectives and results of the grant projects should be continuous, accessible as possible. The goals and expected results of the grant projects should be presented in more detail, and these measures should be aimed at attracting more female students into STEM fields of study and jobs and have more female teaching staff involved in research and scientific work.