AUA Receives $566,500 from ASHA to Establish Innovation & Technology Incubation Center

YEREVAN—The American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently awarded the American University of Armenia (AUA) with a $566,500 grant to create, furnish, and equip an Innovation & Technology Incubation Center that aims to empower students to create, collaborate, and venture beyond the demands of their degree program requirements.

The Innovation & Technology Incubation Center will coalesce existing activity in entrepreneurship and innovation at AUA in a synergistic locale where student team-work, creativity, and innovative technologies will come together to foster new ventures and partnerships. The center will use the American-style entrepreneurial spirit of openness and sharing of information to create potential for new enterprises that will contribute to both the local and global economy and employ the young business leaders of the future.

The facilities will include rooms dedicated for technology incubation, computers, and other infrastructural equipment to support business development activities. Showrooms and shared-space meeting rooms will encourage interaction, multidisciplinary collaboration, and the exchange of ideas with internal as well as external stakeholders. The goal is to foster closer linkages between academia and industry.

The four-year project is estimated to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018. “We are grateful to the U.S. government and its ASHA program for continued support of our university,” said AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian. “This grant will enable us to create a space where students, faculty, and researchers from different programs will come together to innovate and implement ideas, some of which hopefully will spin-off as start-ups in technology, green engineering, and business.”

AUA has received support from ASHA for many years, with past projects including the renovation and expansion of the university’s library and cafeteria, and active projects such as the creation of integrated technology classrooms, the replacement of university elevators, and the creation of a Student Services/Student Excellence Center.

ASHA provides assistance to schools, libraries, and medical centers outside of the United States that serve as study and demonstration centers for American ideas and practices. ASHA’s grants help these institutions train future leaders in a wide variety of disciplines, support local and regional infrastructure to foster development, and cultivate positive relationships and mutual understanding among citizens of the United States and other nations.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and is affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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