Noubar Afeyan gets acquainted with the activities of Biotechnology Research Team Under the FAST’s ADVANCE Program at YSU
YEREVAN, JULY 7, ARMENPRESS. Noubar Afeyan, Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Moderna, Co-Founder of the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), Co-founder of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative visited Microbial Biotechnologies and Biofuel Innovation Center at Yerevan State University (YSU).
ARMENPRESS reports, accompanied by the Rector of Yerevan State University Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Noubar Afeyan toured the lab and got acquainted with the work of the biotechnology research team under the ADVANCE STEM Research Grant Program being carried out in collaboration with FAST and YSU. Research team implements its studies in the supervision of the world-famous and highly regarded microbiologist, director of the Institute of Technical Microbiology, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) professor Garabed Antranikian.
“I was very pleased to see a very modern lab with all equipment and projects being done. This could have been in any other university, in any other country. I congratulate both the Yerevan State University and FAST Foundation, and also Garo Antranikian who has spared effort into it. I think we can do so much more because you need examples like this to be able to replicate and expand it. On the one hand, this program allows you to develop the ability to teach and learn these techniques and on the other hand, it allows you to explore questions that have not yet been asked. Science is a global network activity; it is not an individual activity. Like just an Internet, where you connect Armenia to the rest of the world, here you join the internet of labs by working on problems other people have done and advancing and sharing the knowledge,” said Noubar Afeyan.
Later American-Armenian scholar, entrepreneur and philanthropist Noubar Afeyan was conferred the honorary doctorate degree of the Yerevan State University at Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center (ISTC), YSU.
“I am sure that the state's attention and care for science, the Armenian government's decision to significantly increase the funding of the field, the creation of a favorable environment, and of course the bright characters of Armenian scientists like Mr. Afeyan will inspire our young people to be engaged in research activities and have their own path in this field,” said Rector Hovhannisyan.
In his turn, Noubar Afeyan expressed his gratitude for the honor and delivered the speech to the public. He encouraged students to always seek out the frontier and make themselves uncomfortable settling on new frontiers. He especially emphasized the importance of investing unlimited imagination in science and believing in their own success.
FAST designed the ADVANCE STEM Research Grant Program in 2020, to set the ground for the development of scientific directions in STEM-related fields in Armenia. The ADVANCE grant connects distinguished international scientists with local researchers for them to form a research group and work jointly on globally competitive research projects. One of the important components of the program is the cooperation with universities and the active involvement of prominent scientists in the teaching process to convey the leading experience to the young generation.
FAST’s inaugural fundraiser Advance Armenia Gala 2022 was held this spring in Los Angeles, USA, to attract additional resources for scaling the ADVANCE STEM Research grant program. The keynote speaker of the evening was Dr. Noubar Afeyan. Up to now 3 ongoing projects in biotechnology, machine learning and neuroscience have engaged 3 PIs and funded more than 10 researchers.
The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) is a non-profit organization established in 2017 to help foster and accelerate the advancement of science and technological innovation in Armenia and beyond. FAST has designed and structured numerous programs and initiatives that propel Armenia to advance in Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, and other strategic fields. Focusing on core science ecosystem drivers – Education, Research, and Commercialization – FAST offers a wide range of initiatives to achieve its goal. FAST aims to play a critical role in Armenia's leapfrog and transformation into a top global innovator by 2041.