The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) Building Innovations in Scientific Research and Education

The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) Building Innovations in Scientific Research and Education

FAST Set to Host Advance Armenia Gala in Los Angeles to Help Accelerate Funding Toward: the ADVANCE Research Grants and Generation AI

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), is excited to announce its 2023 Advance Armenia Gala which will be held on May 11, 2023, at The Landmark in Mission Hills, CA. This annual event is focused on amplifying FAST’s Advance Armenia campaign to drive support and engagement for programs that enable FAST’s mission: to foster and accelerate the advancement of science and technological innovation for Armenia and beyond. Funds raised will encourage progress in two key programs of the foundation: the ADVANCE Research Grants and Generation AI High School project.

“I am delighted to host our second Advance Armenia Gala in Los Angeles,” says Dr. Armen Orujyan, CEO of FAST and renowned innovation architect. “In Los Angeles, the Armenian community has shown tremendous support towards FAST’s mission to drive innovation in the scientific ecosystem through far-reaching and cutting-edge education and research. By working together, we will achieve remarkable results.” 

In 2020, FAST established the ADVANCE Research Grants. The program funds research teams under the leadership of distinguished international scientists that are working on producing globally competitive research. The successful inaugural Advance Armenia Gala in 2022 raised $1.4 million for the ADVANCE Research Grants, attracting additional resources for scaling up the program. It opened the space for distinguished scientists from all over the world (International Principal Investigator, PI) to undertake innovative and groundbreaking research projects in Armenia by forming and leading new groups of local researchers. In 2022, the program was scaled thanks to the generous contributions of the FAST supporters.

Another exciting project fostered by FAST is the implementation of Generation AI aiming to create the educational and career pipeline for the AI researchers and innovators. With a focus on enhancing math and computer science competencies and introducing AI curriculum, Generation AI will prepare and motivate high school students to pursue rewarding careers in this rapidly growing field. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, a pilot program of the Generation AI High School project will commence this fall at select Armenian public high schools. This groundbreaking program represents a significant step forward in fostering the next generation of AI researchers and innovators for advancing technological innovation in Armenia.

The Los Angeles gala will unite diasporans and other global citizens passionate about supporting the betterment of Armenia and its future. In addition to an inspiring program, the evening will include welcoming remarks from the FAST Co-Founder, Dr. Noubar Afeyan and a presentation by FAST’s Chair of Board of Advisors Dr. Mary Papazian and Vice President of Strategic Programming Suzanna Shamakhyan. Dr. Afeyan will also host the keynote speaker Dr. Ardem Patapoutian, 2021 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Scripps Research and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

This year FAST expands research impact in Armenia with ADVANCE Research Grants. Additionally, it takes unprecedented strides in AI education in Armenian high schools to build a sustainable pipeline of scientists.

About FAST 

FAST aims to support Armenia’s transformation into a science-driven innovative country by 2041 through scientific discovery and innovation. Our long-term vision is Armenia’s transformation into a top ten Global Innovator nation and top five in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. FAST has designed and structured numerous programs and initiatives to become independent parts of the STI ecosystem, ensuring their continuing sustainability. 

FAST programs (1) help transform and augment Armenia’s educational model by enhancing students, educators, and early-career scientists’ skills that prepare them for future scientific work. (2) Armenian researchers are granted with more opportunities and vital funding for fellowships, research in key innovation sectors, and collaboration between local and international experts. (3) Commercialization projects identify and nurture promising entrepreneurs, early-stage startups, and tech ventures to bring cutting-edge, commercially viable, and globally competitive solutions to life.

FAST has designed and structured numerous programs and initiatives to become independent parts of the innovation ecosystem, thereby ensuring their continuing sustainability. Since 2017 FAST has implemented over 25 programs which impacted more than 9000 beneficiaries. 

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