3-year Report

June 2017December 2020

Setting the Trajectory

In 2017 FAST launched with a vision: Armenia as a top 10 global innovator nation and a top 5 Data Science and Artificial Intelligence innovator by 2041. It is a vision that sees Armenia technologically “leapfrog” from its current state toward that of leading innovators.

This date with destiny will set Armenia’s course towards prosperity. Other nations have made similar leaps in the past, and Armenia itself was a leading scientific and technological hub in Soviet times.

Our target is ambitious. Today Armenia ranks 61st among 131 countries on the Global Innovation Index. While Armenia already performs over its developmental level, rendering it an “Innovation Achiever”, it nevertheless faces major hurdles in its pursuit of technological greatness. It is in overcoming these hurdles and creating opportunities for advancement that FAST’s mission was born.

In harnessing the power of close coordination and collaboration between various players in Armenia and beyond, FAST hopes to accelerate innovation growth over the next decade. We aim to empower scientists, technologists and innovators to bring cutting-edge, commercially viable and globally competitive solutions to life. In doing so, our ultimate aim is a prosperous Armenia with a vibrant and diverse science-based innovation ecosystem that benefits both Armenians and wider humanity.

Science Ecosystem Approach

FAST takes a systems approach to programming. It sees the science ecosystem as resting on three pillars. Science as a body of knowledge is preserved by Education, extended by Research, and applied through Commercialization.

Our programs drive the long-lasting advancement of these innovation cornerstones in Armenia. In this, we welcome and seek out strong and exciting partnerships with the full spectrum of public and private stakeholders and supporters to harness the amplifying impact of collective endeavor.

Our work so far

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 26 programs
  • • engaged over 5,600 beneficiaries
  • • funded 11 local tech startups

In Education, we have delivered training to over 1,600 individuals in data science, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship and other critical domains.

In Research, we have funded 49 researchers producing over 70 scientific papers published in international journals, supported 23 international research collaborations and hosted nearly 100 foreign researchers in Armenia.

In Commercialization, we have launched two science-intensive venture builder programs (ASCENT and InVent), as well as the country’s first Angel group, offering opportunities for startups to pitch for investment and get mentor support from successful tech industry insiders.

FAST Programs

Education 8
Ecosystem level 2
Commercialization 6
Research 6
Network-building platforms 4

Supporting a Global Agenda

In aiming for world-class standing, FAST naturally sets the bar at the global level. The Global Innovation Index (GII) is our gauge for Armenian innovativeness; the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our measure for contributing to sustainable development.

And our impact has already been felt: to date, FAST programming has hit 34 GII indicators ranging from business and market sophistication to knowledge, technology and creative output. We have helped to advance 6 SDGs, from advancing quality education to enhancing innovation, industry and infrastructure.

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FAST’s impact on
Global Innovation Index

Program level
Portfolio level

From ideas to real life impacts

Lilit Khachatryan

Program Fellow,
Institute of Botany after A. L. Takhtajyan, National Academy of Sciences

The FAST Fellowship was a “rescuer” for me when I faced serious challenges around continuing my research due to scarcity of financial resources. Thanks to the program, I was able to fully concentrate on my research. Moreover, I gained self-confidence and belief in what I am doing. I am so thankful to the FAST Fellowship team and those people who spared no effort to give birth to this beautiful program.

FAST is making a real difference in Armenia, and does it with a long-term vision… UNDP is happy to partner with FAST on our journey of impact acceleration through ImpactAIM VA. A partnership that impacts people’s lives in a profound way while putting science and tech/innovation together with human development at the core.

Dmitry Mariyasin

Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme

FAST has come a long way. The last three years have seen us apply ourselves to our goals with conviction. This has reaped short-term benefits and paved the way for longer-term rewards. It has seen the initiation of numerous exciting and foundational initiatives. At the end of these first three foundational years, we are proud to present FAST’s achievements, its setbacks, its impact, its journey.

We invite you to explore FAST’s 3-year report 2020. We invite you to join us en route to innovative Armenia.