Engineering City as a Scene for Innovation and High Technologies

Engineering City as a Scene for Innovation and High Technologies

By the decision of the Government of RA, the "Engineering City" program was initiated to give a new impetus to the development of engineering and high technology in our country, as well as to unite Armenian engineering minds and make them more productive and meaningful. Armenia thus will re-establish its name “Caucasus Silicone Valley”, exporting to the global markets its engineering and high technology products and services.

The future Engineering City will occupy a 3.0-hectare area on Bagrevand Street, Yerevan. Approximately 40 engineering companies will be settled here, bringing together the main potential of the Armenian engineering mind in one place. In their own City the engineers will be able to work more efficiently. Some joint laboratories, small-scale sampling workrooms will be established here. Hakob Arshakyan, the First Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of Armenia, gives a great importance to creation of such a working environment, saying, “For testing a product, its temperature and producing a ready product from its prototype, there is a need for appropriate laboratory and production equipment that very few companies can afford (if necessary, most of them rent the equipment or work with customer organization’s equipment). Availability of such centralized laboratories in Eengineering City will significantly facilitate the work of the companies. These laboratories will be open for everyone!”

In general, a high-tech environment will be created, where apart from the joint laboratories, a separate building will be constructed for every company, a joint working area will be set up with equipment for acceleration and incubation activities, as well as administrative space for management and technical staff, meeting rooms, a conference hall and training rooms. The architectural project for Engineering City is not ready yet. In 2016 an architectural concept tender was organized, where no winning project was selected. The land, on which the city for Armenian engineers will be built is property of Yerevan, and it will be handed to the relevant body only after the decision of the Council of Elders of Yerevan, which has not yet happened.

In front of 3.0 ha area allocated for Engineering City there are: an engineering center, where already more than a dozen engineering companies work (address: 21/1 Bagrevand street), engineering library, space and science museums, and youth educational techno park (in the process of construction). This space (about 5000m²) will join the Engineering City, and a centralized high-tech environment will be created, making Armenian engineering mind more presentable. Hakob Arshakyan mentions, that after launching the Engineering City the foreign customers will see our engineering potential in the form of 40 companies gathered in one place. They will clearly see an appropriate environment for solving their problems. Besides, the City will bring together different companies, the latters will exchange their skills and knowledge, will start network collaboration, organize expos, trainings and seminars. Here the engineering companies will develop and implement innovative ideas with the help of modern infrastructures and will offer hard technical solutions to local and international markets.

“The foreign organizations, that work with Armenian companies, recognize Armenia as an information technology local center and want to work with Armenian companies again, and this is mostly with foreign countries, and therefore, often in secret strategically important projects.” The First Deputy Minister also draws attention to the fact that 6% of Armenia's gross domestic product is provided by high technology companies, and this 6 % is generated by only 1.4% of the industry staff, which means, that these workers form a result creator group. Due to this result, the financial turnover of the sector has increased five times during the last 7 years. But it is necessary to increase the rates, mentions Hakob Arshakyan. The creation of Engineering City will boost the competitiveness and productivity of Armenia's economy. About $17 mln investment is envisaged by the Government through the World Bank and private sector for Engineering City project implementation.