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Mikael Ghevondyan
Russia participant
02 Feb, 2024

Scientific and technical industry of Armenia and self-realization

4 min read

As a person who was born and raised outside of Armenia and visited the country periodically during my childhood, I had a connection with Armenia, but it was not strong enough. However, I had a goal - to contribute to the development of Armenia. So, when I got the opportunity to participate in the Birthright Armenia program, I decided to use it.


ARRIVAL IN ARMENIA


When I graduated from Moscow University with a Master's degree in Materials science, I immediately bought a ticket to Armenia and arrived in Yerevan the next day. I decided to do it because I understood clearly that I must start my career in Armenia to help my country and the people who lived there. I spent the first month away from my family and friends looking for a job, but the offered options did not completely fit my professional needs. Then I was lucky enough to hear about the Birthright Armenia programme from a friend of mine. I thought it was a good opportunity for both my personal and professional growth, as well as for immersion in the culture and soul of Armenia.


VECTOR OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARMENIA


I planned to contribute to the development of Armenia by investing my efforts in the growth of its scientific and technological industry, which in turn would have a positive impact on the economic situation of the country and form closer cooperation with other countries of the world, thereby improving the standard of living of every Armenian citizen.

As the director of my internship site told me, “If every businessman comes to Armenia and sets up a company here, our country will only benefit from it.” And I have noticed it is happening right now - a lot of scientific and technical companies founded by Diasporan Armenians have moved to Armenia and are effectively working here, people from the Diaspora are using their skills and experience to build startups, many scientists and specialists with international experience are coming to Armenia to work at local universities. All these facts are inspiring because the Diasporans who are still maintaining a connection with the countries they were born in, are opening up new opportunities both for themselves and people in Armenia and contributing to the rise of the economy, education, and people's interest in science.


MY INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES


Thanks to having varied experience - from developing materials for aircraft engines to working in a medical startup, the curators of the programme quickly found an internship site for me considering my professional needs. For my first internship, I was offered to join a young biomedical company Foldink, which is engaged in 3D bioprinting of artificial organs. I was involved in setting bioprinter parameters and reporting on the properties of biomaterials synthesized in various ways.

My second internship site was a medical technology company AIP scientific, which was working on the development of methods for creating bone implants and direct manufacturing. The company was founded by Diasporan Armenians so its story is very ordinary. They moved from Estonia to Armenia several years ago, bringing with them all the experience, knowledge, and desire to benefit people they had. Their activities are especially demanded now when many refugees from Artsakh need medical help. At first, for a short period, I helped with the manufacturing of titanium bone implants for patients with cranial trauma. Then I was offered to take on a new project as a volunteer, developing methods for 3D printing ceramic materials for space electronics as part of international aerospace research. Taking into account the large scale of the future projects of that enterprise and its impressive results, I realized that the company had enormous potential, and cooperation with it would help me in my professional development. I was offered a permanent position as a project manager two months later. I was so glad and sure I immediately agreed, because it was a great chance to continue diving into scientific areas I was interested in, as well as communicate with experienced specialists and improve my professional skills.


THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE DIASPORA IN THE FUTURE OF ARMENIA


After I spent almost 6 months in Armenia and 4 months with Birthright Armenia, my desire to help my country transformed into a clear goal. Now I firmly understand why I am here. As a volunteer, I not only have strengthened my connection with my historical homeland, but also have learned about the structure of the country, the advantages, and problems that need to be solved on the way to a prosperous state.

Despite all the difficulties Armenia has faced, I believe my homeland has a bright future. Seeing how Armenia has changed over the past 9 years thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of Armenians from all over the world, I am extremely glad I was able to contribute to the development of the scientific and technical industry of my country. I encourage representatives of the Diaspora who are specialists in various fields - from science and technology to art and politics - to come here, share experience and knowledge, and become part of the efforts that will turn Armenia into a prosperous and happy country.

After all, the surest way to achieve this prosperous state is to take the initiative into your own hands.

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