YEREVAN — TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and the European Union launched their partnership to build and operate the EU TUMO Convergence Center for Engineering and Applied Science, a state of the art STEM ecosystem in Yerevan, Armenia.

The center will be a hub for research, education and startups geared towards students and young professionals over 18. It will bring together partners, both local and international, to bridge the gap between higher education and industry in Armenia.

Its campus will be roughly 15,000 square meters in size, consisting of infrastructure for educational programming, a STEM research laboratory, a conference center, and revenue generating commercial space to ensure the center’s long-term financial sustainability. Additionally, the campus will host the French University in Armenia (UFAR)’s Faculty for Informatics and Applied Mathematics.

The EU will provide €23 million to support educational reforms in Armenia, including €10.5 million for the development of STEM standards, while the remaining €12.5 million will go to the new TUMO initiative.

A centerpiece of the project is TUMO Labs, a technology education curriculum designed to complement local universities with project-based learning opportunities in cutting edge fields. TUMO Labs will be a logical continuation of the TUMO program that gives young adults professional experience and promotes business development in Armenia.

The ceremonial signing and groundbreaking for the center was attended by guests from the European Union, ministries of the Republic of Armenia, the IT sector and local universities. The event kicked off with a video address by EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas.

“[The center] captures this imagination that for me is the spirit of Armenia, and I think, is at the heart of the future of the European Union. That’s why we all need to invest in innovation,” said Lawrence Meredith, director of Neighborhood East at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

“We are thrilled to be creating a world-class STEM ecosystem in Armenia where the next generation of high tech professionals can learn and innovate,” said Pegor Papazian, chief development officer of TUMO. “With support from the European Union, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Armenia, and other partners both local and international, we will bridge a gap between higher education and the rapidly changing needs of the global economy.”

After the signing, attendees walked to the site of the future center, where Lawrence Meredith, Pegor Papazian, Piotr Antoni Świtalski, head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, and Arayik Harutyunyan, minister of education for the Republic of Armenia, participated in a a ceremonial groundbreaking.

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