Tag Archives: TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies

On 19 March the European, in partnership with the Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies, launched the EU TUMO Convergence Centre for Engineering and Applied Science. This is a state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ecosystem for young adults in Armenia. The European Union has granted €12.5 million for the project. Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, and Piotr Świtalski, EU Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, were the keynote speakers at the launch ceremony.

ARS_1130_Director Meredith was excited to be present at the launch event: “This centre captures the imagination, the spirit of Armenia – this lies at the heart of the future of the European Union. That’s why we all need to invest in innovation. So far, three EU Commissioners have visited this centre – I don’t know any other centre in any other country visited by three EU Commissioners. This is a tribute to your outstanding work and to the quality of your students. I am very proud to launch this strong investment project on behalf of the EU. This launch takes part at a really important moment in EU-Armenia relations. Investment in innovation and young people is so important, as it is an investment in our future relationship. Armenians are particularly brilliant at STEM and I am sure they will succeed”.

ARS_1101_Ambassador Świtalski welcomed all aspects of expanding Tumo: “Today we are linking Armenia with Europe, we are building fusion – what is best in Armenia – Tumo – with what is best in Europe – the EU. We will be expanding Tumo physically by adding a new structure, expanding its philosophy, adding people from new age groups, and stimulating new interests in programmes. Through this project we will try to bridge the gap between science and industry in Armenia”.

ARS_1198_Close to 15,000 square metres of building space will be constructed in Yerevan. The campus will include infrastructure for educational programming such as Tumo Labs, a STEM research laboratory, a conference centre, and a revenue-generating commercial space to ensure the centre’s long-term financial sustainability. Tumo Labs constitute a logical continuation of the Tumo programme, allowing university students and young professionals to gain applied and state-of-the-art skills related to STEM once they reach the age of 18. The centre will be a hub for research, education and start-ups, bringing together local and international partners to bridge the gap between higher education and industry in Armenia. The French University of Armenia is a major partner on the project, and its new Faculty for Informatics and Applied Mathematics will be part of the Convergence Centre.  After the signing event, attendees walked to the site of the future centre and participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking.

“Tales of Neto” is already available to download for free on the App Store (goo.gl/skuRfJ) and Google Play (goo.gl/zGLnE8). On 12 December the Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, launched the anti-corruption game at the Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies.
Two years were needed for 16-20-year-old students at Tumo to create this next-generation game. The process was funded by the European Union. On the fictional planet of Neto, the game has levels full of challenges for players to raise awareness about the risks of the corruption, and rewards players which confront it.

ARS_9792Ambassador Świtalski thanked Tumo for its cooperation and the quality of the game: ‘We started the year with the “Stop the Flow of Corruption” campaign. This launch is the crowning event of this campaign – we wanted to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption and to highlight the EU’s efforts in supporting the fight against corruption in Armenia. Therefore, today is a big day for us. I am happy to be at the Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies, which has become a visiting card for Armenia. Tumo is regular agenda item for us when we invite colleagues from Brussels. Commissioners and other officials love to visit here, as Tumo is the example of a positive future of Armenia. The project was launched two years ago and we are naturally very happy that it has been so successful. I am looking forward to seeing the game in other languages. I hope people enjoy the game and say good things’.

ARS_9774Harmik Azarian, the Head օf Software Development of Tumo Centre for Creative Technologies and the project/game coordinator outlined three key factors of the project: ‘Firstly, we should not forget that this game was created by teenagers who learned everything at Tumo. As the project manager, I was always amazed by their professionalism. Secondly, we should look at the impact this project has had on Tumo itself. The success of the young people who worked on the game gives massive inspiration to the rest of the students who come to Tumo every week.  Thirdly, it’s all about fighting corruption. We hope that a lot of things in the fantasy planet of Neto will be remembered by young people, whether it be embezzlement, bribery, or money laundering. Later, we hope they will not be tolerant of corruption’.

086A2301On 2 October Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, visited Armenia to prepare for the Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November in Brussels, Belgium. In the morning, Commissioner Hahn met with representatives of civil society and discussed EU-Armenia relations, the new EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and Partnership Priorities, human rights, and democracy in Armenia. During his meeting with the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Nalbandian, Hahn discussed similar topics, including the “20 deliverables for 2020” to be prepared for the upcoming summit. After the official meeting, they made statements to the press.

086A2406Commissioner Hahn spoke about upcoming Summit and future relations between the EU and Armenia: ‘We have discussed bilateral issues which are partly embedded into the Eastern Partnership Summit which is scheduled for the 24th of November in Brussels. It is in Brussels for the first time also to demonstrate the strong commitment of all the 28 EU Member States on the further development of the Eastern Neighbourhood. And it is not only on the particular interest of our Eastern European Member States, but it is in the interest of all the 28, expressed by the fact that we have convened this summit for the first time in Brussels. And that is why I have already referred in a particular item on this famous deliverables for 2020 which aim to bring tangible results and benefits to the daily lives of Armenian citizens’.

Full transcript of the statement is available: http://bit.ly/2zahLnb

086A2412Minister Nalbandian once again welcomed Commissioner Hahn to Yerevan and talked about the many EU activities in Armenia: ‘Armenia enjoys close ties with the European Union and intends to expand comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. The EU provides valuable assistance for the ongoing reforms in our country. The agreement has been reached over the Partnership Priorities Document between Armenia and the European Union. I would like to specifically highlight that the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement has been finalised. The signing of the Agreement could become one of the main achievements of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November. The preparatory work for the Brussels Summit has been an important part of our discussions with Commissioner Hahn. We exchanged views on the Final Declaration of the Summit. Encouraging people-to-people contact is an important part of the Armenia-EU agenda. We exchanged views on sectorial cooperation and touched upon the “20 Deliverables for 2020” document, which outlines the main Eastern Partnership directions for the next three years. I also briefed the Commissioner on the joint efforts of Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries towards the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Commissioner Hahn reaffirmed the full support of the European Union for the efforts of the Minsk Group’.

Full transcript of the statement is available: http://bit.ly/2zbOyYZ

After the press conference Hahn met the Armenian Prime Minister, Karen Karapetyan with whom he discussed the future of EU-Armenia cooperation. This covered delivery of the Riga priorities for economic development and enhanced market opportunities, strengthening institutions and good governance, increasing connectivity, energy efficiency, environmental protection, and greater mobility and people-to-people contact.

22135635_1501482579905666_3896535799773529772_oDuring a meeting with the Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, the Commissioner discussed the priorities of the Eastern Partnership Summit and the deepening of EU-Armenia relations. This improvement of relations is reflected in the new EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and Partnership Priorities, which will set joint policy priorities for the coming years and provide new opportunities for close cooperation, trade and reform.

After the meeting Hahn met students at TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies, accompanied by Armenian Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan. The visit culminated in a presentation of the EU-funded anti-corruption mobile game “Tales of Neto”. Commissioner Hahn’s day ended with a cultural visit to the Megerian Carpet Museum.