Armenian national research and education network staff learned new trends and met new potential partners at one of the world’s largest and most prestigious ICT events – the World Congress on Information Techology (WCIT). The world’s top technology and business leaders gathered together for the event in Yerevan recently.

For 40 years WCIT has been bringing together CEOs, investors, policy makers, government officials, academics, and technologists to discuss the current state of the industry as well as where it is going. The 2019 event focused on the ‘Power of Decentralisation: Promise and Peril’.

This was a good chance for staff at the Institute of Informatics and Automation Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (IIAP NAS RA) to discover trends and innovations that are interesting and potentially beneficial in their provision of internet network connectivity and services to the Armenian research and education community. The participation of many commercial organisations also allowed IIAP to explore potential interest in business collaborations and in internship or exchange opportunities for students that will help their prospects in the IT market.

The decentralisation theme of this year’s congress goes hand-in-hand with the efforts of the EU-funded EaPConnect project – in which IIAP is a partner – to bridge the digital gap between Europe and Eastern Partnership countries.

Naira Kocharyan (IIAP, right) with another participant at WCIT 2019., ©IIAP NAS RA

Participation at this kind of events helps us to integrate into the current trends and developments in IT and bring them to our country; and vice versa, the world gets to know and explore countries that are beyond certain borders. This exchange of knowledge, cultures and possibilities will put all of us on one track.”

Naira Kocharyan, IIAP NAS RA, Marketing Officer

The Congress was hosted by Armenia on 6-9 October with the support and under the high patronage of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, with the main organising body the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprise (UATE). The opening speakers were the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the Chair of the World Information Technology and Sciences Alliance Yvonne Chiu, and the President of the Union of advanced Technology Enterprises Alexander Yesayan. Other speakers included well-known and high-ranking representatives from a wide range of companies and sectors.

The whole WCIT event started with 100 musicians from 15 countries performing music composed by Artifical Intelligence in real time, and a performance by Grammy Award- winning DJ Armin van Buuren, in a concert on Republic Square. The event also included the presentation of $25,000 awards for startups and a private seminar for ministers of technology from dozens of countries.

The city seemed to be breathing IT. One successful event followed another as Yerevan became the centre of the IT world for the week. This was a great opportunity for IIAP and for Armenia.”

Naira Kocharyan, IIAP NAS RA, Marketing Officer