YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The first Armenian independent foundation for scientific development–the National Foundation of Science and Advanced Technologies (NFSAT)–celebrated its fifth anniversary on July 3.
NFSAT Chairman Harutyun Karapetian stated during a conference held at the "Congress" hotel on the same day that the purpose of the NGO is to preserve and develop Armenia’s scientific potential. Receiving financial support from the US Civil Research and Development Foundation–NFSAT awards gran’s to scientific groups on a competitive basis for the purpose of undertaking research in different spheres of fundamental and applied sciences. According to Karapetian–NFSAT is the first organization in Armenia to finance scientific research by providing gran’s. NFSAT’s success has influenced the introduction of similar projects in Moldova and Georgia.
The gran’s are awarded based on the scientific value of the proposed research–which is determined by examiners both in Armenia and the United States.
Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian and US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway were both present at the conference.
According to GRDF Chairman Gerson Sher–Armenia’s potential in the sciences ran’s third in the world–after Russia and Ukraine.
NFSAT Executive Director Vigen Topuzian noted that nearly 2 million dollars were allocated to Armenia through this organization–a million of which was given in 2001.
According to Topuzian–$600,000 -$1,000,000 will be allocated in 2002 to finance scientific research. The exemplary level of the received applications led the US and Armenia based foundations to award 25 gran’s–instead of the planned 12. 102 Applications were received.
According to the NFSAT managers–only ten-percent of scientific research projects within Armenia receive proper financing.