Laser technology and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems
Precision electromechanical instruments
Analytical services for the pharmaceutical, food, and chemical industries using advanced systems such as nuclear magnetic resonance
Specialty agricultural products and processing
Nutraceuticals and functional foods
Genetic testing and other clinical laboratory services
Human clinical trials
Regional health centers
But in all of these areas, successful economic development based on S&T will require more than merely identifying research and technologies that seem to have economic potential in more mature market economies. It will require building the value chains that have the capacity to finance, develop, and market those promising technologies in a manner that returns value to the Armenian economy.
The handful of successes to date and the long menu of areas of potential interest for the future are encouraging, as is the resourcefulness of Armenian scientists in establishing and maintaining linkages with the international scientific community despite enormous challenges. Yet there will continue to be great difficulty in developing an internationally competitive S&T base and commercially viable innovative businesses. Limited research funds are currently spread over too many institutes and too many programs, and those activities that are not making significant contributions to science or economic development should be abandoned. At the same time, steps must be taken to provide more opportunities for young scientists and engineers to assume responsible positions with adequate compensation within the universities and research institutes that command international respect. With reasonable funding and more focused and determined efforts in the areas highlighted in this report, Armenia should be able to move forward toward a viable knowledge-based economy.1
A knowledge-based economy is defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as an economy that is “directly based on the production, distribution, and use of knowledge and information” (see The Knowledge-Based Economy, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1996, posted at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/8/1913021.pdf).