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information technology [IT] sector, which has become a booming industry. There are more than 20 large IT companies in Armenia that have capitalized on existing potential and the expertise of people like Ashot Hovanesian, who emigrated to the United States and established a company in Virginia called Synergy International, which supplies information management systems to the U.S. government and corporations. A significant part of the software is written by the Armenian branch of his company. Most Armenian IT companies work for U.S. and European customers.

There is another project that deserves the support of the government and the international community, namely the construction of Center for the Advancement of Natural Discoveries using Light Emission (CANDLE). This project will benefit Armenia and the larger region, because fundamental science knows no boundaries. I know that’s one of the areas your team will look at in Armenia, and I certainly want that project to succeed.

Natural sciences should not be the only area that you explore, as the potential for social science is also great in Armenia. In particular, due to a rich history, literature, and culture, Armenian studies is one area where strong cooperation exists between the Armenian researchers and their colleagues in foreign universities and in the diaspora. Existence of institutional links between Armenian studies chairs and departments can help facilitate contacts between academic institutions in Armenia and the United States; it’s also one area that attracts significant attention and funding from the Armenian diaspora.

As you travel to Armenia and meet with your colleagues in the academic institutions, you will discover a spirit of partnership, desire to collaborate, and willingness to consider new ideas and proposals. I say this from my personal perspective, as I have had the privilege of working in the Academy of Sciences system prior to joining the Foreign Ministry. The Armenian government and the Ministry of Education and Science will also be interested in the results of your work.

The key to the future of Armenian science is to increase government funding in this area, but also to encourage the private sector’s direct participation and feedback in this process. I am sure that your study will provide concrete suggestions that will help the government, its international partners, and the scientific community. Thank you.

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