50% Of Armenian IT Companies ‘Submerged In Crisis,’ Specialist Warns.

After the launch of educational engineering labs in three regions of Armenia, the project was later to expand across the republic to cover the entire school network, the CEO of a major IT company said today, criticizing the current authorities for unwillingness to support the initiative.

In an interview with Tert.am, Karen Vardanyan, the Executive Director of the Union of Information Technology Enterprise (UITE), said their studies revealed that the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport pursued bias when suspending the project.. He added that the National Security Service (NSS) has now launched a probe to resolve further details.

In his words, the Armath Engineering Labs, which successfully operated in the regions of Shirak, Lori and Tavush, are now coordinating their work only in an online format. Vardanyan said they are now awaiting the emergency headquarters’ response to an earlier request for permitting the laboratories’ regular functioning.

“The online [platform] alone cannot possibly ensure the substantial part of education for our students, as they design robots and need mechanical parts to build them. We have turned to the emergency headquarters; if they do not give us any permission at all, it will be a great obstacle indeed. Our coaches designed almost 2,800 medical shields in the period of the [coronavirus] pandemic for the medical personnel in different regions,” he said, adding that all the protective outfits were distributed among the medical institutions free of charge.

“That also demonstrated our production capacity, as we were able to rapidly react and manufacture transparent shields. Our colleagues in India have designed remote controlled robots for the local hospitals to supply food to patients without any contact,” Vardanyan noted.

He said they now intend to request budgetary funding from the government (if available) to launch 200 labs in the second half of this year and 500 more labs – in 2021.

Vardanyan also addressed the impact of the pandemic on the IT sector, noting that 50% of the companies have ‘submerged in a deep crisis’, with some 70% of the startups being on the verge of shutdown.

“Suppose the company is now collaborating with a development organization in Dubai, and that organization is now close – or is serving some auditing network. Given that 70% if our product is exported, we are facing a real problem under conditions of this infection,” he added.

H/T Tert

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