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High Technologies

High Technologies

The high-tech industry, along with the telecommunications sector, is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Armenian economy. During the past ten years the sector experienced a steady increase in the number of newly formed companies, both local start-ups and branches of foreign companies. Despite the economic slowdown, the industry registered 17 percent growth in 2011. Overall, there are about 300 high-tech companies of varying sizes, more than 100 of which have foreign capital. Most of the companies, however, are small and medium-sized firms with 25 employees on average. The high-tech sector has a very diverse export market with established markets in Russia, countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the European Union, and North America. During the period of 2008 – 2011, exports to more than 20 countries averaged 65-70 million USD annually (Armenian Information Technology Sector Software and Services: Industry Reports, 2006-2011, Enterprise Incubator Foundation).

Despite these accomplishments and the manifest potential for growth, the high technology (HT) sector in Armenia currently is characterized by several key constraints that need to be effectively addressed. Sector growth is hampered by the lack of modern marketing strategies, the limited number and inadequate proficiency of professional staff (including marketing and sales), and lack of synergies with other sectors of the economy in the country.

The USAID/EDMC Project targets a number of value chains in this sector, subdivided into five general categories – mobile and wireless applications, computer graphics and visualization, web and Internet applications, embedded systems and electronic design automation, as well as engineering design and services.

EDMC supports high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as industry unions and associations in product commercialization and market expansion. The Project assists them in presenting and promoting their products and services in international markets, including participation in the largest annual and biannual high-tech related exhibitions and tradeshows.

An important aspect of EDMC intervention strategy in this sector is to create linkages and develop synergies between the high-tech sector and other high potential sectors receiving support under EDMC – Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnologies, Food Processing, and Hospitality. This not only expands the local HT market, but also contributes to the growth of companies in adjoining sectors as they successfully adopt HT solutions.

To address workforce skills and management capacity, EDMC has developed and is providing a series of training modules for SMEs in Strategic Business Planning, High-Tech Sales and Marketing, Start-ups and Technological Entrepreneurship, Project and Human Resource Management, Intellectual Property Registration and Protection, and Innovation and Technology Development. Specific technical skills, such as programming and other technology-intensive skill sets, are also addressed through specialized courses and training initiatives.

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