14:12 | 15.11.18 | News | 11155

FAST creates Advanced Solutions Center to help found science-intensive companies

Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) has announced creation of the Advanced Solutions Center (ASCENT).

The new center is to serve as a platform for origination and development of science-intensive ventures.

According to FAST, the first batch of the program will focus on data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

“The researchers working on a particular prototype or solution will receive equity in the spin-off companies in addition to the competitive salaries offered by ASCENT,” said the foundation.

The process of company creation at ASCENT will unfold in the following phases:

Exploration: At this stage the groups will work intensively on generating “out-of-the-box” research ideas that will lay the ground for the disruptive solutions of the future. The conceived hypotheses and ideas are to be constantly filtered and refined during the exploration process. The potentially unconventional breakthroughs will be further compared to the existing solutions, and market niches will be identified.

ProtoCo: This stage includes the feasibility study and testing of the idea. At the end of the phase, either the idea will be rejected or, in case of a successful result, a prototype will be developed and patented (if applicable). New members with specific expertise required for the deployment of the hypothesized solution are to join the core research team. As soon as a prototype is ready, a larger team (with involvement of business members) will be formed.

NewCo: This is the stage when the company is established as an internal venture under the Advanced Solutions Center leadership. The purpose is to create product and platform development plan, as well as assemble a broader team and board. At this stage the company starts to raise additional investments.

Venture: The fourth stage is when the company has demonstrated the ability to generate adequate sales, grow and thrive. Changes of CEO and other executive level officers may take place as the company grows and places new demands on senior executives.

FAST added that the center has vacancies for researchers and senior researchers, and leading experts in research teams.