AUA Acopian Center to Lead Energy Transition Project Funded by EU’s Horizon Europe

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YEREVAN, Armenia Starting June 2024, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment will lead a new project, “Strengthening Research in Armenia for Energy Transition toward Climate Solutions” (STREACS). The three-year, 1.5-million Euro project, with partners from Armenia, Ireland, and Italy, is funded by the European Union’s (EU) Horizon Europe program. 

STREACS aims to enhance Armenia’s research capacity to support the country’s efforts to accelerate its energy transition toward clean and renewable energy while enhancing its energy security. The program also aims to enable Armenia to become better integrated into the European Research Area. STREACS will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, exchange of best practices, and inclusion in domain-specific academic networks from research institutions and partners in the EU.

An important component of research capacity is the ability to conduct interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research on transformations in the energy sector toward sustainability and resilience. “Such capacity is indispensable for enabling complex socio-technological transformations, like energy transition from traditional carbon-based energy sources to a new sustainable energy system,” explained Alen Amirkhanian, director of the AUA Acopian Center and the project lead. “Without such research capacity, a country like Armenia would be disadvantaged in developing evidence-based, well-substantiated energy policies and investment programs for a resilient energy future.”  

Amirkhanian points out that the project was largely a result of discussions with the European partners and within AUA Energy4Climate (E4C), a joint initiative of the AUA Acopian Center and the University’s Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center. The initiative offers a platform to foster knowledge, policy dialogue, and capacity strengthening in energy issues that will lead to innovation, entrepreneurship, business development, and investment in sustainable energy solutions, locally and globally.

STREACS will support research collaborations between partners; study visits by young researchers from Armenia to Italy or Ireland; the development of online asynchronous courses and micro-credential programs for established and young researchers, as well as for research administrators; networking within Armenia, connecting economists, political analysts, data scientists, environmental and climate researchers, businesses, and energy experts; networking with peers in Europe; publishing joint papers in high-profile media outlets and peer-reviewed journals; and organizing a global, academic conference in Armenia on energy transition and energy resilience.   

The project consortium, led by the AUA Acopian Center, includes the National Polytechnic University of Armenia, the Energy Institute of Armenia, Ireland’s National University of Maynooth, and three Italian partners: Universita Degli Studi Della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Universita Degli Studi de Genova, and Artemat SRL.

For additional information and updates on STREACS, please visit the project webpage at the AUA Acopian Center website

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity protection and conservation, greening the built environment, sustainable energy, as well as information technology and the environment. Visit