Collaboration agreement
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AUA and ContourGlobal Sign Collaboration Agreement

3 min read

GORIS, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) and ContourGlobal Armenia (CG Hydro Cascade) are glad to announce the signing of a collaboration agreement between AUA and ContourGlobal. The momentous signing took place at the official opening of the AUA Open Education Goris Branch in the Syunik region of Armenia on November 2, 2021. With this collaboration agreement, the two parties set out to achieve sustainable development in the region by contributing their respective expertise. 

AUA President Dr. Karin Markides and ContourGlobal Armenia CEO Ara Hovsepyan (MPSIA ‘97) opened the event, setting out the key objectives of the cooperation. They were joined by the AUA Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Brian Ellison, AUA Vice President of Operations Ashot Ghazaryan, AUA Chief Communications Officer Narek Ghazaryan, Acting Mayor of Goris Menua Hovsepyan, representatives of ContourGlobal and the Goris Municipality, as well as local officials from educational, social, cultural and other areas. 

“It is fundamental to AUA’s mission to contribute to Armenian’s prosperity. AUA Open Education has played an instrumental role in connecting AUA to the provinces of the country. Besides providing educational and professional development courses, AUA continues to make an impact in Armenia through Reality Labs. Reality Labs provide space where knowledge and skills from different backgrounds join forces to address specific problems and opportunities. We are excited to expand our impact to Syunik and collaborate with private and public stakeholders to fulfill the potential in the local community,” AUA President mentioned in her welcoming remarks.

Within the framework of the collaboration agreement, AUA and ContourGlobal will join efforts to advance education, research, and innovation in the areas of industrial engineering, community involvement, and women’s empowerment. To this end, AUA Open Education is uniquely positioned to make a lasting impact in the regions of Armenia, and the Goris branch will expand the University’s outreach to the south of the country. 

The establishment of the AUA Open Education Goris branch was made possible with the generous support of the Manoogian Simone Foundation and ContourGlobal, as well as the Goris Municipality. ContourGlobal facilitated the establishment of the center through its partner companies, Voith Hydro (GER) and EFACEC Power Solutions (Portugal) who generously contributed towards the repair, equipment and related costs of the center. The Goris Municipality provided the space and also will cover the cost of utilities. 

“We must join our efforts to foster a development of professional and educated society in the regions of Armenia, in particular, in Goris and Sissian,” remarked Ara Hovsepyan. “The demand is growing high in certain professions, and we should now concentrate our efforts on the supply curve.” 

In line with the mission of AUA Open Education, the Goris branch will serve as a bridge between AUA and the Goris community. It will enable productive public-private partnerships through knowledge transfer, expertise sharing and capacity building of the Syunik region that grow viable community development opportunities.

Despite the challenges of 2020 imposed by the pandemic and the war in Artsakh, AUA Open Education has been successfully implementing several programs in Syunik for more than a year. Since 2020, about 600 students have completed 53 training courses, including English as a foreign language and professional development courses.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values. 

The ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade is among the main power generation complexes in Armenia, providing both peak and base load generation, and performing grid stabilization services. The complex is located in the eastern part of Syunik region of the Republic of Armenia, some 240 km to the South-East of Yerevan. The Cascade has a total head of 1,223 m. The design of the Vorotan CHPS began in 1954, construction started in 1961. In 1970 the first power station, Tatev HPP, was put into operation, followed by Shamb HPP in 1979 and Spandaryan HPP in 1989.