Organized by Business and Technology University, the official opening ceremony of the NCURA South Caucasus and Ukraine Initiative was held. The goal of the initiative is to strengthen the dialogue and partnership between the academic institutions of the South Caucasus region and Ukraine, to share knowledge and resources, to strengthen the scientific research potential and to share the best practices of the higher educational institutions and research institutes of the USA.
In the opening part of the event, the following speakers addressed the audience and introduced the purpose of the initiative:
- Nino Enukidze, Rector of the University of Business and Technology
- Christopher J. Anderson, cultural attaché of the US Embassy in Georgia
- Ara Tamasyan, Acting Vice Provost of Harvard University, Chief Compliance Officer for the University’s Scientific Activities in Research
- Timothy Blauvelt, South Caucasus Regional Director of American Councils
- Kathleen Larmet, NCURA Executive Director
- Claire Chen – Head of Global Cooperation at NCURA
“It is a great honor for me to officially open the initiative and its first meeting, which aims to strengthen research and innovation capacity in the region. It is very important for us to implement the NCURA initiative, because it is an organization that for more than 60 years, through its own intellectual and other resources, contributes to the development of the profession of research administrators in the United States and abroad, by implementing education and professional development programs, by sharing knowledge and experience, By developing a collaborative global community.
It is important to create collaborative platforms that will bring together people interested in the development of research opportunities in the region. The NCURA South Caucasus and Ukraine initiative, a joint platform of the University of Business and Technology and the US National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), will connect people willing to share knowledge and experience. It will play an important role in the development of the sector and the growth of business and economy in the countries of the South Caucasus and Ukraine; All this will be done through a series of trainings and workshops, as well as other effective ways of sharing experiences. Importantly, all of this is planned under the guidance and coordination of NCURA. In order to achieve a common goal, researchers and decision-makers from each country will gather, outline common priorities and develop a specific work plan,” said Nino Enukidze.
The US National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) was founded in 1959 and unites 7,500 members from more than 1,100 educational organizations in 40 countries. The Council is actively involved in communication and knowledge sharing among research administrators, both in the US and abroad. The purpose of NCURA is to assist all members of the organization in the administration and management of research and to promote their expertise in this area.
“Our history began years ago and we continue to implement its mission by sharing knowledge and experience. We connect researchers and administrative managers both in the US and around the world. A recently launched partnership with the University of Business and Technology, covering the South Caucasus countries and Ukraine, aims to make information on collaboration opportunities widely available. It is important that the experience and knowledge of NCURA will be the basis of the initiative that BTU will implement. It’s about sharing knowledge with each other,” said NCURA Executive Director Kathleen Larmet.
It should be noted that the first meeting of the initiative was attended by the acting vice-provost of Harvard University, the chief officer for determining the relevance of scientific activities of the university in the direction of research – Professor Ara Tamasian, as an honorary speaker. As he noted, Harvard University is ready to provide assistance to Georgia and other participating countries of the initiative. – I don’t know if he said that or not, let’s check what.
“This is a very important initiative and meeting for the region, and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to participate. Georgia, as well as other countries of the South Caucasus and Ukraine, are intensively starting to develop research and invest in this direction. This is the trend all over the world. In general, economic development is the result of the development of intellectual resources. The best way of development is collaboration between different organizations and countries. Investing in research requires high-level management, which covers different areas.
Research development is related to correct and adequate communication with researchers and scientific administrative managers. Scientists actually carry out research, while managers facilitate the development of research.
That is why the role of research managers is growing rapidly worldwide. NCURA has been actively involved in the development of all this since 1959. It is important that this society expands geographically and ethnically, because every country has its own special approach and experience. We, as an organization and as a member of NCURA, are ready to provide any kind of assistance to Georgia and other countries that are members of the initiative,” said Ara Tamasyan, Chief Compliance Officer of Harvard University’s research activities.
As part of NCURA’s South Caucasus and Ukraine initiative, monthly educational and informational events, knowledge sharing and exchange sessions will be planned and implemented, best experiences and practices, resources and updated information will be shared, and international cooperation of regional institutions in the direction of research and entrepreneurship will be promoted.
During the event, the start of a 6-week practical technology transfer course was announced, during which the participants will learn about the technology transfer process and will be able to work on the commercialization of their own idea. They discuss what steps are involved in transferring the research project developed within the university to the entrepreneurial and business sector. The course includes the study of the basic concepts of the field, familiarization with international experience and practical activities. Tech Transfer Course: Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship – the course will be led by both NCURA international experts and local practicing specialists. The curriculum was developed in close collaboration with the US National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) by NCURA’s Head of Global Initiatives.
NCURA’s South Caucasus and Ukraine initiative is supported by the University Capacity Building Program (UCBP). The goal of the program is to develop entrepreneurial culture in higher educational institutions of Georgia, promote the process of commercialization of technologies, connect research results with industry and strengthen cooperation between universities, business and government structures. UCBP is administered by the American Council on International Education and financially supported by the US Embassy in Georgia.