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'Meet our grantees' 2: Armine Abrahamyan, Head of International Research Programme Coordination at Armenian National Agrarian University

Second portrait of our 'Meet our grantees' series in which we present beneficiaries of our EaP PLUS grants to attend brokerage (networking) events.


  • Posted on: Jan 14, 2019
  • Armenia

Tags: Capacity building, Communication, EaP PLUS project news

1. What can you tell us about you?

I am Armine Abrahamyan. Now, I live in Yerevan (Armenia). I am 36 years old. As an avid reader, I am a young philosopher who melds deep Armenian culture with Western ideals. My strong sense of ethics, values, and belief prompt me to make the dreams come in true.

I am a pliable self-directed learner. While focused on academics, I have independently worked to learn and use English. My passion in learning new languages grants me the opportunity of discovering new cultures and countries.

The knowledge of foreign languages (English, French, Latvian, Russian) and travelling abroad reward me with the comprehensive understanding of the world.

In addition to my passion in foreign languages and travelling, I adore to investigate traditional herbal medicine. Also, I like to read about psychology and to learn about power through constructive thinking. I love Jazz and dancing.

I consider myself communicative with a sense of humor and try to bring balance to my work, meeting new people and spending time with my family and friends.

My favorite quotation is: “Do not having passion and eager to incredible things means do not reach to possible ones”.

Armine at the Plant Inter Cluster International Meeting, September 27-28th 2017, in Lleida, Spain , which she could attend thanks to the EaP PLUS grant

2. What is your academic and professional background?

I hold a Doctoral Degree in Biology, Plant Ecology (2012-2015) from the Institute of Life Sciences and Technology of Daugavpils University, Daugavpils (Latvia). I am a former research fellow at Institute of Evolution Sciences of Montpellier University (Montpellier, France 2015-2016). During 2010-2016, I highly expended my academic knowledge and relevant skills on novel research methodology, modelling tools.

My doctoral work was rewarded by the European Social Fund project “Support for the implementation of doctoral studies at Daugavpils University” in the 2012-2013 academic year.

Also, I am a graduate from Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) in the field of Agronomy, Genetic and Selection of Crops, in 2006. During my study years in ANAU, through the field trip observations, I found out that the natural populations of wild medicinal plants are decreasing because of anthropogenic negative influence, environmental deterioration and climatic changes.

To understand the fragile relationship between wild medicinal plants, human health and wellbeing, as well as their sustainable use and conservation, I have graduated with a Master’s Degree in the field of “Environmental Protection” from Rezeknes Academy of Technologies (Rezekne, Latvia) in 2012.  I received an Erasmus Mundus Master Degree Scholarship External Corporation window (Lot 6) (2009-2011, Latvia).

3. What is your current professional occupation?

I joined my home university in 2017 to bring back the knowledge, experiences and the international scientific network for enhancing ANAU’s research and innovative projects for its internalization. In addition, ANAU currently is obliged in infrastructure-reforming conditions to modernize the level of research and education by developing interactive education, enhancing education transparency, quality, improving research and innovation system. 

Now, I am the Head of International Research Programme Coordinating Unit at ANAU. The Unit aims to activate science-industry linkages and effective collaboration within ANAU’s research centers and university. In particular, we seek to enhance the research and innovation capacity of ANAU’s research centers through activating its participation in different H2020 actions. We also collaborate and work through different EU funding and organizations (Life, CGIAR, BI, GBIF, DIKU, Acropolis International, CIRAD, IRTA etc) in research excellence and innovation system development.                                                                                         

I hold a professional Membership in IUCN Medicinal Plant Specialist Group, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS) etc. I have been participating in number of international scientific conferences, congresses and seminars. I am an author and co-author of around 15 research papers in scientific journals and proceedings of conferences.

4. What is the focus of your scientific research project?

Today’s nature is the heritage of tomorrow, and by contributing its sustainable use and conservation now we would definitely improve of human health and wellbeing in future. By growing up in the tiny village of the beautiful Ararat valley in Armenia, I have developed a deep interest in our nature, agrobiodiversity and agriculture.  

More than 10 years, I explored wild medicinal plants diversity, distribution, population’s ecology and their conservation in Armenia. I use Garp, R, Matrix projection modelling to assess the environmental variations and climate change impact on wild medicinal plants population’s demography, distribution changes in Armenia. The research has provided a baseline dataset that can be used for the development of further ex situ and in situ strategies to conserve, as well as assess the resilience and vulnerability of wild populations under climate change impact and foster adaptation, of this important medicinal and culinary species in Armenia. 

5. What were you able to achieve/which event were you able to attend thanks to the EaP PLUS grant?

Thanks to the EaP PLUS grant I was able to attend to the Plant Inter Cluster International Meeting, September 27-28th 2017, in Lleida, Spain organized by Future Emerging & Modern Agriculture in Catalonia (FEMAC). The PIC Meeting is the most important Brokerage Event in the plant production industry organized annually in Europe. This event aims to foster knowledge in the plant field, creating a common strategy to ease the international development of clusters, and its members. This Networking event targets a wide range of research centres, universities, companies, clusters, and end users from Europe and South America related to the plant production.

Armine at the Plant Inter Cluster International Meeting, September 27-28th 2017, in Lleida, Spain , which she could attend thanks to the EaP PLUS grant

6. In which way did the EaP PLUS grant contribute to support your scientific research project?

Through the poster presentation and Elevator speech, I have presented ANAU and my research profiles. In addition, I presented project proposals for enhancing research collaborations through networking. On the top of it, my participation in BtoB maximum number of booked meetings, with the potential partners is facilitated future project proposals within H2020.

I have highly expended my knowledge on digitizing agri-food sector, circular economy, innovative technologies for crop breeding as well as on future upcoming calls in H2020. During the event, FEMAC organized visit to IRTA (Institute of Agifood Research and Technology) to learn more about postharvest of fruit and organic agriculture in Catalonia. As a result of the BtoB meetings, I have been set-up a partnership with FEMAC, IRTA, VEGEPOLYS, Agri Sud Ouest, EURECAT to facilitate my project proposal for H2020 upcoming call.

For instance, with close cooperation with FEMAC and IRTA, I designed five innovative cropping system involving medicinal plants for grape, olive, apple etc production, while developing a project proposal through H2020 PRIMA-Section 1– Farming Systems 2018, Improving the sustainability of Mediterranean agro-ecosystems, RIA.

Due to my active participation in PIC meeting, I have a chance to receive an invitation by IMP3rove representative to take part in another EU project. To obtain knowledge on innovation capacity and skills on know-how to write a successful proposal within H2020 platform. I have successfully completed the study short course and granted the status of EXPERT in “Inno4Agrifood” ecosystem projects by European Innovation Management Academy on May 8, 2018.

By participating PIC meeting, I understand that Success of the cooperation depends on the Effectiveness of interactions. I learn practical tricks how to use IoT to boost the cooperation. For instances, EIP-Agri partnership network, YPAR -international platform for young agriculture professionals, TRADEIT -marketplace for traditional food producers’ database, research actors and suppliers etc.

It was very effective in establishing new contacts and fruitful collaborations among representatives from the academic and business sector, SMEs, research organizations and other clusters.

7. What are the next steps of your scientific research project (where do you see yourself in the next 5 years)?

Now, I have strong interest in agrobiodiversity and its eco-system functioning. My ambition is to make wild medicinal plants diversity a more integral part of farming management towards sustainable agro-ecosystem practices.

Transforming these ambitions into practice will require the necessary know-how and a novel approach to constitute joint delivery of economic, environmental and social services by farming.

So, with my partners from IRTA (Spain), with whom I set up collaboration by participating PIC meeting in 2017, thanks to the EaP+ grant, we are developing now a new proposal through SFS-01-2019: Biodiversity in action: across farmland and the value chain B) Capitalising on native biodiversity in farmland landscape, ria.

Hopefully, in the next coming years we will receive funding through H2020 to contribute sustainable agroecosystem practices. I expect myself in the next coming five years to still work at ANAU and helping my home university to become a modern research and technology centre in the agrifood domain. 

Armine during the brokerage session at the Plant Inter Cluster International Meeting, September 27-28th 2017, in Lleida, Spain

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