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How profoundly can modern technologies immerse in our daily lives? The question is not a rhetoric one since smartphones, all kinds of gadgets and lots of smart solutions are part of our reality. A comparatively recent phenomenon called the Internet of things (IoT) can bring about earth-shattering changes not only in our households and but also in businesses, governance, and other sectors.
The idea of IoT is that performance of things can be controlled via the Internet connection, without direct human involvement. It can be a driverless car or a passenger plane, or a smart watch equipped with all kinds of sensors.
Currently, there are about 15bn such “things” connected to the Internet, and very soon their number will soar as high as 50bn, potentially causing problems with processing that huge amount of data. This is a problem which the Armenian startup Grovf, established in 2017, is creatively helping to untangle.
Months ago Grovf got a Horizon2020 award: the company is the first participant from Armenia and the whole Caucasus to win a grant within the scope of the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme’s SME Instrument. The funding will be used to support research and development initiatives. The funding will enable the team to invest in the company’s technological improvement, making its product more competitive.
“We are all obsessed with the Internet now. And here we see a creeping problem as the capacity of data processing centres to manage all the data by the Internet servers is limited. By now the only available option to offer is device acceleration of the processors, which means remove the task of video processing from a processor and doing it separately. These special devices are designed to be in charge of video processing,” says Khachik Sahakyan, the co-founder and CEO of the company, describing their product. The device that they created for accelerated data processing will be used for IoT, for a machine to machine (M2M) data exchange, and so on.
The award came after the startup’s second attempt to obtain a Horizon2020 grant which was successful. The EU-funded SMEDA (Support to SME development in Armenia) project helped and supported Grovf throughout the application process. After their first application, the company was awarded a Seal of Excellence, which is seen as a considerable achievement for the participating companies.
Grovf has also made headway in networking potential clients and partners thanks to participation in the EIC Innovators' Summit 2018 held in Berlin, September, during which they also had an opportunity to present their solutions.
Support to this kind of startups, like Grovf, make Armenia increasingly prominent on the global innovations’ map and give a chance of professional excellence and creativity in the country to work towards the solutions to local and global problems alike.
About the EU Horizon2020
Horizon 2020 is the major EU programme aimed at supporting research and innovation with a budget of around 80bn euros and with a span of 7 years (2014-2020).
It also supports the EU’s international cooperation activities in science. Armenia joined Horizon2020 in November 2016. Universities, research institutions and enterprises from associated countries can apply for participation in a co-cooperative project on equal footing with their EU counterparts and jointly with at least two international partners.
Horizon 2020 pays special attention to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly those that offer revolutionary ideas, as well as produce and service, supporting the sector through a special instrument.
The Horizon2020 SME instrument has under its disposal some 1.6bn euros for the period of 2018-2020 designated to support groundbreaking, innovative ideas, and products, which have the potential to make their way to international markets. Available to SMEs only, the new scheme offers phased, progressive and complementary support to the development of out-of-the-box ideas.