"It's similar to when a scientist applies for a grant," explains ICTP scientist George Thompson who plays a lead part in the collaboration. "ICTP will act as a funding agency and decide how best to invest this money toward Armenian science."
In addition to funding science projects in Armenia, ICTP will use the money to cover travel expenses for visiting Armenian scientists and also Armenian students accepted to ICTP's prestigious Postgraduate Diploma Programme .
"Bringing people here will help them establish international contacts, which is going to be a big part of this contract from which Armenia will benefit," Thompson says.
Through these efforts, ICTP and SCS aim to promote the developing country's scientific capacity for continuous growth. Moreover, ICTP is world-renowned for its scientists, research and students. So, when the centre backs a science project or a student, it suggests a certain level of quality, Thompson says.
It is not just one way traffic as the ICTP also stands to benefit from this collaboration. As it aids the various Armenian scientific projects and studies, ICTP is carrying out part of its mission to support advanced physical and mathematical studies and research, particularly in developing countries.Furthermore, ICTP scientists will also have the benefit of having face-to-face scientific discussions with their Armenian colleagues.
Armenia has been a notable collaborator with ICTP dating back to the early 1990s. Since 1993, more than 300 Armenians have visited the centre, six of whom were TRIL (Training and Research in Italian Laboratories) Fellows. ICTP has also hosted 14 affiliates and 15 associate members from Armenia.