March 29, 2010

In its March 29 issue The Noyan Tapan Highlights Weekly published an article on the Global IT Award of the RA President and its forthcoming handing to the Award first ever winner Dr Craig Barrett, retired CEO/Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Intel Corporation.

Rich Goldman: Armenia May Become Well Known Due to the New Presidential Award

Famous IT manager, retired Intel chief Dr Craig Barrett to receive the Global IT Award in Yerevan on June 28

By Gourgen James Khazhakian


Armenia makes a bid to establish an internationally-recognized prize
On June 28 Dr Craig Barrett, Retired CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Intel Technologies, Inc., will receive annual Global IT (GIT) Award of the RA President personally from the RA President Serzh Sargsyan. A really legendary IT specialist, Craig Barrett, who provided consulting the U.S. President, UN, other influential organizations on technology, edu­cation as well as other areas con­nected with the human develop­ment , is the first ever person being decorated the Award.

The Award was established by a decree of the President last July. An international Award Committee including Armenian and foreign specialists is involved in the selection procedure for the Award winners. Michael Malone, a prominent Silicon Valley-based IT reporter, and Rich


Craig Barrett and Tigran Sargsyan

Dr Craig Barrett(left) and the RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan,
November 2009, Ca, USA

Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes Magazine, are among the six Co-Chairmen of the Award Committee.
Another Co-Chairman of the Award Committee, Dr Rich Goldman (who is Vice President of Synopsys, Inc., CEO of the Synopsys Armenia CJSC and Co-Founder/Co-Chairman of the ArmTech ICT/Hi-Tech Congress) said on March 22 this visit is expected to become an important contribution to the "Armenia's global PR."

On that same day, a Memorandum on Cooperation between GIT Award Committee and Armenian Public TV/Radio Company was signed which is aimed at coverage of all stages of awarding in Armenia. Dr Hovik Musayelyan, Chairman of the GIT Award Committee's Executive Board (Executive Director of Synopsys Armenia) and Aleksan Harutiunian, Chairman of the Board of the Armenian Public TV/Radio company, signed the document.

Gold Medal of the Global IT Award

This two sides of Gold Medal of the Global IT Award of the President of the Republic of Armenia


(Well, TV is an important tool to cover such significant events, but the print media is also impor­tant, especially here in Armenia. And an evidence of this is that The Noyan Tapan Highlights was the first newspaper in Armenia to reveal to general public the above mentioned detailed info on Dr Craig Barrett' awarding (including on important events such as recep­tion given by the RA Prime Minister to honor Mr and Mrs Barret last year in California, see The Highlights November 30' 2009 issue, a story (by yours truly) enti­tled as "Armen Baldryan: ArmTech-3 Provided Really Unique Opportunities", and the subtitle was "Legendary IT man Craig Barrett coming to Armenia soon" - G.Kh.).
Mr Goldman demonstrated the Award, which is an exceptionally beautiful gold medal (made thanks to the sponsorship by VivaCell MTS) to the public. He underlined the awarding procedure is similar to that of the Nobel Prize.
As Armen Baldryan, Founding Director of the Unicomp CJSC, member of the GIT Award Committee's Selection Panel told your correspondent, "Meetings with an IT live legend, Dr Craig Barrett definitely will give new impetus to the reps of Armenia's young generation to enrich their knowledge as well as to further development of the country's ICT/hi-tec industry."
Prominently set and intricately detailed on the observe of the medal is the Rafael Israyelian's Eagle; a power­ful and traditional Armenian sculpture. A diamond is the Eagle's eye. The Eagle rests on a golden globe; its net­work of rings extending in all direc­tions reflecting fast moving technology advance in today's world. Encircling the medal are the words 'Annual Award oh the President of The Republic of Armenia For Outstanding Contribution to Global ICT (Armenian and English on different sides of the medal) inscribed in gold, along with the Armenian symbol for eternity.
The Armenian crest is captured in intricate detail on the reverse. The tra­ditional crest is elegantly raised above the golden surface of a silicon wafer, bringing together tradition and tech­nology in harmonious balance.
Elegantly sitting atop the medal is the ribbon clasp, an ancient symbol from an Armenia column representing the traverse - the intersection of the past (tradition) and future (technolo­gy)-
After the ceremony of the Memorandum signing The Highlights' correspondent interviewed Dr Rich Goldman.
- Dr Goldman, showing us the Gold Medal of the Armenia's President's Global IT Award, you mentioned that forthcoming visit of Dr Craig Barrett to Armenia is a milestone of the country's histo­ry. Why do you think so?
- Again, Dr Craig Barrett is really an outstanding figure in the development of IT, and not only in IT. Maybe he is a pinnacle of IT. So we don't need to talk about his background 'cause it's just incredi­bly high. Again, it's great honor to all of us that he'd agree to travel to Armenia for his award...
- ...I am happy to agree with you, with all the respect to Dr Barrett, but let me ask you, , -from the point of view not an IT specialist but rather of general Armenian public: isn't there a piece of, let's say, exaggeration when using the words "the great honor for Armenia", i.e. the entire country, especially when taking into account that this is the Presidential Award?
-  Intel and Microsoft are proba­bly the two most important compa­nies in the history of IT. And Dr Barrett guided Intel through the development of X86 (generation of processors - G.Kh.) that is at the core of PC and created the strategy that gave us the PC as ubiquitous computer that is available around the world in the standards based on the Intel chip.
And that achievement has pro­pelled IT in the world very far beyond if that chips would not have been developed. Beyond that, Dr Barrett's really phenomenal work bringing IT to developing countries and help them rise up through IT is amongst the most important deals that's been done by anyone in the world.
And he has been honored for this kind of things: Dr Barrett has been in President's commissions, many international missions; so Mr Barrett's influence around the world has been extremely signifi­cant.

A part of the reason that he is not well-known in Armenia is that he does not an extremely huge ego.

You know, there is a lot of speculations in the Armenian press that the Gloria was Bill Gates. Well, Mr Gates also did many con­tributions to IT. But I think Craig Barrett matches him. It's a very good synergy, because what has been achieved later, was based on the standards developed through X 86 chips. But whom of Intel do people know?
They know Bill Gates as the driver of Microsoft. Meanwhile, the same we could say about Craig Barret's role for Intel.
Again, Mr Barret's being agree to come to Armenia is a sign of his respect for the country, to its de­veloping IT industry and the President's Award itself.

- Do you know Dr Barrett per­sonally?

- Though I met Mr Barrett a few times, I can't say I know him personally very well, but our President Dr Chi-Foon Chan knows him very well 'cause he worked for Dr Barrett at Intel inl980s...

- ... So what he says: what kind of a man is Craig Barrett?

- Dr Barrett is one who was concerned very much with IT's impact in the world, and especial­ly how IT can impact education, and how to help developing coun­tries via applying IT. As a person, Craig Barrett has reputation of a brilliant man. I think it is impor­tant that Dr Barrett is a team with his wife Barbara....

- ...Who is going to become a space tourist (few people know about this)...

- Exactly! Barbara Barrett was the US Ambassador to Norway, and she also was involved in edu­cation - Mrs Barrett has developed several educational programs. So they are a really incredible, amaz­ing couple. You know, at the recep­tion given by the RA Prime Minister Mr Tigran Sargsyan to honor Mr and Mrs Barrett actually everybody were impressed of Mr Barrett's being humble, in spite of his all great achievements. An important detail: I think Dr Barrett and Prime Minister Mr Tigran Sargsyan immediately hit it off. And the two talked not so much about the GIT Award itself, but rather about Armenia and impor­tant current events , as well as about education in the country...

During his long work for Intel Craig Barrett visited so many coun­tries. Since hearing about the GIT Award, Mr Barrett started investi­gating about Armenia and its potential in IT, and background of this Award. That was impressive to Mr Barrett, and by travelling Armenia he can understand more about the country and its people.


Rich Goldman

Dr Rich Goldman showing proudly Gold Medal


- It's interesting to us to get know: had Dr Barrett ever close contacts, collaboration with Silicon Valley specialists of Armenian origin?

- If frankly, I has had no chance to ask him personally yet. No doubt we will hear about all this during Dr Barrett's visit to Armenia, but one thing is absolutely clear: hav­ing contacts with Armenians is inevitable for a person who worked decades in the Silicon Valley.

- And, in this sense, what about you yourself?

- Definitely, I met Armenians who had been working in the US IT/hi -tech industry, but that time I didn't know that they are of Armenian origin...

Frankly speaking, before co­ming to Armenia I didn't know much about your beautiful country, but within the last five and a half years, since we've started Synopsys Armenia, I've got knew much more about Armenia, much more impressed with the country, I've become much more understanding of the opportunities and challenges here...
- ...So, in the past, let's say, some twenty years ago, you could not even imagine, that in a couple of decades you’ll become a regular Yerevantsi (citizen of Yerevan), am I right?
- Absolutely. Twenty years ago Armenia was not in my vocabu­lary, but now I can say that it's my second home...


Procedure similar to Nobel


... Again, you know, there is a great inspiration for this Award.

The most prestigious award, Nobel prize is award in many dif­ferent disciplines, but, pity, not in IT. Why not? It should be the Global Prestigious Award for con­tribution to humanity through IT. And so, why should not such award come from Armenia, - this small, but at the same time aspirational country that has such big achieve­ments for development in IT? And that was a great inspiration for us, and here I must stress especially that the President Serzh Sargsyan was very supportive of this. Alike the Nobel Prize, we use the same processes for the nominations; we have very prestigious, world-known IT specialists in the Selection Panel of the GIT Award Committee representing actually all the world. I might point out again and again, that the reason for establishing the GIT Award of Armenia's President is for Armenia itself, for Armenia to get some vis­ibility as an IT/ hi-tech destination. Because today only very few peo­ple outside the country know about Armenia as an IT venue,- just like me myself some twenty years ago.
So if we can just get Armenia in the Game, the world leading com­panies start to think about Armenia as the next site for investments. I can't say at the moment if we'd achieve this in the first, or the sec­ond year; maybe it'll take a bit more time, but I'm absolutely con­fident we'll have a success.

Importantly, the Award win­ners cannot get it unless they come to Armenia.
- ...Yes it was a kind of precondition when you were establishing it...
- Quite correct.


Publication of these materi­als (pp. 1, 7, 10) became possible thanks to sponsorship of Mr Armen Baldryan, Founding Director of the Unicomp CJSC, Member of the GIT Award Committee's Selection Panel

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