Georgia, Eastern Europe


Due to the fall of the USSR in 1991, post-Soviet countries, including Georgia, dramatically switched their economies from a state-managed model to an open, market-driven economy. A different and new understanding of private ownership and entrepreneurship was also introduced.

Regarding previous structural adaptations, today Georgia is a growing economy, with decreasing levels of social inequality and a healthy environment for business development and international trade. Improving agriculture through education and establishing international linkages have been identified as components of this equation. With this goal in mind, academic institutions such as the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs (GIPA) and Tbilisi State University, along with NGOs such as the Bediani Regional Educational Center (BREC)  and Environment & Development (E&D) connected with the UC Davis D-Lab to identify and build collaborations between the University of California, Davis and Georgia.

While attending UC Davis as a Humphrey Fellow in 2016, Georgian client and BREC founder Kakhaber Bakhtadze paired with the UC Davis D-Lab to join in building capacities for local students, small-business owners, and farmers.

The Georgia Working Group in the UC Davis D-Lab completed Satellite I: Georgia Regional Innovation Outreach Initiative  during Summer 2016, and will complete Satellite II: Sharing Knowledge for Rural Development in Georgia during Summer 2017.

The UC Davis D-Lab Georgia Working Group:

  • Kakhaber Bakhtadze, Project Manager, Humphrey Fellow 2016
  • Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, UC Davis PIET Director
  • Paula Balbontin, Graduate Student Researcher at UC Davis D-Lab
  • Sean Maxon, Graduate Student Researcher at UC Davis D-Lab
  • Leanne Bolaño, Undergraduate Student Researcher at UC Davis D-Lab
  • Bilkis Bharucha, Graduate Student RIFA Fellow
  • Tyler Jackson, Undergraduate Student Support

Learn more about our Georgia D-Lab Satellites:


Our International Partners:


Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), School of Government:

Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) sees its mission in establishing the highest academic and professional standards in Georgia. The university aims to provide the level of higher and vocational education as well as academic research that will contribute to the strengthening of democratic values and the establishment of professional ethics in the country thereby pushing Georgia forward on its path of European integration.

Learn more at:

Bediani Regional Educational Center (BREC):

The goal of the Center is to support local education practices for rural population through provision of professional knowledge and skills.

Environment & Development (E&D):

E&D is a small organization located in Tbilisi that links regional projects with large capacity partners.

UC Davis Partners:


Global Affairs:

Global Affairs provides campus leadership and coordination for UC Davis faculty, students and staff to build international relationships via continuing, distance and lifelong learning and international educational and research activities and programs. Our focus is to coordinate, strengthen and promote the internationalization of the University of California, Davis. Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor, Global Affairs.

Academic Without Borders:

AWB-USA is a non-profit organization that aims to support initiatives geared at building capacity in institutions of higher education in developing nations throughout the world. Their mission is to mobilize academic communities to assist these institutions in their efforts to improve both the quantity and quality of academic programs required to produce the trained professionals needed to address their societal challenges of the 21st century.


UC Davis Blum Center:

The Blum Center seeks to educate students who will develop new technologies that will address the needs of poor communities around the world.