The ‘‘kingdom’’ of street, track, sky and space simulation is in Thessaloniki

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The world’s largest carmakers, from Mercedes to Toyota and from Peugeot to Honda, have been using Greek emission simulation and antifouling engine technology for a few years now, developed by researchers based in Thessaloniki. The Formula 1 teams have also been using this technology. At the same time, the Commission, 22 out of the 28 EU member states and the government of Hong Kong also rely on Greek ‘‘lights’’ for the census of pollutant emissions from road transport. Also, scientists in Thessaloniki are working on technologies that have raised NASA’s interest, while laboratories where Greek researchers are employed invent technologies in Northern Greece that reach the Airbus aircrafts.

Some decades ago, the phrase ‘‘Technology Made in Greece’’, especially for the automotive industry, would probably cause question if not smirks in the foreign markets, but now, companies such as ‘‘BETA CAE’’ based in K. Scholari of Thessaloniki and spin-offs such as ‘‘EXOTHERMIA’’ and ‘‘EMISIA’’, created in 2007 and 2008 respectively, within the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, have begun to change the image by creating important islets of innovation in the field of simulation and in general CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering). At the same time, the high level of the Greek research force has drawn in Northern Greece foreign companies from cutting-edge industries, such as the US ‘‘ALTAIR’’, which through Thessaloniki produces research work exploited even by Airbus. In any case, it is now clear that the environment that is formed in the area, where the Alexander Innovation Zone is active, is absolutely appropriate for the development of business activities characterized by innovation and high specialization.

Large room for investments in next generation access networks in Northern Greece

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The implementation of the ‘‘Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB)’’ project by the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media aims at mapping private investment projects related to Next Generation Access (NGA). This particular project, which has to do particularly with Northern Greece, aims at creating the necessary infrastructure for the provision of high-speed broadband internet services in areas of the country which are not covered by such networks.

With the detailed listing of private investments, which are scheduled by the end of 2023, the General Secretariat for Telecommunications and Post of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media will be given the opportunity to plan in the best possible way the new action, which forms part of an intervention grid for the full coverage of the country by fiber-optic networks. This is expected to change the image and broaden the growth potential of the domestic digital economy, which will decisively facilitate the promotion of innovative projects, solutions and proposals.

The ‘‘Ultra-Fast Broadband’ project will be implemented through Public-Private Partnerships with a budget of 350 million euros. The financial size of the project itself shows the needs that exist and the perspectives that are being created, while the public involvement funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – Operational Programme ‘‘Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Innovation’’ (EPAnEK) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP).

Two stores of digital transformation operate in Thessaloniki

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The Nanotechnology Laboratory and the nZEB  Smart House function as ‘‘one stop stores’’ with the aim of digital business transformation.

Five centers that support businesses with their digital transformation, Digital Innovation Hub, are already operating in Greece as ‘‘one stop stores’’, where companies, mainly small and medium enterprises, start ups and small cap businesses are being helped to improve their business models, offered services, production lines and products through Digital Technology.

This is a pan-European goal set in 2016 in the framework of the European Union Strategy for a Single Digital Market, so that any business in Europe in any sector, regardless of its location and size, can take advantage of the benefits that stem from the digital innovations.

There are five DIHs in Greece, two of which are in Thessaloniki. Something quite normal and expected for the Greek standards, since the Alexander Innovation Zone SA is active in the city, which aims at promoting innovation as a business practice and a comparative advantage in the wider region.

Analytically these are:

The LTFN Nanotechnology Laboratory, with its facilities at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Center for Organic and Printed Electrical Engineering (COPE-H) in the area of Thermi in Thessaloniki.

The ‘‘Athena’’ Research Center in Athens

The nZEB Smart House – Smart Energy House, in Thessaloniki.

The Center for Digital Innovation in Blue Growth

According to the Nanotechnology Laboratory announcement, coordinated by the Research Institutions of Excellence, DIHs offer: 1) access to digital technologies, tools and know-how, 2) infrastructures for testing new technologies, 3) educational activities for the development of digital skills, 4) consulting services for finding funding schemes, 5) market analyses, 6) networking opportunities. Practices that offer practical business solutions.

”In the European Union the fully functioning DIHs are 174, and another 500 are in a preparatory phase. The outcome of the New Digital Age and at the same time one of the ten European Union’s political priorities for the next decade is the achievement of the Digital Single Market (DSM). The EU objective is the integrated Single Digital Market that will bring

€ 415 billion per year to its economy, creating new jobs, new businesses and enabling existing businesses to be aimed at a market of 500 million people, developing public services and establishing an open government system”, explains the person responsible for issues of extroversion and exploitation of innovation at the LTFN Nanotechnology Laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the HOPE-A Hellenic Organic and Printed Electronics Association, Phoebe Logothetidis.

European Platform of National Initiatives, but not for us…

60% of large enterprises and 90% of small businesses lag behind the integration of digital innovations with wide variations being recorded between different sectors of the industry. Great emphasis is put on the preparation of the Europeans for the New Digital Age so as to take advantage of the benefits of Digital Transformation. The education system will be adapted and the workforce will be trained in similar skills. The Digital Innovation Hubs will play a key role in assessing the skills needs of the workforce of businesses and providing appropriate educational services.

”Appropriate policies and the appropriate channeling of funds are needed to effectively adapt to the new era. The European Platform of National Initiatives launched in March 2017 with the commitment of the member states and the attraction of investments and various cooperative actions. There are already 15 national initiatives, in which however Greece is not included, and this shows that we have not acted promptly.

A source of funding for the DEI initiative and, more specifically, the DIHs project would be the proper capitalisation of funds from the ”European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). However, this is determined by the National and Regional Strategies for Digital Development and Research and Technology Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3), which need to emphasize or even integrate such initiatives into their plans”, as noted in the relevant announcement.

New display opportunities for Greek businesses on Cloud

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From September 2018 Greek businesses will have the opportunity to be advertised for free in the international market; to promote their products on the cloud of GS1 standards, on the cloud of barcodes.

According to the Market Development Manager of GS1 Association Greece Dimitris Christou, the International Organisation for ISO supply chain management standards, of which Greece is one of 112 members, will very soon make available to companies a very important service for product recognition but indirectly for their promotion.

As yet, as Mr. Christou points out, the barcode on a product gives information only about the manufacturer, which is no longer enough for the major electronic commerce companies, such as eBay, Alibaba, Amazon, Google. Now the next step of GS1, which will be implemented with the use of cloud, will be the GS1 Cloud, which will provide information on the products as well – for instance labels and descriptions – as well as their images.

The GS1 Cloud comes out in September with three functions, starting with the first one, the ‘‘check’’, which will verify the product’s valid or non-valid barcode.

The second function is the ‘‘view’’, while the third function, the ‘‘explore’’, will be the most important since it will allow the search of a product on cloud.

The GS1 Cloud can be used as a very helpful tool by the customs and the financial control officers, but it is certainly a very powerful tool for promoting products.

In the first phase of the standard on cloud, seven fields per product will be included, while in the next phase which will have the characteristics of B2C, the fields will be able to reach the number of 30, depending on the information that companies will wish to provide about their products.


The USA is focusing on the Greek technology and innovation market

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Technology and innovation are the hallmarks of the USA participation as the honoured country at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) from 8 to 16 September 2018. More than 30 major US companies will participate in the pavilion of the country, while on the occasion of the exhibition, Mr. Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce of the Trump administration, will be visiting Thessaloniki. By participating as the honoured country at this year’s TIF, the USA is seeking to feature Greece and Thessaloniki as the centre of developments in the wider region, while creating at the same time development opportunities for the country.

As the President of the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Simos Anastasopoulos, points out, the aim is to create perspectives for cooperation in technology and innovation, two areas in which the USA is distinguished and is the world’s leading. The interest in investment in Greece, where US companies are already dynamic, especially in the technology sector, is very large and mainly in energy, tourism, real estate and logistics, areas with potential that exceeds the country’s risk.

40 companies

The US participation at the 83rd TIF will ‘‘occupy’’ No. 13 Pavilion, the largest of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. Around 40 companies, which are active in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, green environmental technologies, aeronautics, information technology and communications, will be hosted in this venue. Among the companies involved are Lockheed Martin, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Cisco. The orientation of the Pavilion favours the interactive presentations, so that everyone understands how technology and innovation play a key role in development. That is why, in addition to the exhibition stands of the companies, there will be a central venue for events, discussions, artistic happenings as well as a separate seminar room. The US participation in this year’s TIF will be enriched with parallel events. The agenda includes the Energy Forum for the South-Eastern Europe, the round-table discussion with the participation of Secretary Ross and CEOs of multinational companies, as well as the Transatlantic Cooperation Conference in which representatives of regional American chambers will participate. There will also be a forum for cybersecurity as well as a debate on attracting investment in Southeastern Europe.

It is noteworthy that on the occasion of the presence of the USA at No.13 Pavilion , the Hellenic Ministry of Digital Policy and the TIF – Helexpo are organizing the group participation of start ups at No. 12 Pavilion in order to demonstrate the Greek dynamics in this critical area of the modern economy. Besides, in Greece – and particularly in Thessaloniki where the Alexander Innovation Zone is based – many start-up companies operate, the scope of which far exceeds the borders of the country.

Thessaloniki is becoming the design centre in the Southeast Europe

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The Hellenic Design Centre, a centre created by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the support of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, began operating in Thessaloniki in the first months of 2018. This is an initiative that aims at harnessing the potential of a branch which is closely united with innovation and is of great magnitude in Europe. According to the European Commission, design has significant economic and cultural value for Europe, since 12 million people work in the creative and cultural industries of our continent. These industries have a production that accounts for 4.2% of the EU’s GDP, while more than 400.000 designers are employed. The Hellenic Design Centre, whose scope is expected to soon cover Greece and, more broadly, Southeastern Europe, is ready to offer its services to enterprises – mostly to small and medium-sized ones and start-ups – but also to collaborate with other organisations to promote first-priority issues in a creative manner initially for Thessaloniki. Its first activities include workshops on three themes: the original design clinic concept, the special services for six-month start-ups and the design challenge which at an initial stage starts urban interventions with a special reference to tourism. Design is neither fashion nor aesthetics for the European Union. It is something much more than this, it is of economic and business importance. It is the design that should be integrated into innovative products, services and processes for the sake of private companies that are strong in the global competition as well as efficient public bodies. Based on these facts, the EU has included design into its policies, beginning with its first action plan in 2013. Since progress is flowing and perceptions change rapidly, it is obvious that the design driven innovation becomes a catalyst for innovative changes in industry, services and the public sector.

In the context of new trends and the new European industrial policy, the EU is planning four axes of design intervention:

– The boosting of the European Industry Days every February.

– The opening of a regular communication between the creative and cultural sectors.

– The utilisation of design as a creative stimulus for innovation in the economy but also for the development of skills by human resources.

-The availability of resources that will be directed through new programs to businesses and operators.

The innovation at the cutting edge of the activities of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

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The hybrid robot programming platform for children and adults of the CubesCoding Team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, RoboTiles, won the first place in the 8th ‘‘Innovation & Technology’’ Competition of the National Bank of Greece.

This is the world’s first hybrid programming platform, which children aged 3 years and over but also experienced developers can make good use of and collaborate with the ultimate goal of teaching children and adult beginners computer coding by playing with physical objects, educational robots and graphical environments. Thus, the platform is the ideal solution for parents, schools and educational institutions. On the occasion of this very important distinction, CubesCoding secured its participation in the Reload Greece Challenge 18, which will be held in London from 26 June to 6 July, in order to present RoboTiles to investors.

The spin-off company of the AUTH, Cyclopt, has excelled in the same competition for its innovative solutions that contribute to the evaluation and improvement of the software quality through continuous and holistic monitoring of the quality characteristics based on the ISO/IEC 25010 model. The goal is to produce better software with the lowest cost and the least effort.

A total of 361 proposals were submitted to the 8th ‘‘Innovation & Technology’’ Competition of the National Bank, which launched in June 2017, and was completed on 24 May 2018 after three successive evaluation phases. The evaluation of the proposals was carried out in cooperation with professors from nine universities and key criteria for innovation, sustainability, implementation stage and the purpose for which it is created.

It is worth mentioning that the two specific teams of the AUTH have also distinguished themselves in the 10th ‘‘Ennovation 2017’’ Competition organized by the Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin) of the Athens University of Economics and Business in December 2017, where Cyclopt won the 2nd Award and RoboTiles the 3rd Award in the ‘’Research’’ Category.

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki actively supports the Thessaloniki innovation friendly destination initiative and holds a BoD position at Thessaloniki Innovation Zone.

Women Techmakers Greece invites President of AZK Pantelis Angelidis

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Women Techmakers is an organization which provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology to drive innovation and participation in the field. Women Techmakers events are designed to promote an environment of inclusivity for women in technology, as well as celebrate women leading the industry. Their main target is to advance, grow and celebrate women developers, designers, and technology entrepreneurs.

Dr. Pantelis Angelidis, President of Thessaloniki Innovation Zone participates as an invited guest in the IWD | Women Techmakers Greece Summit 2018. He is about to share his views on how differences of gender gap can close. Another part of his speech will be how young females can bring a step closer to the Innovation & Technology Industry.

The event will take place on Monday, 19 of March, 15:00-21:00 at ΔΕΘ Helexpo|Emilios Riadis.

More Information about Women Techmakers Greece
The percentage of women holding technological or leadership positions in the technology industry does not exceed 25% so several giant corporations and organizations support women with various programs.

The Women Techmakers program is being implemented in over 52 countries and 300 cities and provide these women with the opportunity to promote their work, access to a global community, learn through various actions to engage more in technology and innovation.

“Women Techmakers” (WTM) is a global initiative of Google for women developers, engineers, designers, marketers and entrepreneurs in the field of technology.

Mission, Values, Vision
Women Techmakers mission is to raise awareness of gender equality & diversity issues in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) through the power of example. They create an open environment where challenges can be understood and means to overcome them will be provided.

Their actions will follow this mission. This is what their events shall provide for. And this is how they will judge their activities to see if they were successful or not.

It’s not only about numbers of attendees, although a wider reach is a benefit. It’s about sending the right message to the right people, about strengthening allies and to develop strategies for improvements.

Women Techmakers Greece think that change has to come in the minds of everyone, irrespective of gender. Their events shall continue to be open to attendees of any gender and age persons.

Their values are Respect, Trust, Fairness, Embrace Differences, Sharing & Supporting, Improvement.

Finally, their vision is Equality and diversity in STEM regardless of gender.


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In the modern economic environment, competitiveness relies upon the development of innovative products.

Knowledge combined with the right technological tools are key in developing innovative products & services. Knowledge of such tools is found in industrial bodies (ΙCΤ & other industries) and research organisations (Universities & Research Centres). That’s why, their collaboration is crucial for coming up with cutting-edge ideas of international potential and perspective.

In this context, 20 bodies from across Greece have joined forces to organize a series of congresses under the name “Technology Forum”

In the 5th Technology forum ( the following institutions are proudly participating:


  • Association of Information Technology Companies of Northern Greece (SEPVE)
  • PRAXI Network (PN)
  • Greek International Business Association (SEVE)
  • Balkan and Black Sea ICT Clusters Network (ICT-BBS)
  • Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SΒΒE)


  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH)
  • Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH)
  • University of Macedonia (UoM)
  • Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki (ATEITH)
  • International Hellenic University (IHU)


  • Region of Central Macedonia (RCM)
  • General Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT)
  • Alexander Innovation Zone (AIZ)
  • Greek Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media (MDPTM)
  • Enterprise Greece (EG)
  • Ministry of Interior/Macedonia-Thrace (MIMT)
  • Thessaloniki Municipality (TM)
  • Thessaloniki Tourism Organization (TTO)


  • Hellenic Management Association (EEDE)
  • Greek Computer Society (EPY)
  • People, citizens, students invited to the Technology Forum


The 5th Technology Forum will take place in May 16th, from 09:00 to 19:00 at the Aristotle University Research Dissemination Center, Thessaloniki, Greece.

For more information see the official ANNOUNCEMENT

2nd Digital Health Thessaloniki

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An upcoming meeting “Digital Health Thessaloniki” will take place on Monday 23/10 from 19: 00h-21: 00h, at Ok! Thess, Thessaloniki.

Its purpose is to bring together a cross-disciplinary community in Thessaloniki that will be comprised of researchers, developers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, patients, engineers and others interested in Digital Health.

Our group will connect industry with academia in healthcare to share ideas, establish global collaborations and promote all things related to digital health within Thessaloniki.

You can find the agenda of the meeting here.