”Greece Innovates”x2: the 2nd Applied Research & Innovation Competition is launched by Eurobank EFG and SEV | Eurobank
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”Greece Innovates”x2: the 2nd Applied Research & Innovation Competition is launched by Eurobank EFG and SEV

A competition becomes an institution when it is warmly received and accepted by the country's scientific, research and financial communities:

SEV Hellenic Federation of Enterprises and Eurobank EFG announce the launching of the second Pan-Hellenic competition, “Greece Innovates!”. This way they continue the groundbreaking initiative they launched two years ago in order to promote research, innovation, knowledge and their practitioners in Greece, as part of the effort to boost research and technology, a necessary prerequisite for improving productivity and competitiveness of Greece's economy and putting it back on track of persistently strong growth.

Having as its stated target to encourage research, innovation and extroversion as key pillars for improving the country's competitiveness, the competition rewards pioneering ideas, services and products and supporting –especially in today's situation– a different Greece: a Greece that invents, produces and breaks new ground. Using as a springboard the outstanding success of its first round, which was completed in 2011, the Applied Research & Innovation Competition builds a bridge between them, fulfilling a demand of our times.

In a period of competitiveness, when Greek scientists, especially the young, are seeking ways for promoting their activities amidst a pressing environment, while Greek entrepreneurs are shifting towards the international markets and international competition, “Greece Innovates!” gives prominence to the combination of scientific research and business activity as a main axis of a national plan for exiting the crisis.

The success of the first competition was founded on the high quality of the participants, its transparency and meritocracy, as well as the warmth with which it was embraced by both the research and business communities.

The President of SEV, Mr. Dimitris Daskalopoulos, made the following statement in regard to the announcement of the 2nd Applied Research and Innovation competition: “This initiative by SEV and Eurobank aims at overcoming institutional barriers to innovation and showing that innovation can thrive in an institutional environment of free thought and action. Our aim is always to promote the wealth of ideas and people, which exists in the Greek economy and society; to give hope and prospect to those who can and want; and to contribute to our country's exit, not only from the financial, but, what's more, from the intellectual mire it has fallen in.” Mr. Daskalopoulos highlighted the importance of such initiatives under the current circumstances, when “although the country is at the edge of the cliff, entire social groups continue to resist change. It is a matter of change – and in Greece, the culture of innovation that promotes the knowledge-based society, supports competitive growth and lays the foundations of social justice, needs care and effort to flourish”.

Firmly believing that innovation and entrepreneurship form the necessary dynamic dipole that sets the context for a new growth strategy, which will lead the country to the future, our aim is to establish an environment that will help the creative forces of Greece's scientific and business communitiescome together , and to build bridges of creative collaboration between them”, stressed the CEO of the Eurobank EFG Group, Mr. Nicholas Nanopoulos, on the occasion of the launch of the 2nd “Greece Innovates!” competition. “As a banking organization with a place and a role in the economic process, Eurobank is actively and consistently placing itself at the centre of the grand effort for the country’s exit from the crisis”, said Mr. Nanopoulos. “We are feeling responsible for, and have committed ourselves to, taking certain initiatives that support the growth targets and healthy creative forces of this country. We will abide by this commitment, always confident in the potential of Greece and the Greek people”.

The importance of investment in research and innovation was highlighted, in view of the new competition, by the Deputy CEO of the Eurobank EFG Group, Mr. Nicolaos Karamouzis, who pointed out that “investment in research and innovation can become a major source of growth for Greece in the years to come. In order to converge towards average EU-27 levels, Greece must triple such investment to 2% of GDP from 0.6% of GDP today”. Emphasis on research and its combination with entrepreneurship is an economic, as well as social priority: “enhancing the human resources and funds channelled to research and technology must be one of the main pillars of growth policy”, stressed Mr. Karamouzis. “The academic world and the State must listen to the market's demand, in order to facilitate the human resources' adaptation to changing financial and business conditions in Greece and worldwide”.

The terms of participation and the entire text of the announcement have been posted on the new, upgraded website of the competition, at the same web address www.kainotomeis.gr. Throughout the duration of the competition, the “Greece Innovates!” website will provide updates on the progress, the timetables and, in general, all information about the procedure. The proposals are electronically submitted via the website.

Moreover, apart from the solely dealing with the competition, www.kainotomeis.gr will be regularly posting essays, articles and, in general, information about research/innovation issues and the relevant business activity, creating a point of reference for communities with a wider interest on this subject. From this year and on, the “Greece Innovates!” competition is also present in the social media, through the corresponding facebook and twitter accounts. Click “like” at www.facebook.com/kainotomeisGR, become followers at www.twitter.com/kainotomeisGR .


Basic information about the competition

Participation

The competition is open to individual researchers, research groups, companies engaged in production and/or research activities in Greece, as well as domestic institutions involved in research, irrespective of whether they had taken part in the first competition or not.

The deadline for submitting candidate files has been set on September 30, 2012.

Awards

The competition comprises two types of awards: one for Applied Research and one for Innovation.

Two awards, the First (A) and Second (B) from each category will be given, i.e. a total of four awards. The awards for each field are financial, amounting to 15,000 euros for each First Prize and 8,000 euros for each Second Prize, and are accompanied by honorary plaques.

Scientific Board

The evaluation process will be coordinated and supervised by a Science Board, comprising 16 distinguished Greek scientists; these are: Fokion Deligiannis, Coordinator of the Industrial Infrastructure and Development Unit of SEV and Coordinator of the Scientific Board, Despina Alexandraki, President of the Biology Department at the University of Crete, Constantinos Vayenas, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Patras, Georgios Vassilikogiannakis, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry at the University of Crete, Evangelos Dialinas, Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Georgios Doukidis, Professor of e-Business, Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), Doros Theodorou, Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, NTUA, Member of the National Council of Research and Technology of Greece (ESET), Emmanuel Kakaras, Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, NTUA., Yiannis Calogirou, Professor, Process and Systems Analysis, Design and Development, NTUA, Pantelis Kapros, Professor, Energy Economics, NTUA, Athanasios Konstantopoulos, Professor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Centre for Research & Technology (CERTH), Spyros Lioukas, Professor, Department of Management Science & Technology, AUEB, Vassilis Maglaris, Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NTUA, Nikolaos Melanitis, Professor at the Hellenic Naval Academy and Associate of the Foundation for Research & Technology (FORTH) / PRAXI Network, Babis Savvakis, Professor of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, and President and Scientific Director of the Biomedical Sciences Research Centre “Alexander Fleming”, Nickolaos Travlos, Dean, The Kitty Kyriacopoulos Chair in Finance, ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece.