The Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) operates under the Athena Research Center. SDU is Scientifically directed by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri. SDU engages in cutting-edge research to enable the transition to resilience and sustainability, through the implementation of UN Agenda 2030 (17 SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. The Unit focuses on interdisciplinary systems research and the delivery of innovative solutions for the transition to a green, digital, job-based and fair future. The work on its large interdisciplinary team focuses on the inter-dependencies between research and innovation, the economy, the society, the environment, policy-making and politics. The thematic priorities of the Unit are namely:
  1. Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  2. Sustainable Blue Growth
  3. Water-Food-Energy Nexus
  4. Circular Economy
  5. Sustainable Finance
  6. Research Commercialization and Innovation Acceleration


SD.U has attracted funding from EC H2020, EIT CLIMATE KIC, INTERREG, while the core team of SDU, during the last 25 years, has been extremely successful in attracting European Research funding, as well as research and deep demonstration funding from International and National organizational, institutions and foundations, together with public and private companies and financial Institutions. In collaboration with our international research partners, SDU brings together experts from the diversity of social sciences, mathematics, engineering, information technology and natural sciences, needed to provide an integrated understanding of the ways in which these complex systems interact.


SD.U Hosts:


SDSN Greece
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network Greece, co- chaired by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, promotes integrated approaches to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, through education, research, policy analysis, and global cooperation. SDSN Greece coordinates Global, Euro-Asian and European Initiatives (, as well as many annual conferences, workshops and education and training programs.
SDSN Greece has been included in the SDSN network and is co-hosted by the Athens University of Economics and Business the Political Economy of Sustainable Development Lab and ATHENA Research Center.  It is co-chaired by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri and Prof. Andreas Papandreou, aiming to contribute to achieving the goals of the SDSN network. The executive council is responsible for formulating the Greek Leadership Council that consists of politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and representatives of the civil society. The Greek chapter, SDSN Greece, works closely with other United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector and civil society to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement in Greece. SDSN Greece has 27 Universities and Research Centers in its network in Greece.
Visit SDSN Greece website 

EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece
EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece, directed by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, working towards a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece hosts  many deep demonstration and research projects, as well as many innovation programs, one of which is the EIT Climate KIC innovation accelerator .
EIT Climate-KIC is a knowledge and innovation community established and funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)  in 2010. Our purpose is to tackle climate change through innovation. W
e are Europe’s largest public-private partnership with this purpose – a growing pan-European community of diverse organisations united by a commitment to direct the power of creativity and human ingenuity at the climate change challenge. We bring together large and small companies, scientific institutions and universities, city authorities and other public bodies, start-ups, and students. With over 350 formal organisational partners from across 25 countries, we work on innovation to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its unavoidable impacts. The Greek chapter, EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece is directed by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Athens University of Economics and Business. Our mission is to catalyse systemic change through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, land use, materials and finance – and to create climate-resilient communities.
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Research laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability (ReSEES)
SD.U has a strategic partnership with Research laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability ReSEES, Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). ReSEES Research laboratory on Socio-Economic and Environmental Sustainability founded by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri , does policy relevant interdisciplinary research on environmental, natural resources and energy issues. The overarching goal of ReSEES theoretical and empirical research is to support the understanding and implementation of Sustainable Development. ReSEES has an impressive track record in attracting research funding from European Commission, International Organizations and Foundations. It’s research tools include, among others, financial analysis, socio-economic and econometric analysis, environmental valuation, political and institutional analysis, integrated environmental-economic modeling, life cycle analysis, risk analysis, geographical information systems, game theory, information technology decision making tools development and systems innovation approach.
Since 1997, Prof. Koundouri has coordinated more than 100 interdisciplinary research projects and has attracted significant competitive research funding and along with her large interdisciplinary team have produced research and policy results that have contributed to accelerating the research commercialization for the sustainability transition in Europe as well as contributed to shaping European policies.
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Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Aeiphoria (AE4RIA)
SDU is part of the Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Aeiphoria (AE4RIA), an initiative for collaboration between research institutions, innovation accelerators and science-technology-policy interface networks, focused on sustainable development. Our mission is to facilitate a science driven and human centric transformation towards the joint implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of UN Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the European Green Deal. AE4RIA includes: four research and innovation institutions: ReSEES Research Laboratory and the Stochastic Modeling and Applications Laboratory at Athens University of Economics and Business , Sustainable Development Unit (SD.U) at ATHENA RC, and ICRE8, three innovation acceleration institutions: EIT Climate KIC Hub Greece , Maritime ClimAccelerator and BRIGAID Connect Association and supports: UN SDSNSDSN EuropeSDSN Greece, the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) , Water Europe and NEXUS Cluster. 


Scientific Board

Chair of the Scientific Board: Prof. Phoebe Koundouri

Members of the Scientific Board: