EIT Climate-KIC’s new Greece Hub opens for business


Greek foreign affairs minister George Katrougalos welcomed EIT Climate-KIC’s new Greece Hub at an official launch event attended by key local and EU representatives from across the innovation community. The hub is part of a new European innovation strategy to boost national and cross-border collaboration.
The new EIT Climate-KIC hub in Athens is one of three new hubs selected earlier this year. Along with new EIT Climate-KIC hubs in Croatia and Lithuania, the hub in Greece forms part of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). Athena Research Center and ICRE8 have a coordinating role in the Hub. The newly established Greek Hub, will be a focal point for organizations across business and entrepreneurship, higher education and research, supporting knowledge sharing and accelerating the journey of solutions from the lab through to market.
In particular, the EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece aims to bolster a regional climate innovation movement that will initiate and catalyze strategic innovation within the society at large. This expanding movement will eventually bridge the knowledge gap in Clean Tech development between Western Europe and the South-East Mediterranean, guiding Greece towards the creation of a climate-resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy. The long-term impact will be to prevent catastrophic climate change implications through innovative climate-smart solutions.
In 2018, EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece will focus on engagement and networking activities with local actors. Raising awareness and establishing synergies will be the primary mission of the Hub.
The opening remarks for the launch event were delivered by the Greek Alternate Minister of Energy and the Environment, Socrates Famellos who emphasized the importance of the Climate-KIC Greece initiative and its ambition to create a prosperous, inclusive and climate-resilient society by turning bright minds into climate innovation leaders.
Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Director EIT Climate-KIC Greece Hub (Athens University of Economics and Business, Athena RC, ICRE8, LSE, UN SDSN Greece) presented the Greek Hub and emphasized the exquisite partnership with the Academy of Athens, represented by Prof. Christos Zerefos, Uni.Fund, represented by Prof. Katerina Pramatari, ERFC represented by director Mr.Nikos Petropoulos, UN SDSN Greece, represented by the co-Chair, Prof. Andreas Papandreou, IOBE (Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research) represented by the director Prof. Nikos Vettas and Eunice Energy Group, represented by the director Mr. Zissimos Mantas.
A panel discussion session under the title “Empowering Synergies” followed, with the participation of Directors from European EIT Climate-KIC Hubs, Dr. Alexandros Charalambides representing EIT Climate-KIC Hub Cyprus, Ms. Mariyana Hamanova representing EIT Climate-KIC Hub Bulgaria and  Mr. Gonçalo Amorim, representing EIT Climate-KIC Hub Portugal, three impact hubs (ACEin, Chrysalis LEAP, The People’s Trust ) and greek start-ups and from abroad, (Innoetics, Cyclefi, BRIGAID, Illumimatrix, Helbio Hydrogen & Energy Systems, Centaur, Alchemia Nova GmbH, CER, Community Energy River, BIO2CHP), and the four Greek EIT KIC Hubs (EIT Raw Materials: Dr. Anna Gaki; EIT Digital: Mr. Filippos Zakopoulos; EIT Inno Energy: Mr. Paris Rallis; EIT Health: Mr. George Megas).
The launch event concluded with the presentation of Athens Climathon 2018 which will be held on the 26th of October 2018, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Katrougalos concluded the launch by highlighted the need for green start-up initiatives in order to strengthen the capacity of innovation ecosystems within Greece and the Southeast Mediterranean region.
The new hubs are designed to boost the climate innovation engagement by European regions not formally within EIT Climate-KIC’s geographic network and are selected following a highly competitive process. The RIS scheme is focused on countries and regions regarded as ‘modest and moderate’ according to the European Innovation Scoreboard.
Since 2016, EIT Climate-KIC has established innovation hubs in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
Greek start-ups
The launch event also included a discussion with Greek startups about their experience so far in working with EIT Climate-KIC to get their climate innovations to market.
Other key topics included the Athens edition of EIT Climate-KIC’s Climathon event which is set to take place in cities around the world on 26 October 2018.
New partners
The newly established EIT Climate-KIC Greece Hub is composed by a consortium of various organisations across the knowledge triangle: the partners Athena Research and Innovation Center (ATHENA RC) Academy of Athens (AA) – Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology, European Regional Framework for Co-operation (ERFC) Uni.Fund, supported by the associate Partners: United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN-Greece, hosted by ICRE8: International Center for Research on the Economy and the Environment) Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) Eunice Energy Group.

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