Smart Attica European Digital Innovation Hub (Smart Attica EDIH) kicked off on 31 January 2023 and has already started its activities. The hub focuses on the digital transformation of the Attica region at first and the rest of Greece subsequently, emphasizing on three critical business sectors of the Greek economy: Energy & Environment, Supply chain & Mobility, Culture & Tourism.
Smart Attica, in collaboration with the pan-European network of European Digital Innovation Hubs, aims to support SMEs and public sector bodies in their digital transformation journey, providing services based on the hub’s expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, High Performance Computing applications, 5G technology and Cyber Security.
The launch ceremony took place at NCSR Demokritos premises in Agia Paraskevi, where apart from Smart Attica’s partnership and associate partners, the Deputy Minister for Research and Technology, Christos Dimas, the General Secretary of Digital Governance and Simplification of Procedures at Ministry of Digital Governance, Leonidas Christopoulos, the Regional Governor of Attica, George Patoulis and the Deputy Mayor of Digital Transition and Education at the Municipality of Athens, Nikolaos Vafeiadis were also present, underlining the importance of accelerating the digital transformation of businesses, the state and the society in Greece, with direct impact on the quality of life of the citizens and on the competitiveness of the Greek economy.
Georgios Nounesis, Director and Chairman of the Board at NCSR Demokritos stated: “We are very proud of Smart Attica and we will support its operation with absolute priority, so that results and positive impacts for the digital transformation of Greek businesses, leveraging AI, big data analytics, IoT and 5G technologies, can be recorded immediately. The “smart” campus of Demokritos will now be accessible to both research teams from Greek research organizations and businesses.”
Evangelos Karkaletsis, Director of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, NCSR Demokritos and coordinator of Smart Attica EDIH, stated: “The European Commission’s initiative to create and support a European Network of Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs), through a long-term financing programme under the Digital Europe programme, is crucial for the exploitation of cutting-edge digital technologies. In 2019, we established the Digital Innovation Hub of NCSR Demokritos, ahedd. The great success of ahedd was the motivation for the coordination of the proposal for the creation of the Smart Attica EDIH. The successful evaluation of this proposal, both at national and European level, led to the Smart Attica EDIH project, which is coordinated by the National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos and started in January 2023. The Smart Attica project involves the largest part of the research and academic excellence in Attica in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things (NCSR Demokritos, Athens University of Economics and Business, National Technical University of Athens, the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens, Athena Research Center). This strong core is supported by key players in the innovation space (National Documentation Centre, Archimedes – Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship – University of Athens, Foundation), in computational infrastructure (GRNET) and in culture (Onassis Foundation). Catalyst partners of Smart Attica for financial support and dissemination of digital solutions that we will create, are the National Bank of Greece, Uni.Fund, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Growthfund, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, the Regional Development Fund of Attica and the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency of the Municipality of Athens.”
The Hub will collaborate with large enterprises and organisations in Greece, as well as with corresponding European DIHs across Europe. The launch event was also attended by the associate partners of the hub, i.e. representatives of businesses and organisations, with whom the project has already signed a memorandum of cooperation. So far, these are (in alphabetical order): AI Catalyst, Αnavathmisis, Archeiothiki, cognitiv+, 8bells, EYZHN, FEAC Engineering, Future Intelligence, Fuelics, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Linked Business, m-hospitality, Motor Oil, Nomiki Bibliothiki, PlanBe, SciFY, SEKEE, Vodafone.
The partnership consists of: the National Bank of Greece, Found.ation, the Athena Research Center, the Athens University of Economics and Business, the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the National Infrastructures for Research & Technology (GRNET), the National Technical University of Athens, the National Documentation Centre, the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations, the Onassis Foundation, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, the Athens Development & Destination Management Agency, the Regional Development Fund of Attica and the Uni.Fund Venture Capital Management Company.
Smart Attica is co-funded by the EU Digital Europe Programme 2021-2027 and receives national funding by the new NSRF 2021-2027. The hub has been approved by the European Commission along with 135 other EDIHs and participates in the European Digital Innovation Hubs Network.