Photonics in Greece: business challenges and opportunities

The Hellenic Photonics cluster (HPhos), organised a public event in the framework of the annual cluster members’ assembly, under the subject: “Photonics in Greece: business challenges and opportunities”.
The event was held on Tuesday, 27th March 2018, at NEW HOTEL, Athens. The aim of this event was to introduce Hphos cluster to an audience directly or potentially interested in the prospects of photonics-related activities in Greece. A roadmap towards fulfilment of HPhos strategic goals was also presented.
Moreover, the event aimed in bringing the photonics community closer to various industrial sectors, and setting up a discussion on main challenges, industry trends, industry needs on the way to industry digitalisation, financing issues, public policy on related fields (SMEs, clusters, innovation, photonics etc.).

The Hellenic Photonics Cluster (HPhos) comprises a founding core of knowledge-intensive enterprises and research organizations, forming an ecosystem that encourages the transfer of knowledge and expertise. Thus, HPhos aims to create a hotbed for the development of new ideas and innovative products creation and become a critical support infrastructure to new entrepreneurship.
HPhos had the opportunity, during this event, to present its core values and beliefs that outline its mission:

  • Business collaboration for new, integrated products (or technological services) development.
  • A cluster of technology and knowledge-intensive companies.
  • Network collaboration across sectoral boundaries and through integrated value chains.
  • Innovation creation is a key for technological and business development.
  • Build strong collaboration relations among its members and the broader research community.
  • Support new entrepreneurship.
  • Go global - support extroversion of its members - provide networking channels to foreign enterprises and investors.

HPhos is emphasizing on building strong collaboration across the full length of a value chain, thus bringing together enterprises directly related with photonic technologies as well as companies active in the field of robotics, industrial automation, systems integration, precise metal machining, electronics, testing, etc. Moreover, HPhos aims to gather companies or organizations related to Standards formation, Certification, Testing, Technological consulting, Quality Assurance services, Training, IP protection, thus promoting the shaping of an integrated innovation ecosystem.
HPhos presented a strategy agenda for the years to come, built on key-axis:

  • Research & Networking
  • Cluster expansion across full length of value chains
  • Training & innovation capacity building
  • Services to members
  • Innovation promotion
  • Policy - lobbying

HPhos invited a series of guest speakers to share with us their view on main challenges, Greek industry needs on the way to industry digitalisation, financing issues, as well as to present public policy on related fields (SMEs, clusters, innovation, etc.) and financing mechanisms for innovation, strategies and tips.
Speakers interventions included:

  • Dr. George Chourdakis, Head of Alternate Minister’s for Research and Innovation office, presented the State planning and Public policies for the support of innovative entrepreneurship, of technology enterprises, clusters, bonding of entrepreneurship with research - Future State initiatives for the promotion and support of collaborative technological projects, calls for proposals, creation of competence centers etc.

  • Mr. George Giakoumakis, Mandate Management, European Investment Fund, presented the strategic focus areas of EIF activity, providing a clear and comprehensive view of the Equifund initiative, and the way it will intervene transforming the ecosystem. He presented the mechanisms of implementation and tips for best possible benefiting of EIF intervention.

  • Mr. George Kametas, Head of Business Banking Sector, National Bank of Greece Business Seeds, provided a view of NBG initiatives and tools for enhancing entrepreneurship. He presented the NBG Business Seeds Startup Support & Funding Program, NBG academic collaborations and participation in EquiFund funds, highlighting the set of NBG initiatives for boosting young entrepreneurship, matching and developing a startup.

You may find the speakers’ presentations here.

HPhos wished this event to trigger more vivid public discussion, to promote synergies and networking, to set ground for the undertaking of fresh initiatives that will boost collaborative technological development.

The timing of this event is interesting indeed, since Greek enterprises are urged to keep track of the global industry and technology trends and catch up with global societal challenges. HPhos cluster ambition is to actually contribute to the technological upgrade of its members, based on research-driven, technological innovation; the public event held on March 27th conveys a clear message at this direction!