NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCH «DEMOKRITOS»
Public Relations & Press Office
Press Release
Athens, Monday, January 13, 2014
 

A successful kick-off meeting for the new EU Framework-Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” was held at NCSR “Demokritos”

 

On Friday, January 10, 2014 the kick-off meeting for the new Framework-Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” was successfully launched at the National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Karolos Papoulias.

The opening of the Innovation Exhibition hosted at “Demokritos” Library Building took place alongside the kick-off meeting and attracted both VIPs and the general public. The Innovation Exhibition is one of the most significant actions to support “Demokritos” extroversion. It is a permanent dynamic exhibition, where breakthrough research results will be presented and renewed on the basis of the progress achieved. At the same place, that aims to draw attention to the innovative research conducted in Greece and to enhance synergies of Universities and Research Centers with the private sector of the country, the meetings between research teams and companies will take place.

The Director & President of the Board of the NCSR “Demokritos”, Dr Nikos Kanellopoulos, stressed that the innovative research results and technologies presented in the exhibition, can set the basis for establishing large research consortia in the framework of “Horizon 2020”, while they can also attract investments. At this point, he mentioned that “Demokritos” works towards attracting investment by applying the model of Guided Entrepreneurship, so as to increase the number of internationally competitive spin-offs and start-ups. Dr. Kanellopoulos also referred to the vision of establishing the Metropolitan Innovation Campus, a Technopolis that will operate as development leverage, thus accelerating Greece’s way out of the financial crisis.

The kick-off meeting for the new EU Framework-Programme for Research and Innovation, with total budget of 80 billion euros, was organized by the General Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT) of Greece, in the framework of the Greek six-month Presidency of theCouncilof the European Union.

The event was attended by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Prof. Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos, who represented the Greek Government and gave a welcome address, members of political parties, Mrs Maire Geogeghan Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Mrs Maria Damanaki, the EU Commissioner for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and European Commission representatives, who focused on certain key actions of “Horizon 2020”. Representatives from Universities, Research Centers as well as the private sector of the country also attended the event.

All the participants in the Press Conference – the Minister for Education and Religious Affairs, the Secretary General for Research and Technology, Dr. Christos Vasilakos, EU Commissioners and the NCSR “Demokritos” President of the Board – stressed the enhanced opportunities for Research, Innovation and Development provided by this new funding “tool”.

 
Highlights from the event:
 
   
The kick-off meeting for “Horizon 2020” was held under the auspices of H.E the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Karolos Papoulias. Mr Karolos Papoulias together with Secretary General for Research and Technology, Dr Christos Vasilakos.
The President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Karolos Papoulias, the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Prof. Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos, the Secretary General for Research and Technology, Dr Christos Vasilakos, together with Mrs Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and representatives from the European Commission, and Dr Nikos Kanellopoulos, Director & President of the Board of the NCSR “Demokritos”.
Secretary General for Research and Technology, Dr Christos Vasilakos, with Mrs Maire Geogeghan Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, and Mrs Maria Damanaki.
The Director & President of the Board of the NCSR “Demokritos”, Dr Nikos Kanellopoulos, and the President of the Hellenic Republic.
All the speakers of the morning session participated in the Press Conference for the new Framework-Programme.
   
European Commission representatives, Mr. Paul Timmers, Mr. Jean-David Malo and Dr Dimitris Corpakis, focused on key actions of “Horizon 2020” in the afternoon session.
   
Highlights from the Innovation Exhibition:
   
Consumer Robotics
NCSR "DEMOKRITOS"
   

We envision a human-robot interface as intuitive and user-friendly as that of a TV set and establish a research plan that pushes beyond the commonly used spoken interfaces. Imagine "programming" your robotic home assistant using only your tablet, moving icons (graphical representations of your robot's capabilities) on a digital map of your space (which the robot autonomously mapped when it first come out of its box). Using your coarse definition of what needs to be done and where, the robot autonomously refines macro-plans into specific micro-actions.

Usability by non-specialists is an important step towards consumer robotics and applications outside of the strictly controlled and predictable confines of the factory floor. Applications such as domestic assistance, assistance for disabled persons, cleaning and maintenance of toxic sites, as well as educational and entertainment applications will be supported by robots that no longer require specialist programming and configuration for each new deployment.

The Green Island Project - Ai Stratis
Center for Renewable Energy Sources & Saving (CRES)
The project "Green Island - Ai Stratis" is a research-demonstration project in which technologically mature renewable energy technologies and energy saving technologies in the building sector will be applied in order to cover most of the island's energy needs from environmentally benign energy sources. Ai Stratis is a small Greek island with approximately 260 inhabitants situated on the North-East Aegean Sea. The project aims to reduce the fossil fuel dependency of the island through the high penetration of renewable energy sources in the sectors of power supply, transport, autonomous stationary applications, heating and cooling systems and energy saving in the building sector. The final objective is to make Ai Stratis an "Open Lab" for tests and development of knowledge in the fields of green energy and ecology with global reference.
 
Concentrating solar thermal energy systems
NCSR "DEMOKRITOS"

It is widely accepted today that the global energy production and consumption system is subjected to strong environmental, economic and social pressures, which render it non-viable in its present form. Within this frame, the utilization of concentrating solar technologies constitutes a major strategic challenge, particularly for countries which enjoy abundant solar radiation.

The advantage of concentrating solar systems is that the thermal energy produced is available over a wide range, encompassing medium and high temperatures, exhibiting an exploitation potential in numerous application, such as power generation, industrial processes, production of hydrogen and capturing of CO2.

The Solar & other Energy Systems Laboratory of NCSR "Demokritos" has long-standing research and development activities in solar thermal energy utilization. Current research efforts focus on developing new designs and materials and the evaluation of innovative technological solutions, aiming at the transition from the laboratory to manufacturing and subsequently to the energy economy of tomorrow.

 
Interactive Humanoid Robots, Culture and Shopping Malls
NCSR "DEMOKRITOS"

Humanoid Robots with capabilities of natural verbal and emotional communication can be used in museums, exhibition centers, shopping malls, receptions, interactive arts, and education. Our ultimate goal is to build robots that can be part of our everyday life, not only as collaborators, but also as companions. Thus, we are performing research into humanoid robots with capabilities of synthesis and recognition not only of speech, but also of corporeal indicators of emotion, such as facial expressions showing happiness, sadness or excitement.

The interactive robot Ibn Sina (Avicenna), is playing the role of the famous polymath philosopher and doctor of the 12th century, who was a continuer of Aristotle and Galen. It has taken part in numerous events and exhibits in the Emirates and Greece, has interacted with more that 3000 people, and has appeared in media of more than 20 countries. The Hellenic version of the robot that we are currently developing, will have extended capabilities of fluid spoken and emotional interaction.

 
 

For the NCSR Demokritos

The National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) "Demokritos" is the largest multidisciplinary research center in the country with substantial scientific research, technological and educational activities in the areas of: Health, Biology and Biotechnology, New Materials Micro & Nanotechnology, Environment - Energy and Sustainable Development, Information Technology & Telecommunications, Nuclear Physics & Elementary Particle Physics, Nuclear Technology & Radiation Protection, Cultural Heritage.

 
For more information pls contact:

NCSR "Demokritos", Public Relations & Press Office , Tel. 210- 650-3002, 210-650-3040
Fax: 210-650-3260, email: pr@central.demokritos.gr, http://www.demokritos.gr