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Prepared by ISTOS members*

Motivation/Impetus: Greece has achieved significant economic and technological progress, during the recent years. However, countries that are enjoying approximately the same degree of development with Greece, and in some cases even lower, have achieved a higher degree of production of high technology products and services. A simple comparison with Ireland as it is presented on the table below from OECD data demonstrates that:


OECD Data Ireland Greece
Population in thousands 1997 3,661 10,498
11997 unemployment % total labor force 10.3 10.3
GDP/Capita USD 22287 11366
1988-98 GDP Growth % 7.3 1.9
High Tech. Exporting percentage of total exports (96) 3.62 0.05


While the two countries in 1997 exhibited the same unemployment, and despite the fact that Greece has more than twice the population of Ireland, the Irish GDP is approximately double to that of Greece, but even more impressively, the GDP growth rate of Ireland is almost quadruple to that of Greece during the decade 88-98. The most significant characteristic of this table appears to be that the Irish percentage of high technology exports was 72 times higher to that of Greece for 1996. The correlation between technological growth and economical growth is indisputable and has been documented internationally from examples like the one mentioned here.

A significant characteristic of the Irish, Israeli and Indian experiences, is the active participation of the human resources of Diaspora. Since the globalization of the economies and the markets presents the opportunity of absorbing large numbers of technologists within the corresponding local economies, a significant increase of the repatriating technologists has been observed.

This workshop was proposed to attempt to set the initiating step towards establishing the conditions for enabling the Greek technology to achieve accelerated growth rates equivalent to those of other countries that have been successful.


Objective of the workshop: To identify the enabling and disabling factors for accelerated high technology investment and production in Greece, establish methodologies for improving the processes that contribute to increased high technology investments, and propose a plan to implement the proposed methodologies, in a way that all international and domestic participating interests are represented.


Participants: High level Government officials, for the appropriate ministries, as well as world renowned experts from abroad and Greece, representing the interests of technology parks business incubators, small and large business enterprises, investors, technologists and academics.


Content and Issues: The main issues to be addressed can be extended but not limited to the following:

  1. Experiences from Other Countries: Highlight Ireland, Finland, Israel, India, Classify models that each one of this countries followed, Key elements for success, Lessons learned including what to avoid and what has worked.
  2. Government Policies: Present policies, Recommendations of what is needed, Experiences of current business incubator environments, Financial and other assistance for R&D and small enterprises, Legal protection of intellectual property, Taxation, Repatriation of Capital, Labor laws.
  3. Required Infrastructure: Physical infrastructure assessment and needs, Institutional infrastructure assessment and needs, Information technology and other technological infrastructure assessment and needs including network backbone outlook, and areas of promising technologies that can facilitate growth.
  4. Human Resources: Based on the experiences of other countries, define the characteristics of typical technology students, curricular alteration needs, methodologies for institutional dynamism and adaptation to continuously changing needs, institutional preparation for technological professions, human resource mobility, virtual vs. physical aggregation of human resources.


Tentative Format of the workshop: The workshop sessions are designed to reflect the above mentioned areas of issues. No more that 35 individuals will be invited to participate in a high level event of two days duration. During each day three main sessions of 1.30 h duration will take place. Each session will contain three 20’ presentations and there will be 40’ for discussion. A moderator will be controlling the timing and will be summarizing the main points of each speaker and each participant of the dialog while he will be integrating the main elements of the session. The anticipated subjects of the sessions are shown on the following table.





First Day

09:00 – 09:30 A. Opening/Introductory remarks MFA, ISTOS
09:30 – 11:00 B. Experiences from other countries 3 speakers (Ireland, Israel, India)
11:00 – 11:30 Break  
11:30 – 13:00 C. Government Policies, Actual vs. Desirable 3 speakers from technology parks directors, and businessmen
13:00 – 15:00 Lunch Break  
15:00 – 16:30 D. Physical and Technological Infrastructure, Actual vs. Desirable 3 speakers from various ministries and IT infrastructure orgs.

Second Day

09:00 – 11:00 E. Investments on Technology, Actual vs. Desirable 3 speakers
11:00 – 11:30 Break  
11:30 – 13:30 F. Human Resources for Technology Development, Actual vs. Desirable 3 speakers from Academia
11:30 – 15:00 Lunch Break  
15:00 – 16:30 G. Open discussion, outcomeand next steps. All


Desirable Deliverable of the workshop:

1. A report that will be distributed to all the participants, their organizations and other persons and organizations specified by the participants, as well as will become electronically available to the public. This report will contain:

Speakers’ presentations

Minutes from the discussions

Results and suggestions emanating from the discussions

Description of the identified problems

Description of the identified potential

Description of proposed improvements and methodologies

Preliminary plan for the realization of the improvements

Preliminary plan for determining a mechanism to monitor the improvements

Recommendation for form of the next required major step.


2. The second anticipated deliverable of this workshop is, the sharing of information of the various sectors, that will inevitably lead to a better utilization of resources and methodologies for a greater goal.

3. The third deliverable, will be an increased mutual understanding between the various representatives, and the beginning of a continuous dialogue that will contribute to a more rapid and more effective convergence of all participating sectors towards the desired objective of increased technological development and investment in Greece.




* in alphabetical order: Karmokolias I., Karygiannis T., Michopoulos J., Tavoulareas S.


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page last updated on October 27, 1999 20:08