Knowledge Exchange and Meaningful Connection with Innovation Communities

The 5th Enterprise Europe Network Hellas Consortium Meeting for 2022-2025 Held in Heraklion, Crete.

At FORTH, the heart of technological innovation in Crete, and the H2B HUB, the Greek consortium Enterprise Europe Network Hellas discussed the progress of the EEN 2025 project on May 16-17, 2024.

The 5th consortium meeting for the 2022-2025 period was successfully organized by the PRAXI Network and the Heraklion Chamber of Commerce in an environment of knowledge exchange, mutual understanding, and support.

Network executives toured the FORTH facilities, enjoyed Cretan hospitality, and had the opportunity to connect meaningfully with members of the local SME community.

The meeting focused on empowering women in business, digital transformation, methodologies and tools for supporting startups, the use of AI applications to boost productivity, and the role of innovation clusters.

Attendees included European Commission officials, consortium members, and local innovation ecosystem participants.


The first day began with updates from European Commission representatives. Mariella Masselink, Head of Unit D.2 of DG GROW - Industrial Forum, Alliances, Clusters, spoke remotely, while Natalia Martínez Páramo, Head of Unit SMP/SME Pillar at EISMEA - Internal Market and Support to Standardisation, was present throughout the meeting.

The program featured engaging presentations and discussions, highlighting the importance of communication and information exchange with innovation system institutions and initiatives.

European Digital Innovation Hubs: Ioannis Amarantidis, Senior Project Manager at Greece's first European Digital Innovation Hub in Agri-Food, DigiAgriFood EDIH, discussed synergies between European Digital Innovation Hubs and the EEN.

Greek Digital Health Cluster: George Dimitriou presented developments and initiatives within the Greek Digital Health Cluster.

Women's Entrepreneurship: Natasha Grigoraki and Eri Pavlaki were applauded for presenting the successful Women Do Business initiative, emphasizing the importance of empowering women in entrepreneurship.

Advancing the Project with Artificial Intelligence

The second day focused on internal consortium issues and included presentations and information materials on services aimed at the startup community and the utilization of Artificial Intelligence.

Overview of Work Packages: Consortium coordinator Dr. Achilleas Barlas and Maki Tikfesis, an EU official overseeing the Greek consortium, presented data on project progress, Greece's contributions to the overall Network results, and covered management issues, ensuring all consortium members were aligned and fully informed.
Lean Startup Methodology: Christos Arapis, Innovation and Development Specialist at Innovate UK Business Growth, presented the Lean Startup methodology, analyzing examples of successful startups and explaining the lessons learned from how they tested and developed their ideas and products.
AI Tools Workshop: Panagiotis Frantzis, Communication manager of the project, demonstrated methodologies and practical ways to leverage AI tools to boost productivity and enhance collaborative efforts within the Communications team, emphasizing the cultural shift AI can bring to organizations.
Hellenic Development Bank of Investments: George Bakis highlighted funding opportunities from venture capital and private equity funds that can be utilized for the further development of ambitious, innovative businesses.

Overall, the Enterprise Europe Network Hellas consortium meeting in Heraklion provided the necessary momentum for the successful continuation of the project and reminded all partners of the value of collaboration and information exchange among all actors supporting SMEs with innovation and extroversion potential.


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