Could Greece become the new tech hub of Europe

Could Greece become the new tech hub of Europe

THESSALONIKI 2018 - A.TEITHE (Alexandre Technical Institute of Thessaloniki) in association with IEEE organized a 'scientific meeting' in Greece's sec

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THESSALONIKI 2018 – A.TEITHE (Alexandre Technical Institute of Thessaloniki) in association with IEEE organized a ‘scientific meeting’ in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, which can be described as a “fountain of innovative start-ups” emerged during the past couple of years.

The topic of the conference was “The digital future of Europe and Greece: security and cybersecurity challenges” which surprisingly attracted hundreds of young entrepreneurs, students, tech enthusiasts, among governmental, academic, and banking officials who were present to hear and educate on what’s around the corner when it comes to technological advancement.

The host and one of the first speakers, Periklis Chatzimisios, who is also the director of the research faculty of computer systems, cybersecurity, and networks of TEITHE, introduced the Thessalonian Institute and its series of conferences in an attempt to awaken locals, while at the same time attract international investors into Greece’s uprising tech scene.

I will be honest: we were surprised ourselves when we learned that there are academic groups in Greece already working on concepts like Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI since Greece’s most innovative scene was until very recently that of the cold coffee business. Of course, we had companies like HAI Corp and BETA CAE, but they were working with international clients like NASA, and Ford and literally nobody was even aware of their actions in Greece.

Therefore, joining a conference in a Greek city, where discussions about what we refer to as the “future” came more like than just a relief when taking a look back at Greece’s innovation history.

Among the speakers, you could find Vasilis Vlachos (Technical Institute of Thessaly) who introduced us to modern cybersecurity protocols, talking about the asymmetric threats crucial structures and the government itself are facing every day. Athanasios Kosmopoulos (Ministry Of Digital Policies) described cyber attacks as an uprising hybrid threat, as nowadays you can never be 100% sure about where the attack is coming from, even if your sophisticated counter mechanism indicates that Putin is behind everything, as modern cyberpunks can blame practically anyone on the globe, leaving digital fingerprints of their victim behind on purpose, and therefore demanding cybersecurity to upgrade unto a whole new level.

Other academic speakers included Thanos Kakarountas, Christos Helioudis, Panagiotis Sarigiannidis, and Panagiotis Kranidiotis, but the person that fascinated us the most was a European Parliament member, Eva Kaili, who is also the Head of the Hellenic S&D Delegation, Chair STOA Scientific Foresight Unit & Science Media Hub, Chair DNAT of NATO, Co-Chair Future Council.

Miss Kaili was talking about how Greece could be the next tech hub of Europe, by being alert about recent changes in law, the uprise of future technologies on their way as a result of the upcoming fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), and more than just capable not only to understand blockchain technology and IoT networks, but also able to transfer to everyone in the conference room the vision of the near future she and the European Commission have for what’s to come.

According to Kaili, blockchain technology is not only necessary for evolution but unavoidable and soon enough a mandatory step in order to get to that next level we’re all talking about. She openly asked students and researchers to help her out by developing and sharing ideas and contribute to various EU Commission discussions on the topic, while suggesting that the educating system should change, starting with creating additional classes or even diplomas for people who want to get involved with innovative technologies since a young age. Concluding Eva Kaili, stated that regardless of the infinite efforts of the EU, if an individual country, in this case, Greece, is not willing to understand or realize what’s next, there is nothing they can do to help us out.

Politicians must be educated on the matter and be more cautious and active on various EU programmes. Technological advancement is not just a luxury privilege we have, but a necessary aspect of our modern societies, hence it should be an obligatory topic to interfere with and contribute to as a country and stop relying on the private sector to do the job.

Let me guys know what you think in the comments below.

Do you think that Greece has the potential to become Europe’s hottest tech hub in the near future? Why yes and why not.

Photo: HAI CORP Facilities