Digital Innovation Hubs Digital Innovation Hubs

ATHENA Research and Innovation Center

Contact Data



Year Established



Artemidos 6 & Epidavrou, 15125, Maroussi, Athens (Greece)


Social Media

Contact information

Prof. Yannis Ioannidis, Prof. Vassilios Makios
+, +



The mission of Athena RC is to conduct outstanding research in Informatics and Computational Sciences with substantial social impact, addressing both global challenges and local needs. Athena RC explores a broad spectrum of research areas within the ICT field, as well as topics raised by other scientific fields, industry needs, or societal challenges. Athena RC covers the research and innovation lifecycle end-to-end, commencing from basic and applied research, moving on to system and product prototyping and infrastructure service provision, and wrapping up with technology-transfer and entrepreneurship-enabling initiatives. In a nutshell, Athena RC aspires to create new knowledge and conceive ground-breaking solutions and technologies for the digital era. Its competitive advantage lies in the unique amalgama of skills and know-how of both its research and scientific staff that has already earned it national and international reputation and acclaim.

Further to research, innovation is also a fundamental pillar of Athena RC’s mission. Its several Research Institutes, Units, Spin-off companies and particularly its dedicated innovation-support Unit (Corallia) create a fertile technological innovation ecosystem and intensify systematic efforts to bring to market research and technological results.

In particular, Corallia is a multi-Cluster facilitator, incubator and youth entrepreneurship accelerator. It coordinates 3 innovation clusters with more than 170 members: the gi-Cluster (gaming & creative technologies & applications cluster), the mi-Cluster (microelectronics-based systems & IOT applications cluster) and the si-Cluster (space technologies & applications cluster), and is awarded with the Gold Label of Cluster Management Excellence; it operates 2 thematic Business Innovation Centres (BICs): the α2-innohub in Athens and the π1-innohub in Patras that have been awarded with the EBN EU|BIC certificate for quality business support; and implements a series of initiatives to stimulate youth entrepreneurship with partners and donors: the most prominent Accelerator in Greece the egg in cooperation with Eurobank, the Educational Trip in cooperation with student associations at highly acknowledged universities worldwide, Hackathons, Career Days, Internships Days, Networking Days, etc.

Athena RC has presence in three cities across Greece (Athens, Patras and Xanthi), has been awarded with an ISO 9001:2008 certificate by TUV NORD CERT for the management programmes, measures and actions as final beneficiary of Operational Programmes, the design and maturing of programmes and projects, the schedule, implementation, monitoring, control and validation of project deliverables and the management of State Aid Programmes and is an actor in and partner of the regional plans conducted by political, academic, economic and societal entities.


Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry


ATHENA RC/Corallia has been selected as one of the 40 best European practices in 2008 in the priority area “Strengthening the dynamics of SMEs" by the European Commission (DG Enterprise & Industry); shortlisted among the finalists in the category “Research, Technological Development and Innovation” within EC’s RegioStars 2009 Awards; hailed as a “Best Practice” by the EC within the framework of the European Charter for Small Enterprises 2008 among 151 cases from all over Europe in the category “Strengthening the technological capacity of small enterprises”; selected to represent Greece in the category "Promoting Entrepreneurship" at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012; referred as one of the most successful achievements of the EU cohesion policy as per the respective EC report; mentioned among the organisations that have largely contributed to the technological development of Greece by the European Commission in 2014.

European Strategic Partnerships

Aiming at intensifying cluster and network collaboration across borders and sectoral boundaries ATHENA RC/Corallia is also one of the founding members of two European Strategic Cluster Partnerships in the fields of semiconductors, space and creative industries, that are established under an initiative supported by the European Commission and awarded in 2016 with the ESCP-4i label. These partnerships, representing more than 2.000 companies and partner institutions including many SMEs, share a joint strategy to promote cross-sectoral cooperation and facilitate SME internationalisation in new “rising star” areas. They implement a number of coordinated support actions in order to unleash the innovative capacity of SMEs, improve their performance and increase their competitiveness as well as nurture cross-sectoral innovation through the development of new industrial competitive value-chains based on the combination of competences of SMEs. ATHENA RC/Corallia is also partner in two INNOSUP initiatives (NEPTUNE and INCLUSILVER).


Regional Support

Apart from being a European and international actor, ΑRC has a strong regional role to play at national level, is supported by public funding and is closely cooperating with regional authorities. The Center operates in three cities (Athens, Patras and Xanthi) and implements its research and innovation strategy, positioning itself as an important partner in the regional plans conducted by political, academic, economic and societal entities. This offers ΑRC unique advantages: closer and stronger connections to the regional, academic and industrial environment, enhancing regional competitiveness by providing immediate access to the innovation created, taking advantage of the initiatives, funding schemes and other opportunities provided exclusively to regions

Market and Services

Market sectors

  • Agriculture, hunting and forestry
  • Fishing
  • Transport, storage and communication
  • Public administration and defence
  • Education
  • Health and social work
  • Other markets

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Digital Maturity Assessment
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Voice of the customer, product consortia
  • Market intelligence
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples


  • Organisation of customised seminars and training certification programs to scientific and management staff for acquiring new skills and dexterities.
  • Organisation of professional employment support measures and events, such as Career Days, Internship Days, Industry-Academia Networking Days, etc.

Funding Opportunities

  • Provision of business advice and direct access to an extensive network of Business Angels, VCs, Banks and Institutional Investors, offering Seed and Growth Capital, Micro-loans, Loans, Financial Guarantees, Factoring, etc.
  • Coordination of proposal submissions to Horizon, COSME, Interreg, Structural Funds Programmes, National Development Funds, etc.

Innovation and Business support

  • Organisation of open innovation contests and challenges, such as Hackathons, Appathons, Startup Weekends, Bootcamps etc.
  • Advice and support on developing a business plan and an intellectual property management plan, in cooperation with specialized experts and patent attorneys.

Services Porfolio

ATHENA RC has an integrated portfolio of services provided to innovation ecosystems and its members, aiming at maximizing their true business potential. These services offer great value to the companies’ daily operation, covering a wide range of activities. The main focus is on synergies within the regional ecosystem, enhancing innovation and extroversion actions. This service portfolio has been rigorously tested, validated and optimized over the past 10 years by Corallia, resulting in a great number of success stories in the launch and commercialization of innovative technology products in the ICT sector. The main services provided can be categorized in the following areas:

  1. Research & Networking: Showcasing the profile of cluster members and the identity of the cluster overall, placing the ecosystem dynamically on the international market, through targeted publicity, networking and through the design and implementation of data collection and marketing intelligence mechanisms.
  2. Expansion & Internationalization: Advisory support on specific operational and business development issues, with many opportunities for cooperation with experienced partners and benefits of involvement within a collaborative environment of innovation incubators.
  3. Education & Training: Business acceleration opportunities through mentoring and training of key scientific and management staff, by organizing high-quality educational programs and specialised seminars in collaboration with subject-matter experts.
  4. Commercial Cooperation: Strengthening of the value chain and the partnerships between members, international presence, expansion into new markets and developing strategic partnerships both at home and abroad through participation in exhibitions and roadshows to target markets and business meetings.
  5. Innovation & Technology: Improving innovation processes and developing technological achievements, monitoring and shaping trends and international high-technology standards with the enhancement of applied research by linking industry and academic research community and by organizing scientific events.
  6. Policy Action: Improving the macroeconomic environment by actively exploring partnerships, shaping national & international policy, and developing & implementing action plans related to innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness support measures.


  • Organisation of business Roadshows, commercial and technology Exhibitions, Trade Fairs, B2B/B2C/C2C Match-making and brokerage events, at international level.

Examples of Customers

  • Public Sector (National Government/Ministries, Regional Governments/Prefecture, Local Governments/Cities, Schools, Universities, etc.)
  • Private Sector (Startups, micro companies, SMEs, Large corporations, Multinationals)
  • Institutions (European Commission, …)
  • Civil Society (students, researchers, scientists, public-at-large etc.)


  • Office/Desk Renting, Business Center and Teleconferencing Facilities, Exhibition Area, Lab Area, Data Center in two EBN-qualified business innovation centers.
  • 12-month business acceleration for more than 30 early-stage startups every year in the most prominent Greek accelerator “egg–enter.grow.go” that offers state-of-the-art infrastructure, training, mentoring and business-support services.


  • Digital Media Development, Market Intelligence Watch, Benchmarking, Press Releases preparation and issuing, etc.


Organizational form

Other (describe)



Number of employees


Evolutionary Stage

Fully operational

Geographical Scope



  • Horizon 2020
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National basic research funding
  • National specific innovation funding
  • Regional funding
  • Private funding
  • Partner resources
  • Memberships
  • Other

Technological competences

  • Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration
  • Photonics, electronic and optical functional materials
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
  • Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
  • Location based technologies (e.g. GPS, GIS, in-house localization)
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language technologies)
  • Advanced or High performance computing
  • Data mining, big data, database management
  • Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Gamification
  • Software as a service and service architectures
  • Cloud computing
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • New Media technologies
Last updated: 23/01/18 09:00