Events Events


Fourth Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) focus group on marble in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

General Information

The workshop on the value chain of non-metallic minerals was based on the same approach that was followed for organising three similar events in the past (wine, dairy/meat products, tourism).

The event gave the opportunity to the participants (representing all strands of the triple helix) to be exposed on key innovations in the value chain of the selected sectors at the national and European level and at the same time to stimulate idea generation for business development.

Over the course of the day, the focus group meeting combined plenary and parallel sessions, with interventions by regional, national, and international experts. In the plenary sessions, five international and national experts (from the research and private sectors) were invited to present innovative trends and technologies in the marble value chain, discuss sector-specific research and innovation from the perspectives of sustainability and the environment, preservation of architectural and cultural heritage and product / market opportunities.

To further stimulate idea generation and opportunity identification two parallel working groups were organised, dealing with –respectively-

  • WG1: energy and environmental optimisation in marble production,
  • WG2: waste management and environmental issues in marble quarries & aggregates

Each working group first attended a topic-specific presentation and then applied a predefined methodology, aimed at identifying innovative ideas aligned with the RIS3. Moderators and rapporteurs were appointed for each group to oversee the application of the methodology and report the outcomes.

The participation and engagement in the event, in terms of both level and quality, were moderately high. More than 50 stakeholders from within the region and beyond participated. The parallel sessions saw active engagement by both invited experts and stakeholders from the region and beyond, which ultimately generated the following (consolidated) ideas.

  • Geological and geophysical research & Machinery or equipment for underground grounding
  • Energy audit and integrated interventions for energy savings in quarries
  • Development and dissemination of know-how for the exploitation of mining & marble by-products
  • Creation of a cluster in the marble value chain
  • Production of magnesium (too little interest)
  • Quarry rehabilitation

Agenda and Presentations

The full agenda is available here.

09:00 – 09:30 Registration – Welcome coffee

09:30 – 10:30
Introductory plenary session
· Welcome - George Pavlides, Regional Governor of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
· Welcome – Vassilios Pitsinigkos, Manager of the Special Managing Authority of the Operational Programme of Eastern Macedonia – Thrace Region
· Introduction to the project and context of non-metallic minerals in Greece and REMTh – Karel Haegeman - JRC-IPTS
· Smart Specialisation Strategy for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace: setting priorities – Yiannis Tolias – Innovatia Systems
· Methodological approach for the parallel EDP sessions – Elisabetta Marinelli - European Commission's Joint Research Centre – IPTS

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee break

10:45 – 12:45

Plenary presentations in:

1) Innovative trends and technologies in the marble industry, Maria Menegaki, Professor, National Technical University of Athens

2) Research & innovation, sustainability and environment - Perspectives from Portugal, Nelson Cristo, General Manager of Cevalor, Technological Centre for the Portuguese Natural Stone

3) Innovation in the marble industry, to preserve architectonical and cultural heritage. Perspectives from Spain, Francisco Fernández Cortés, Director of Centro Tecnológico del Marmol, Pedra y Materiales

4) Marble and zeolite: Qualities, reserves and value – Industrial, environmental and agricultural applications, Prof. Anestis Fillipidis and Emeritus Prof. Ananias Tsirambidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

5) Marble and cultural heritage – Prospects, George Karadedos, Emeritus Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

12:45 – 13:30 Networking lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Parallel EDP sessions - Presentations on national context

1) Research and innovation for energy and environmental optimization of the marble production chain, Constantine Laskaridis, Manager,“Lithos” Laboratory, of the Institute of Geological and Mineral Research

2) Management of marble quarries & aggregates – Waste & environmental impacts, Evangelos Kargiotis, Professor, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology
Interactive discussion in parallel sessions

15:00 – 15:20 Coffee break

15:20 – 16:30 Parallel EDP sessions - continued

16:30 – 16:45 Plenary – Reporting back from the parallel sessions

16:45 – 17:00 Summary and conclusions



1. Introduction to the project & context of non-metallic minerals, K.Haegeman
2. RIS3 for REMTh - setting priorities, Y.Tolias
3. Methodological approach for the parallel EDP sessions, Elisabetta Marinelli
4. Innovative trends and technologies in the marble industry, M.Menegaki
5. Research & innovation, sustainability & environment, N.Cristo
6. Innovation in marble industry to preserve cultural heritage, F.J.Fernandez Cortes
7a. Marble - Qualities, reserves, value & applications, A.Tsirambidis
7b. Marble & Zeolite, A.Fillipidis-A.Tsirambidis
7c. Zeolite announcement, A.Fillipidis
8. Marble and cultural heritage, Prospects, G.Karadedos
9A. R&I for energy & environmental optimization of production chain, C.Laskaridis
9B. Management of marble quarries & aggregates, E.Kargiotis


Kouros Hotel, Drama, Greece