Attica Hub for the Economy of Data and Devices- ahedd Αττικός Ψηφιακός Κόμβος για την Οικονομία των Δεδομένων και Συσκευών (ΟΙΔΕΣ)
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Coordinator (Research & Technology organization)
Patr. Gregoriou E & 27 Neapoleos Str, Agia Paraskevi, 15341, Athens (Greece)
The Fourth Industrial Revolution disrupted long established economic, societal, technological and environmental paradigms. Digitisation and the consequent flood of data demands new, data-centric and interconnected approaches for tackling the challenges that emerge in a wide array of research and industrial sectors like health, energy management, food production, transport and communication, and – ultimately – building and governing a modern human-centric, healthy, safe, efficient and prospering society.
In a setting where billions of people and devices are technologically interconnected, Big and Linked Data research is central for understanding and building solutions for this new world. For a company to be innovative and successful in this environment, it is essential to consider and adopt concrete strategies for all stages of its data value chain.
The Digital Innovation Hub ahedd, as a non-profit partnership between research organisations and innovative SMEs with high expertise in different fields of data science, aspires to form the key cog towards the creation of a digital innovation ecosystem that will help SMEs located in Attica make the leap towards a data-driven economy. As a result, the Hub will affect significantly the regional economy via the provision of a hands-on digitisation support to the industrial ecosystem of SMEs in Attica ; creating this way a sustainable ecosystem that will facilitate the uptake and integration of core technologies (i.e., AI, big data, IoT, etc.) across the regional and national industry.
The founding members of ahedd bring together high specialisation and significant expertise in core technologies like AI, Data management and analytics, IoT solutions, Business Intelligence, Security, e-infrastructures, and their applications across different industrial fields such as Health Services, Food & Agriculture, News and media, Maritime, and Culture.
The ahedd partners decided to join forces in order to develop a leading adn open “one-stop-shop” for local SMEs to enrich their competitive advantages through digital transformation and digital innovation. Its mission is to develop and orchestrate a digital innovation ecosystem in order to match the opportunities and challenges faced by regional SMEs in relation to big data management, artificial intelligence-empowered analytics and IoT.
The ahedd ecosystem will help SMEs to:
- successfully go through digital transformation processes;
- develop and enhance their digital innovation potential;
- increase their digital innovation competencies and skills;
- innovate in ways that take advantage of AI, data management and IoT technologies;
- increase their competitiveness and add significant value to their offerings and the community they serve.
Ο σκοπός του Κεντρικού Αττικού σημείου για τις τεχνολογίες του Διαδικτύου των Πραγμάτων είναι
- να συζητήσει, ενημερώσει, εκπαιδεύσει και προωθήσει την συνεισφορά των σχετικών τεχνολογιών στην πραγματική οικονομία
- να εμπλέξει τις μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις στη χρήση λύσεων και εργαλείων του Διαδικτύου των Πραγμάτων
- κινητοποιήσει σχετικούς τοπικούς φορείς
το Αττικό Κεντρικό Σημείο τεχνολογιών Διαδικτύου των Πραγμάτων φιλοδοξεί να γίνει το όργανο μέσω του οποίου θα επιτευχθεί η τόνωση της εφαρμοσμένης καινοτομίας προς όφελος της τοπικής επιχειρηματικότητας. Τελικός στόχος είναι η δημιουργία, μόχλευση και συνεχής επέκταση νέων ευκαιριών σε τοπικό, εθνικό αλλά και διεθνές επίπεδο.
Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry
According to the Regional Smart Specialization Strategy of Attica for 2014-2020, the industrial need for digitalization is quite high and the existing companies that provide related services are a significant part of regional economy. The following table provides more information regarding the actual needs of the SMEs established in Attica region.
No of companies
Type of need
Provide services related to digitalization/ Need to innovate and establish new synergies
They are required to manage too many data to provide efficient services to their clients/ Need for customized solutions
Services related with water, fuel and electricity resources
Judging from the aforementioned records and
Attica's orientation on Blue Growth, Culture-Tourism-ICT interaction and Sustainability and Quality of Life, ahedd will have the opportunity by providing services related with intelligent data management & IoT, product & business development and personal skills development to collaborate with more than 9 000 ICT companies for the development of new products and services which will be used by more than 250.000 SMEs in Attica region. As a result, ahedd will have the capacity to affect significantly the regional economy and provide hands-on support to the ecosystem of SMEs established in the around area.
links with Athens Digital Lab --> https://www.athensdigitallab.gr/
NCSR Demokritos, ahedd's founding partner, is economically supported by the General Secretariat of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. http://www.gsrt.gr/central.aspx?sId=126I491I1148I323I517700
A list of ongoing H2020 and national projects can be found here, https://www.iit.demokritos.gr/projects/all?tid=436&prog=All
Additional EU and H2020 projects run by Future Intelligence (FINT) ahedd's second founding partner are IoF2020-UC4.5, PRIMA-MEDITOMATO project, http://prima-med.org/results-of-the-call-section-1/ and additional national RnD.
A non-exhaustive list can be also found here, http://ahedd.demokritos.gr/projects/
Market and Services
- Agriculture, hunting and forestry
- Electricity, gas and water supply
- Hotels and restaurants
- Transport, storage and communication
- Real estate, renting and business activities
- Public administration and defence
- Other community, social and personal service activities (media, entertainment, etc.)
- Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
- Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products; publishing and printing
- Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
- Manufacture of machinery and equipment
- Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
- Other markets
- 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
- TRL8 - Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
- TRL9 - Actual system proven through successful mission operations
- Awareness creation
- Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
- Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
- Collaborative Researchs
- Concept validation and prototyping
- Testing and validation
- Pre-competitive series production
- Commercial infrastructure
- Digital Maturity Assessment
- Incubator/accelerator support
- Voice of the customer, product consortia
- Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
- Education and skills development
The human and economic burden associated with healthcare in Europe is overwhelming, accounting for more than 10% of Europe’s GDP (1.5 thousand billion euro, equivalent to more than the combined wealth of 177 countries worldwide) and this is projected to increase to 14% by 2050 unless costs are contained. There are three main challenges with existing models of healthcare:
- There is a lack of understanding of the aetiologies and underlying mechanisms of many diseases (such as comorbidities and sex-related differences) across the development and progress of the disease.
- A large number of patients do not respond to available treatment.
- The current model of care is predicated on treatment rather than prevention.
Personalised Medicine (PM) brings the promise of revolutionising medicine with a potential impact for the healthcare system similar to the antibiotics revolution in 20th century. The later involves tailoring medicine to a person’s unique conditions and is developed by integrating a person’s genetic blueprint with data about their lifestyle and environment, then comparing it alongside thousands of others to predict illness and determine the best treatment. Pharmacogenomics, the study of variations of DNA and RNA characteristics as related to drug response, is one of the most exciting areas of personalised medicine today. The field arises from the convergence of advances in pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions). Patients typically have variable response to different drugs that are currently available. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience adverse effects. Pharmacogenomics seeks to understand how differences in genes and their expression affect the body’s response to medications.
AHEDD expertise and technical innovation can be traced through the large number of related initiatives, such as the iASis, BigMedilytics and BioAsq Horizon projects and the Hellenic Network for Precision Medicine.
What is more, founding members of the Hub organise events for precision medicine, like the Precision Medicine Symposium.
Relevant Market Sectors
- Health public policies bodies
Actions & Services
- Machine learning and NLP techniques for analysing large heterogeneous health data and turn them into actionable knowledge
- Big Data Management
- EHR analysis
- Hellenic BioCluster (HBio): HBio is the first biosciences cluster in Greece bringing together the innovation leaders of Greece in the sectors of Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Specialist Services.
- BioVista: Biovista is a drug repositioning company established in 1993 with offices in Charlottesville VA, USA and Athens, Greece. Biovista’s repositioning programs leverage the company’s technology platform to identify suitable drugs and reposition them in isolation or in combination with other drugs to therapeutic areas that are currently not covered by existing products.
IoT Innovation in the urban sector
The planet’s population is moving to big urban centers and cities need to adjust their municipal services to cover an increasing number of citizens-customers. In order to do so and since resources are not abundant, they have to wisely spread city’s and personnel’s resources. What once called wisdom, it is now re-phrased to “smart”; however, both norms emphasize on the information availability one has to take certain decision. Thus, from an ahedd perspective, smart means data-based: local/ regional authorities need to have real-time sources to plan ahead (predictive analytics) or dynamically alter its network of facilities that cover transportation, water distribution, street lighting, energy distribution, and/or public spaces’ systems. Cities now ask for highly efficient sustainable, as well as financially viable IoT and BigData solutions in order to create social wellbeing.
Within ahedd there is existing expertise on how to design advanced interrelated systems of hardware and software components that can directly communicate with each other and self-response their state to their operator. Moreover, relevant data exploitation drive processes’ optimisation through early warning or predictive actions, alarms and notifications while rules imposed by the systems’ operator guarantee certain level of services’ responsiveness.
ahedd solutions’ portfolio include an IoT platform that host value-added service like:
- Smart street lighting
- Environmental monitoring
- Landscape irrigation
- Geo-localized and time-stamped content provision.
Relevant Market Sectors
- Cities/ Neighborhoods/ Regions
- Parks (public/ private)
Actions & Services
- Sensor and Peripheral design
- Hardware and Software Engineering
- Quality control
- Operational testing
- Campus of NCSR Demokritos
- Athens Municipality
- TEI of Crete
- St Luke's Hospital
Food and Agriculture
Agriculture is both a major industry and foundation of the economy. Despite significant pressure posed by the economic crisis, thee agricultural sector remains an important sector of economic activity and employment for the country. Exports of agricultural and associated products account for approximately one third of total exports, with the sector contributing 4.1% of the total GDP.
Currently, agricultural productivity in Greece is relatively low compared to other EU member states. As agricultural production is characterised by the dominance of small farms and low capital investment, as well as a high percentage of utilisation of mountainous or semi-mountainous areas (43%), certain challenges are met when applying modern farming practices that target efficiency and economy of scale.
Consequently, more innovative approaches for protecting and improving crop yield are needed, with AI steadily emerging as a solution for the technical evolution of the industry. Technologies like agricultural robotics, crop and soil monitoring methodologies and predictive analytics will be crucial for the future of agriculture and will contribute to both economic growth and broader challenges like food security and climate change.
ahedd can provide the core technologies for achieving significant advancements to agricultural practices and the businesses depending on agricultural production. It brings high expertise and experience on technologies like in-field sensing and monitoring, agricultural data analytics, process optimisation and robot navigation, which can be readily applied in the sector. Moreover, analytics solutions developed by NCSR-D can be refined and specialised for agriculture and contribute to the optimisation of banking and insurance processes for the domain.
To add, ahedd via FINT technologies, is part of the biggest EU Research and Development project in IoT for Agrifood (IoF2020) in which the company will provide on-farm services and a digital ecosystem for post farm activities that will reach the final consumer. Last, FINT also provides its IoT expertise to the newly established PRIMA initiative as it is core partner of the MEDITOMATO project.
Relevant Market Sectors
- Crop & Livestock Primary Production
- Food Processing
- Agricultural Certification
- Agricultural Banking & Insurance
Actions & Services
- Sensor installation design
- IoT monitoring
- Drone Analytics
- Big Data Management & Analytics
- Farm Automation
- TÜV Austria Hellas: an organic certification body that wished to have an online tool that can facilitate physical inspections conducted at farmers' fields and enhance trust-building. QUHOMA solution encapsulated certification material that could be conducted digitally by the farmers and shared with the certification inspectors.
- Ecoktima: an innovative SME located just outside Athens' urban center that rents small fruit and vegetables parcels to Athenian families that wishes to enjoy quality Agrifood products and visits in the proximate countryside. Ecoktima owner enjoyed a set of QUHOMA IoT sensors that minimise her visits at field while keeping the farm's quality.
- RealFarm: an SME that consisted of a group of agronomists that wished to join a digital community of farmers seeking specialised advise based on their on-field data. QUHOMA enabled a data-sharing marketplace in which such collaboration could take place and can increase agronomists' customer-base.
- Taygetos Herbs: an aromatic plant producer in rural Greece that wished to remotely assess his farm conditions and pass them to his business partners. QUHOMA sensors were deployed there that also enable him to prove his interest in products' premium quality.
- American Farm School of Thessaloniki: an Agrifood education institute that informs farmers on new digital tools among others. In details, the School deployed IoT sensors in various cultivations and kicked off a campaign on how IoT investments result to producing more with less.
Building Ecosystem and Attracting Financial resources for digital applications
NCSR “Demokritos” proudly introduced the Industrial Research Fellowship Program, which was funded by the generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Program is aimed towards talented Researchers with a strong interest in applied, Industrial Research. The Fellows for 2017 have been selected after a peer-reviewing process, by a network of Experts from Universities and Research Centers from all over Greece. The evaluation criteria were focused on the excellence of their Academic Profiles, the scientific merit of their proposals and the degree of commitment and involvement of the supporting Companies in the proposed research. The Industrial Fellowship Program is a pivotal in strengthening the bonds between the Center and the participating Enterprises. As part of the Industrial Fellowship program, 21 PhD, 34 Post Docs and 9 Adjunct Researchers have been selected to develop innovative products and services for 56 Greek Industries.
The Fellows for 2017 have been selected after a peer-reviewed process by a network of Experts from Universities and Research Centers from all over Greece. The evaluation criteria were focused on the excellence of their Academic Profiles, the scientific merit of their proposals and the degree of commitment and involvement of the supporting Companies in the proposed research.
Hellenic Forum: NCSR “Demokritos” is organising every year from 2012 the Hellenic Forum for Science Technology and Innovation. During the three days forum, world renowned speakers from all around the globe discuss major scientific and industrial developments in various fields. Except from the different scientific and industrial sessions, the Forum hosts a matchmaking event offering to the delegates the possibility to meet with high tech companies and scientists. The Matchmaking Event is a unique opportunity for the participants to present and highlight their innovative solutions, technologies and products through pre-arranged meetings.
Access to Funding
NCSR “Demokritos” has a broad network of VCs partners and funding collaborators including Equifund. In 2018 alone, major fund representatives met with SMEs from the Technological Park of Attica “Lefkippos” to discuss funding opportunities. A number of teams are already on the final stages of the funding talks that will ring their technologies closer to the real market. Funds include
- NBG Business Seeds
Networked organization, without formal structure
Number of employees
- Horizon 2020
- European Regional Development Fund
- National basic research funding
- National specific innovation funding
- Regional funding
- Private funding
- Partner resources
Number of customers annually
Type of customers
- Start-up companies
- SMEs (<250 employees)
- MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
- Large companies, multi-nationals
- Research organisations
- Organic and Large Area Electronics (OLAE)
- Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded 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)
- Data mining, big data, database management
- Software as a service and service architectures
- Cloud computing
- ICT management, logistics and business systems
- Internet services (e.g. web development, web production, design, networking, and e-commerce)
- New Media technologies