Greece has emerged from a prolonged economic crisis which cost it about a quarter of its national output. Economic growth remains subdued and unemployment is still high. Dynamism has been particularly affected by the loss of physical and human capital due to low investment and the emigration of skilled workers over the past decade. In addition to its economic challenges, Greece faces demographic, social and environmental challenges, many of which are interrelated. Innovation can play a key role in the development of adequate responses to these challenges.

The Greek innovation system has notable strengths. Universities and public research institutes produce high-quality research and a majority of Greek businesses report engaging in innovation that is at least new to the firm. Despite the grave impact of the economic crisis on Greek economy and society, R&D expenditures have increased over the past decade in both absolute and relative terms. Nevertheless the Greek innovation system is still a long way from being business driven, as government funding and publicly-performed research dominate the national R&D effort. The large territorial disparities in income levels across Greece, also translate in unequal innovation capacities. For instance, the capital region of Attica accounted for more R&D expenditures in 2015 than all the other Greek regions together.

Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3) provide a long-term framework for investments in innovation that build on Greece's strengths. Greece has a hybrid RIS3 with a centrally-administered national strategy (overseen by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology) and 13 regional strategies (overseen by regional authorities and coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and Development). The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is working closely with Greek authorities in charge of RIS3 to support the design and implementation of their strategies. The project covers the Greek regions of: Central Macedonia, Western Greece and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

JRC activities within the frame of our project are focused on:
  • Support to RIS3 implementation by way of intelligence gathering and interregional learning workshops.
  • Support to the preparation of Greek national and regional authorities for the next programming period, with a particular focus on RIS3 governance and monitoring.
  • Review of industrial transition of Greece.

More information

Targeted support: Greece.pdf
(155 KB - PDF)

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