The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission was impressed by his visit to FORTH
Jean-Eric Paquet, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, accompanied by Ms Anna Panagopoulou, Director of the Common Support Centre at DG RTD and the Secretary General of Research and Technology, Ms Patricia Kyprianidou visited the Foundation for Research and Technology- Hellas.
Prof. Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FORTH, delivered a presentation about the activities of FORTH, followed by a discussion with the Directors of the Institutes of the Foundation. Mr Paquet referred extensively to the new opportunities and financial instruments provided for the development of Horizon Europe research, which is the next EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation, and the European Commission's desire to involve all stakeholders in its design. He said he was thrilled by the research conducted at FORTH and the prominent position held by the Foundation in Europe, and pointed out that it should play a key role in shaping the strategy of Horizon Europe, which will manage 94 billion euros in funds. He also pointed out the increase in funding for the European Research Council (ERC) programs. It is worth noting that FORTH holds the largest number of ERC programmes implemented in Greece. Mr Paquet also referred to the European Innovation Council (EIC), which will support high-risk innovation that contributes to the creation of new markets and jobs and promotes growth in Europe. The General Secretary for Research and Technology, Ms Patricia Kyprianidou, said that FORTH is one of the strongest foundations in Greece and that its scientists are performing excellent work at a global level.
Mr Paquet was given a guided tour of various laboratories of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, the Institute of Computer Science and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. He also had the chance to meet with young researchers, funded through ERC programmes, Marie Curie fellowships and through the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (HFRI), most of them having returned to Greece and FORTH after completing studies and research abroad. Mr Paquet was informed about the conditions and opportunities that permitted them to return to Greece. It was pointed out that FORTH is an internationally recognized Foundation, which is a pole of attraction for young scientists from abroad, and provides them with an excellent research environment, the opportunity of collaborating with researchers from different fields, and significant development potential.