The Foundation for Research and Technology- Hellas presented its Activities in Patras
The 12th FORTH Scientific Retreat, organized under the auspices of His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, took place at the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT) in Patras, on October 15-16 2019. The FORTH Scientific Retreat is a bi-annual event, aiming at providing the framework for FORTH laboratories to present their activities to researchers from other Institutes and further participants from the academic community at large. It is also a forum for fruitful discussions and interactions that can lead to interdisciplinary synergies towards the submission of collaborative research proposals. The inaugural celebratory ceremony took place on Monday, October 14th, at the historical "Apollo" theater in downtown Patras city. FORTH/ICE-HT Director, Dr. Vassilios Burganos, gave the opening remarks, underlining the objectives of the FORTH Scientific Retreat and the contribution that FORTH has to research and society at the local, national and international level. In his following presentation, the President of the Foundation, Prof. Nektarios Tavernarakis, talked initially about the history of FORTH, which is today the largest Research Center in Greece, comprising 8 Institutes with a wide range of research activities, and 3 Units aiming at promoting research, innovation and educational activities. FORTH extends its presence in 8 Greek cities and has a significant international footprint, manifested in collaborations with major Academic and Research Institutes within Greece and abroad. The Keynote Speaker of the event was the Director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, Prof. Nikolaos Stambolidis, who gave an impressive lecture about the process from the excavation sites to the development of an archaeological museum, presenting his own experience through a rich album of pictures and relevant documents. Among the honorary guests of the event were the General Secretary for Research and Technology, Prof. Athanasios Kyriazis, who addressed the attendees through a short speech, the county of Achaia MP and former Prime Minister, Mr. George Papandreou, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Research and Technology of the Greek Parliament, Mr. Nikolaos Tagaras, and the ex-Alternate Minister of Research and Innovation, Prof. Costas Fotakis. The event was supported by the Municipality of Patras, which was represented by the Deputy Mayor of Education and Sports, Mr. Takis Petropoulos.
The celebratory event of the FORTH Scientific Retreat traditionally includes an award ceremony recognizing the contribution of selected FORTH members to the progress of the Foundation. Prof. Theodoros Fotsis, former Director of the Department of Biomedical Research of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, obtained the title of the Distinguished Member of FORTH. Ten staff members were awarded a “Personnel Award” "in recognition of their contribution and their active interest in the continued progress of FORTH". The Research Award was awarded to Prof. Costas Tassis, Researcher of the Institute of Astrophysics, for "developing innovative methods and techniques that, for the first time, allow the study of the three-dimensional structure of the medium and the magnetic field of our Milky Way ...".
The scientific sessions of the Retreat took place at the FORTH/ICE-HT Conference Center and were attended by 250 participants from all FORTH Institutes, including Researchers, postdoctoral and postgraduate students, who presented 170 posters and 36 oral presentations.
The invited plenary speakers of the Retreat were:
Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Senior Scientist at Princess Maxima Centre for Pediatric Oncology, Utrecht Professor of Molecular Biology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Dr. Olga Vizika, Director of Geosciences, IFP Energies Nouvelles, France, Mr. Udo Becker, Head of Technology Programmes Office, European Space Agency, and Prof. Petros Dellaportas, Professor of Statistical Science, UCL, UK, Professor of Statistics at the Athens University of Economics and Business & Turing Fellow, Alan Turing Institute, UK.
The Retreat concluded with a briefing by the FORTH President to the Assembly of FORTH researchers and students on the progress and remarkable success of the Foundation over the last two years. The President thanked the Organizing Committee and all FORTH employees who supported this successful event. The next Retreat is scheduled for Autumn 2021.
We would like to warmly thank the companies that sponsored the 12th FORTH Scientific Retreat. We especially thank the golden sponsors, namely the Minoan Lines, which supported the transportation of the young scientists from Crete to Pireas, and the company ERASMUS SA and KYVERNITIS TRAVEL. We also thank the companies Paul Hartmann Hellas SA, Pegasus SA and Divico Security as silver sponsors and all our bronze sponsors.