A letter to the Prime Minister, the investigation in Greece and the problems that need to be solved

The reason for our conversation with the president of the Union of Greek Researchers, Dr. Maria Konstantopoulou was a recent letter from the Union to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The letter – which contains the Union’s positions on the proposals of the “Pissaridis Report” for Research – brings back to the forefront everything we usually forget… and which are, without a doubt, related to the development direction and perspective of this country that the great comparative Its advantage is the intellectual capital it has in abundance. Konstantopoulou – Principal Investigator at the National Center for Natural Sciences Research “Demokritos” and more specifically, at the Institute of Life Sciences & Applications – had the kindness to answer and answer questions in a very creative way for the continuation of the public debate on research issues. What would be the characteristic elements that would determine the situation in the field of Research? The comparative advantage of our country is its scientific / research potential and to a large extent this is due to the performance in the field of research. On the contrary, the institutional and economic framework does not favor research, in order to increase the added value of research results in scientific and productive sectors of the country. According to the National Documentation Center, bibliometric indicators, publications and their international impact are growing above the EU and OECD average over the last decade, while the performance of Research Centers and Universities, Researchers and Professors in funding programs EU Framework for Research is important for our country. In the highly competitive environment of Horizon 2020, Greece ranks 8th in participations in funded projects and 11th in project budgets in 28 countries. Let me emphasize at this point that national funding lags far behind the European average, moving in the middle of it. The research sector is characterized by a lack of national research strategy and funding, fragmentation of the research web, Unfortunately, the lack of planning, coordination and evaluation of the implemented multiannual programs of Technological Development and Innovation Research in conjunction with the fragmented research in our country, although this is an extremely extroverted, productive and dynamic industry. However, the discussion around this key question of yours could cover pages. You addressed the Union of Greek Researchers to the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the occasion or the Pissaridis report. What is that or those elements that you wanted to highlight and what are – in short – your own proposals in relation to those mentioned in the Report? Unfortunately the proposals for research and innovation included in the Pissaridis Report are not in the process of being achieved of the goals it sets, because they do not cure the endogenous problems I mentioned above. In addition, they do not make any use of the experience gained in the last decades, do not take into account the results of the five-year evaluations of the Research Centers by international committees since 1995 and ignore the causes of malfunctions in the research web of the country. The rationale and features described in the Report are far removed from the philosophy and responsibilities of the National Science Foundations of the vast majority of European research pioneers. Instead of this proposed super-centralized Science Organization, the support and upgrade of ELIDEK would be right, building on the right steps that have already been taken. In recent years there have been major changes in the architecture of European research policy, as reflected in Horizon2020, but also in the new Horizon Europe (2021-2027). A key feature is the funding of increasingly large-scale holistic research projects, which require large interdisciplinary synergies and partnerships between academic and research institutions. To enable the positive response of the country’s research web to these changes requires: planning, strong research structures, large and strong synergies, network organization and interconnection, as well as administrative and financial flexibility. An important disadvantage for achieving the above is the fragmentation of the public research web, which operates with different institutional frameworks, with the involvement of various Ministries, agencies and bodies with overlapping responsibilities and / or unclear responsibilities. We intend to publish our next posts for the Governance of Research and Technology, the Development of Innovation and the Single Area of ​​Higher Education, Research and Technology. You claim the creation of a Single Research Area. What do you think should be its constituent “materials” but also its aspirations? Indeed, as a Union of Greek Researchers, we support that through the Unified Area of ​​Education and Research, the institutions of Higher Education and Research in our country, Universities and Research Centers, will be a complementary, dynamic system, which will utilize, combine and maximize the advantages of the two sub-spaces. We believe that this will lay the foundation for the necessary new types of work and entrepreneurship based on new knowledge, technology and innovation. Through the Single Space, basic research will be strengthened, which is a prerequisite for applied research and the development of innovation. and the planning of a national research strategy will be facilitated through the organic and combined utilization of the entire research potential of the country. This will result in the fuller utilization of the scientific potential of the country, the greater utilization of the existing know-how and equipment, and the strong impetus in the productive process of the country. We consider that the institutional separation of Research & Technology from Higher Education with the transfer of research supervision from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Education is not in the right direction. You emphasize “basic research” and it degrades – at least as a result of a quick reading of your announcements – research that is used extensively at market level. I would like your opinion on this. This is not accurate. In most of our announcements we refer to the need to improve the practices of interaction of the public research system with the research activity of the private sector but also to the rational and feasible model of organization and governance of a single, national research web (public and private). Research and Innovation in the country. We highlight the need to modernize the institutional framework of copyright, spin-off and start-up companies, in order to ensure the maximum transfer of know-how from Universities and Research Centers to the productive fabric of the country and strengthen innovative But without progress in basic research it is not possible to develop innovative applications and new technological products that can give new impetus to the Economy. Innovation is the last link in the chain “education – basic research – applied research – and The demanding Single Research Area should not take into account those developments that link Research and Technology with the element of Innovation? Clearly, but the use of research staff and the results of basic and applied research for Promoting innovation depends on the orientation and ability or willingness of private and / or public actors to invest in research and technology. Unfortunately, the Greek economy is not willing to invest in research. Often the “sponsors” of our research are from abroad. Contrary to the international and European position of the Greek research web in the field of research, in innovation, Greece as a country, is characterized as an “Innovation follower” worldwide and in Europe is characterized as a “Moderate innovator” with performance below the European average. The Greek state and the majority of Greek companies have not given importance to innovation in recent years, in contrast to other countries of similar size to Greece such as Ireland and Finland and Israel, which attracted investment in this area. As Researchers we recommend investing in education, linking research with education, supporting the establishment of business innovation networks, attracting foreign investment in technology, better absorption of Community funds related to innovation and technology, diffusion of innovation, increase of costs of the state and companies in research and technology and shift of the Greek economy to more innovative sectors of technology and innovation intensity. In addition, we firmly believe that in this way will help stop the brain drain and enhance brain gain. Very recently, a company from the bowels of public Research Centers, in which the current president of the National Research Foundation participates as a co-founder, is a breath away from entering the Nasdaq stock exchange. At the same time, several of your colleagues from public Universities and Research Centers through spinoff companies claim and manage to raise funds from funds from Greece and abroad. Aren’t these cases that give more visibility but also extroversion part of a dynamic system of Research, Technology and Innovation that shows one of the available paths of development perspective? Indeed, there are several similar examples from colleagues that we often present as achievements of the research web. . However, we believe that in order to support such efforts and to multiply them, institutional and fiscal “weights” should be removed in order to ensure the maximum transfer of know-how from Universities and Research Centers to the productive fabric of the country and the strengthening of innovative initiatives. Teachers. In addition, I would like to refer to a comparative advantage for our country that is not projected as it deserves. And this is the research conducted in the humanities and social sciences that, if strengthened, could make a significant contribution not only to the economy but also to the development of our country’s image internationally. not a luxury that has a direct impact on innovation, the economy, but also on society as it has been proven over time. Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world, at

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