Project of the Week: "New Knowledge" to link research findings with local people's needs in the Epirus region
The Region of Epirus in Greece launched in November2011 a project called "New Knowledge" which aims at strengthening regional competitiveness and economic development through technological innovation research in areas of particular interest for the region.
The project "New Knowledge" which benefits from an EU financing of around EUR 2 million for the period 2007-2013, promotes research and development results produced by regional research entities in order to provide the productive sector and the local society with concrete solutions out of these research findings. To do so, particular attention is paid to the cooperation between the research entities, to networking between research entities and the productive sector and to develop readiness from researchers' side to focus their research activities on the needs of local enterprises and society.
Proposals submitted by regional research entities which can prove that their research findings can be used by local enterprises or another local private or public entity can be funded. The thematic areas of research are information and communications technology, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, food biotechnology, environment, energy, water resources, transport, health or cultural heritage. The maximum budget amounts to EUR 150,000 per proposal.
To date, 27 varied projects have been funded, like for example a new quality control for traditional silversmith craftsmanship in order to promote better this local art, the determination of the authenticity of the botanical and geographical origin of food products to achieve a possible Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and give them a significant added value, and a research project on an innovative treatment of ligament rupture based on stem cells and tissue engineering.
Dr. Theodore Fotsis, Group Leader and Director of the Biomedical Research Institute, responsible for the project "Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture: Regeneration with the aid of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering" outlines the added value of the programme:
"The region of Epirus belongs to the less developed areas in Greece exhibiting high unemployment rates. As a consequence the graduates of the University of Ioannina have no alternative than to move to other regions of Greece or even emigrate abroad. The project New Knowledge with its many well targeted smaller research projects shows the value-added that research interventions supported by the European Union can produce for the development and the cohesion of our region. It also provides better opportunities for employment to young scientists from the region and in the long term it might attract investments from companies looking for cooperation with our research entities".
- Biomedical Research Institute (Beneficiary)
- University of Ioannina (Beneficiary)
- Epirus Institute of Technology (Beneficiary)