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Region of Epirus
Tel.: +30 2651072164
Fax: +30 2651031224
ggphp@otenet.gr
Managing Body
BIC of Epirus
Tel.: +30-2651044447
Fax: +30-2651044467
bicepirus@ioa.forthnet.gr
Paying Body
Regional Fund and Development of Epirus
Tel.: +30 2651034054
Fax: +30 2651034054
ptathes@otenet.gr

 

The Greek Paradigm

The current period in Greece is characterized by a strong intensification of efforts to implement innovation policy measures in line with the 2000 – 2006 planning. A large number of new measures were launched, while for the existing ones there are many new calls or ex ante evaluation processes. The restrictions applied by competition policies are gradually lifted and absorption has started to increase.

The overall economic debate is characterized by emphasis on the relatively high growth rates of the economy, the opportunities and challenges of the adoption of the EMU and a need to adopt the necessary policies for real convergence, which focus on the promotion of competitiveness. The dominant issues in this period are the necessary reforms of the fiscal policy and the social security system.

Over the period innovation priorities are:

  • Start ups, where a number of new measures are launched and others are in the process of being implemented,
  • Fiscal measures, where a new law foresees tax exemptions for R&D plus new incentives for merger acquisitions in order to increase size and improve competitiveness,
  • Innovation support structures and services, with measures supporting both the research infrastructure and networking,
  • Innovation at a regional level, because during the current programming period all regional Operational Programs are requested by the central government to adopt measures enhancing innovation; yet regional policies remains still a conceptual level and in no region has a real implementation process started, and
  • Lifelong learning, where funding is for the first time accompanied by an effort to streamline them and better organize their implementation.

In institutional terms during the current period the National Council for Competitiveness was created, which is a discussion forum for the improvement of the competitiveness of the Greek productive sector. In addition, a Guarantee Fund for SMEs and VSEs Companies was created and local centers of investment started operating (e.g. Volos). At the same time in the arena of research centers one merger and one new formal collaboration indicate efforts to achieve critical masses and networking that will allow Greek centers to participate to the excellence networks of the 6th Framework Program or facilitate their participation in the Greek “Excellence Support Scheme”.

In terms of policies, the most interesting feature is an intensified effort of coordination. The 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) has a new structure of management, based on individual Management Authorities in each ministry. These new units are better endowed with human and physical resources and are expected to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration. In this context there is for the first time an extensive inter-service cooperation foreseen trying to avoid duplications, contradictions and overlapping. In this context of improving coordination there is a new effort to face training problems. Education and training is a priority area and a shared responsibility of the Ministries of Labor and Education. In agreement with the social partners a new coordination body is foreseen to improve overall effectiveness of the system, basing it more in performance criteria than any other type of ex ante evaluation. Coordination is also a major feature in the enhancement of the Information Society Program (OPIS), which has the difficult task of linking not only all the national ministries but has also to safeguard the articulation between the regional and national level.

Another feature of innovation policy is the influence of transnational learning. While not systematic, the frequent presence of Greek civil servants in EU for a has enlarged the scope of national policies and in many cases experiences from other member states are explicitly or implicitly transferred to national schemes. Such cases are a Greek version of the Irish “TechStart” and one of the British “GoDigital”. This learning process was probably more effective in the framework of the comparative evaluations among the cohesion countries, which share common economic characteristics.

After a period of stagnation the overall economic situation has improved considerably, partly thanks to massive fund transfer from the CSFs. The latter not only attribute to overall growth but also have exercised considerable influence during the three planning periods to increase investments in intangible assets with particular emphasis on R&D, innovation and the Information Society.

The period is characterized by an intensification of efforts to launch measures for industrial development and innovation support as agreed in the programming documents of the Third Community Support Framework.

A change in the cabinet ministries in October 2001, which affected the Ministries of Economy and Development, which share the responsibility for development policy, has earmarked changes and an effort to speed up policies. New laws were voted in the Parliament, which are of relevance to innovation policy, like the Law on Entrepreneurship of the Ministry of the Economy, which includes fiscal incentives for mergers and the creation of bigger companies. A long change in the Development Law has occurred and organizes the major investment incentives (including a variety of grants related to innovation policy, like business plans and technology parks). There is also a debate of a differentiation of subsidies based on local unemployment rates and an increasing role of the banking system. The Ministry has also agreed with the union of Greek Banks to transfer to them part of the intermediate organizations activities for grants and loans in order to speed up the adoption of the development plans.

The Ministry of Development has promoted a 3 year tax exemption through the Law 2992/2002. The Ministry is also promoting technological cooperation with Balkan countries and Mediterranean countries.

The Ministry of Education started to demonstrate increasing interest in research and has launched for the first time measures that will ultimately favor innovation.

A National Council for Competitiveness has created, which is a discussion forum for the improvement of the competitiveness of the Greek productive sector.

At the regional level the measures implementing activities for innovation and IS enhancement have started to be implemented. A Technology Observatory has launched in Central Macedonia. The new measures launched are the creations of the Centers Of Entrepreneurial and Technological Development through a program that aims at developing centers, which will provide information and consulting to companies. The sectors that will be supported are manufacturing, commerce, tourism, and services in general. The Centers will operated under the coordination of the Ministry of Development and through the exploitation and restructuring of the existing structures and mechanisms.

Entrepreneurship seems to increase in the priority agendas of the Greek government through four measures supporting very small companies, female and student entrepreneurship.

 

CONTENTS:

Definition

The Greek Paradigm

 

 
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