The distance between Athens and Tokyo is more than 9,500 kilometers; that between Greece and Japan in terms of technological development may well be even greater, with the Asian country having enjoyed a clear lead for decades.
However, these distances have not stopped the representatives of a major Japanese car manufacturer from traveling to Athens to meet the people who have developed an innovative hydrogen compressor that constitutes one of the main technologies for the future of automobiles: They are the people of CYRUS PC, a spin-off of NCSR Demokritos.
CYRUS is one of the many examples to have emerged in recent years of successful spin-offs – i.e. companies set up for the commercial use of patents owned by a university or a research entity with the participation of members of the academic community (professors, researchers, students) who have contributed toward the creation of a patented innovation.
Another example is PLiN Nanotechnology. This Aristotle University of Thessaloniki spin-off founded in 2015 has developed an innovative method for the production of nanoparticles employed in products for pet grooming; it is now entering the biggest market of this category – the US.
Just as the previous financial crisis may have altered ways of thinking and acting, sending them in more unconventional directions by the Greek standards of the time, with this new crisis resulting from the coronavirus also comes opportunity. For instance, the technology Nanoplasmas (another Demokritos spin-off) has developed is now being utilized by a British enterprise that produces portable coronavirus tests, while a University of Crete spin-off, Enzyquest, which is active in the production of enzymes/reagents, is developing two types of molecular diagnosis kits for the coronavirus.
It has also been some months since the leading nutrition clinic in the world started using the special test developed by FoodOxys, a University of Thessaly spin-off, to assess the body’s antioxidant defenses.
As university entry exams begin today, the positive developments at Greece’s state universities and research centers may constitute an additional incentive.