ECONOMY

First innovation hub under way

first-innovation-hub-under-way

The initial steps in the creation of Greece’s first innovation hub were taken on Wednesday at the former facilities of the Piraeus Dye Works (Chromatopoiia Pireos), in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Following the publication of the first part of the tender and the launch of the process for selecting a contractor, the project for a radical overhaul of the old industrial complex through a public-private partnership (PPP) is now well under way.

The aim of the project is to transform the site into a multipurpose complex that hosts research centers and startups, allowing for fruitful synergies between science and innovative entrepreneurship.

“Every major capital city has an innovation center and the location here is ideal, due to its history and also its position,” said Mitsotakis as he toured the Pireos Street facility in the company of several cabinet ministers and US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt.

“I believe that in a few years’ time, when we make the comparison between what existed and what will be created, we will have every reason to be very satisfied that we have created at such speed this emblematic project in the innovation sector, which practically constitutes the bridge our country needs to cross to conquer the future,” the prime minister added.

The Development and Investments Ministry has already drafted a PPP study and the business plan based on which the investment will come to 100 million euros and will lead to the creation of some 2,000 jobs.

“This is a great initiative that speaks volumes of the Greek state’s failure to manage its real estate assets, as this central location had been practically left abandoned for some 40 years,” said Mitsotakis.

The 17,900 square meter complex has been unused since the 1980s.

The creation of Greece’s first “Innovation City” serves the government’s strategy for bolstering the economy and the transition to a new production model. It is meant to showcase the country as an innovation destination in Southeastern Europe, to enhance employment in high-specialization sectors, helping the reversal of the brain drain, and to encourage the development of entrepreneurship through startups in sectors that can generate high added value.