Larisa, Greece – On February 24, 2023, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, visited the city of Larisa and JOIST Innovation Park.
During his visit to the city of Larisa, the Prime Minister visited JOIST Innovation Park. He was welcomed by our President and CEO, Dr Tasos Vasiliadis, our General Manager, Vassilis Avramoudis, and Vice President, Antonis Kiritsis. After that, he had a tour around JOIST’s premises and was introduced to its spaces, services, and capabilities.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Christos Dimas, the Deputy Minister of Development and Investments – Research, Innovation and Technology. The tour began at PYTHeIA Competence Center, a private-public-partnership to enhance the digital transformation in the Health Sector. Next were the offices of Chronicles Health startup, where he had a quick chat with its partners concerning their work. The Prime Minister then headed towards Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED), the Center of Excellence in European Entrepreneurship, where he spoke with its young employees, and was briefed about their achievements in the national and European sphere. While there, he also met with a representative of the designated European Digital Innovation Hub (EDIH) Health Hub which aims to digitalise SMEs and the Public Administration in the health and pharma sectors. Finally, the group continued to the Future Learning Lab, where he had an AR experience with the GIGXR platform while wearing a hoolens headset, interacted with DuckyCode programmable robots for children to play and learn the basics of programming, our 3D printers and various other tools in the Makers Space room.
Leaving the Future Learning Lab, Joy, the robot, was waiting for the Prime Minister to greet him and be his guide for the remaining tour. Following Joy, the group passed by the Coworking Space, which, at that time, was full of working professionals and moved towards the VR arena where the Prime Minister had a glimpse of XR4A, an extended reality (XR) game to enable social skills therapy for adolescents with autism and neurodevelopment disorders. The tour’s final stop was at JOIST’s Exhibition Space for a quick tour of the second part of our modular exhibition, “From the Wheel to Artificial Intelligence: a Brief History of Innovation”, dedicated to the innovations of Byzantium, the Medieval West and the Renaissance.
“The aspect of economic development demonstrated here is very interesting. We do not often associate it with Larissa, as it is primarily known as a city that deals with the agricultural sector. The fact that it is becoming a centre of innovation with competitive actions, not only in Greece but globally, is highly encouraging,” stated the Prime Minister about JOIST.
JOIST Innovation Park is a phygital ecosystem that boosts innovation and knowledge transfer in entrepreneurship, technology, science, art, and design. JOIST has an essential task in a predominantly agricultural area with low innovation intensity.
The Prime Minister’s visit to JOIST Innovation Park is a recognition of our efforts in the past year in serving the entrepreneurial, innovation and research ecosystems in an underserved region like Thessaly. JOIST is a growing organisation whose objectives align with the green and digital transitions, which are national and European priorities.