Seeking to provide further encouragement to scientists conducting research in all branches and at all levels, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation renewed its commitment to the research community by announcing the funding of a new cycle of year-long Scientific Research Projects for 2011.
This new open call was announced during the presentation of the results of the projects carried out during 2009, which were solely financed by the Foundation. The 15 research teams, consisting of 90 researchers, presented their projects to a broad scientific audience at the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation headquarters in Kefalari.
Professor Achilleas Mitsos, the General Secretary of Research and Technology, delivering the event’s main speech on “Research Policy”, referred to the correlations and interactions that govern the triptych Research-Innovation-Development and highlighted the need for the existence of a simple and positive institutional framework that maximizes the research capabilities of both the public and the private sector. He also noted that, geographically, correct research policy implementation is at the European rather than the national level, recalling the pledge made by European leaders to increase the amount of research in the Europe of the 27.
''Although Greece continues to be ranked among the countries with the lowest percentage of GDP directed to research, the country possesses pockets of excellence that ensure it has a relative advantage in research activities. During difficult economic circumstances, an investment in knowledge via scientific research is the only investment which, on the one hand, does not essentially burden public finances and, on the other, decisively improves Greek competitiveness providing an exit from recession.”
Professor Mitsos added. Referring to funding possibilities, he noted that the National Strategic Reference Programme (NSRP) allows Greece to make 1.5 billion Euros available for research within the next three years.
Foundation Executive Board Secretary Mr. Dimitris Afendoulis referred to the Foundation’s goals and activities, noting that
“The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has placed Science and Education at the forefront, making it the focal point of its activities, although this does not mean that Environmental Protection, Culture, and Public Welfare do not constitute important and abiding components of our public benefit activities portfolio.”
More specifically, regarding the annual research projects funding programme he mentioned that
“During the three years of this initiative, we have financed 50 projects and 250 researchers of a total of 1.600 proposals received.” He went on to say that the new call for 2011 “is an open research platform where institutions and researchers can submit their ideas and methodology, participating in a simple process, without any particular bureaucracy or conditions.”