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BOOSTING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH:
21 scientific projects with funding by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation
The results of 21 scientific projects of a one-year duration, which were conducted in 2010 with funding exclusively by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, were presented on Thursday, 5 May 2011, at the ‘Pallas Athena’ in Kefalari, which serves as the Foundation's headquarters, in the presence of many representatives of the Greek research community.
The 21 studies selected for funding in 2010 –out of a total of 604 submitted proposals– are part of the annual programme entitled "Scientific Projects", which the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has consistently been running since 2008; the programme is aimed at supporting scientific research in Greece and covers a wide range of fields, in the area of social and human sciences, natural sciences and life sciences.
With respect to the prospects of this initiative of the Foundation, Professor Kostas Gavroglou, Head of the Scientific Committee and Member of the Executive Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, said that:
“This initiative started with the aim of giving an additional boost to our country’s research force, by providing the opportunity to conduct and use studies of a short duration and of a high scientific level, not only in established scientific fields but also in fields of knowledge that are considered less ‘popular’, and for which it would thus be difficult to ensure the necessary funding. To date, the response of the scientific community to the Foundation’s programme and the results of the studies give us the motivation to continue our efforts for its further development and its establishment as an annual institution to support research in our country.”
In the four years that the programme has been running (2008-2011), more than 2,600 proposals have been submitted, which directly or indirectly involved the participation of 11,000 scientists – these numbers reveal the programme’s potential and the need of the research community to have access to funding resources.
In his greeting, Mr Dimitris Afendoulis, Secretary of the Executive Board of the Foundation, said that:
“In contrast to the prevailing pessimistic atmosphere, which is the result of the difficult financial situation, today’s event is aimed at showcasing a totally different and more hopeful aspect of our country. It presents the scientific work of teams of researchers, who, by working in a methodical way and with zest, make us, first of all, believe once again in the creative force of this country. These teams, and many other similar ones that are scattered throughout Greek society, are –to borrow an environmental term– the ‘unburnt islets’ of contemporary Greece. Therefore, they must be protected and supported, as they are pockets of excellence, quality and fruitful development. For us at the John Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, it goes without saying that it is our duty to fund their efforts in order to help, to the extent we can of course, in preventing the brain drain of scientists and the sharp reduction in the number of researchers in our country.”
In the framework of the event, the 21 research teams, which consisted of 96 researchers from Greece and abroad, had the opportunity to present and discuss with the attendees the results of their research through a specially designed interactive exhibition. Moreover, at the beginning of the event, a documentary entitled ''Scientific Projects 2010'' was shown, which reflected the researchers’ collective effort and their experiences from their participation in the programme.
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