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Greece aims to boost competitiveness through research

With Greece's competitiveness falling steadily, the Greek government has launched a campaign to use research to boost businesses. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and officials from the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) want to promote the actions ...

With Greece's competitiveness falling steadily, the Greek government has launched a campaign to use research to boost businesses. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and officials from the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) want to promote the actions supported by the GSRT and inform the public about their impacts on the economy. The GSRT's mission is to assist businesses in 'exploiting the innovative results of research efforts,' explains GSRT General Secretary Yiannis Tsoukalas, pointing out that the Greek industry has, so far, failed to take full advantage of such opportunities. According to a recent survey, Greece, which was in the 31st place in the world league of competitiveness in 2001, has now been in 44th place for the second year in a row. Greece is among the laggards in the EU in terms of productivity gains brought about by innovation, says Mr Tsoukalas, insisting that the GSRT can help improve the situation. The GSRT encourages the transfer of technologies to production so as to provide higher-quality goods and services, at lower prices, to a larger number of people, he explains. Although the current government has increased the budget allocated to promoting research and development (R&D) to some 730 million euro and upgraded the National Council for Research and Technology, the situation remains serious. Critics have noted that this state of affairs might be due to the fact that government efforts to boost R&D often fail to include the private sector, making it appear that science and technology is the sole responsibility of the state.

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