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ISLATEC - Development of high tech entrepreneurship in the EU islands

The kick-off meeting of the partners of the pilot program "ISLATEC - Fostering Entrepreneurship geared towards the development of high-tech start-ups by new and recent University graduates in the EU islands" took place at the premises of Athena High Technology Incubator, the projects contractor and coordinator, in Nicosia, Cyprus on 13-14 December 2004.

13 December 2004 - 14 December 2004

ISLATEC is a result of the successful application by Athena High Technology Incubator to the call of the second phase of the Leonardo Da Vinci program with a budget of 605.996 Euros out of which 75% will be financed by the European Commision. The project is being carried out by a consortium of 8 organisations located in 8 different European countries, with different experiences, sets of skills and complementary knowledge in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Besides Athena High Technology Incubator Ltd., the consortium of ISLATEC includes the following organizations: CICOM Organisation (France), manager of the Antipolis Innovation Campus (Sophia Antipolis) with extensive experience with EU programmes in the areas of business innovation and entrepreneurship, Manchester Science Enterprise Centre (UK), a pioneer in the development of science entrepreneurship educational initiatives, ALMI (Sweden), a regional business development organisation for Sweden and the Baltic states, IceTec (Iceland), the main technological institute in Iceland responsible for handling competitiveness amongst Icelandic SMEs, Action Synergy (Greece), a consulting company with long term experience with EU programs and expertise in e-learning educational platforms, COPYMSULA (Spain), the confederation of small and medium enterprises in the Canary and Balearic islands and APSSFP (Italy), a non-profit organization in Sardinia with long experience in business education.
Taking into consideration the idiosyncrasies related to the EU islands, such as their high dependency on tourism, distance from the mainland and frequent loss of human capital to competitors stationed on the mainland, the main objective of the ISLATEC project is the development of a vocational training programme which targets the fostering of new innovative companies throughout the EU islands by young scientists and engineers. Talking about the project, Phanos Pitiris, General Manager of Athena High Technology Incubator Ltd, highlighted that equipping young engineers and scientists with the right mindset, tools, skill and knowledge in order to undertake new entrepreneurial initiatives; writing business plans; introducing the venture capital concept and ways to attract it; putting together engineers and business graduates and teaching them how to better use concepts such as business incubators and technology parks will not only help in attracting more quality dealflow to our local business incubators and help towards elevating Cyprus entrepreneurial level (currently 21 out of 25 in EU) but also contribute towards the achievement of the Lisbon objective which asks that by 2010, the European Union becomes the most competitive economy in the world.Athena High Technology Incubator is an international, for-profit, VC driven, high technology business incubator based in Cyprus. The company's mission is to accelerate the development and drive start-up companies to sustained profitable growth, by providing them with access to funding and steering them operationally and strategically. Athena Investment Public Company and Emergo Cyprus are the company's major shareholders.