Greece will soon be home to the largest state-of-the-art science and technology park (STP) and startup hub in Southeastern Europe, with the Thessaloniki Innovation & Technology Center (Thess INTEC).
Thess INTEC will potentially become the most important research and innovation project in Greece and the Balkans to date, providing a synergy of academia, research, high-tech industries, facilities and geopolitical location.
There has already been interest from international investors according to a government spokesperson overseeing the project. It is slated to become the first large-scale science and technology infrastructure in Greece, stretching over 76 hectares in the municipality of Thermaikos (Thermaic Gulf), located very close to Thessaloniki’s International Airport, in the suburb of Peraia, some 15km of Thessaloniki’s city centre.
So far, more than 70 companies as well as universities and research centres have signed MoUs (a memorandum of understanding) with Thess INTEC.
“The aim, is to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure with 4th generation technologies, such as industrial laboratories, machinery, computer facilities, a large-scale incubator and accelerator, flexible office space, collaboration and networking areas, a theme park for education and recreation, a conference centre, cycle paths and green spaces,” said Deputy Development and Investment Minister Christos Dimas, who is overseeing the project.
“Thess INTEC will have a significant contribution to Greece’s digital transformation and will help the country develop all necessary competencies needed in today’s knowledge economy.
“It will be the leading actor in Thessaloniki’s transition to a major regional research and innovation hub, being at the same time the number one choice of any multinational or Greek innovative company that wishes to locate its centre of activities in the area of Southeast Europe.”
The planning of Thess INTEC started back in 2017 and it is a continuous and ever evolving process aspiring to bring to life Greece’s own Silicon Valley. The project has been included in the country’s Recovery Fund and will be financed with approximately €35 million.
Improvements in transportation, shifts in tenant mix, technological changes in telecommunications, changes in the lifestyle of future employees, and other factors such as climate change or the recent pandemic may modify the layout, the structures, and the optimum mix of uses, even in the final stages of the facilities’ design and construction, to stimulate synergies between researchers and extrovert businesses, leading to innovative products and services.