The National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, the largest multidisciplinary research center of Greece is rapidly evolving into a dynamic European innovation hub. Over the last four years the Center has implemented fundamental administrative reforms for efficient technology transfer to corporations, investors and the Society. Thus, strong links have been established between research laboratories and the industry, contributing very positively to the economy and making possible the return of talented Greek Researchers from abroad reversing the brain-drain caused by the economic crisis of the previous decade.
For Greek companies, even the bigger ones, it is most often extremely difficult to operate high-level research infrastructures. Moreover, they often lack the human resources and the capital required to innovate. It is thus imperative to form productive partnerships with Greek research institutions that can directly provide research-requiring solutions to specific industrial needs. These collaborations, whether in the form of licencing agreements, co-development of intellectual property, or direct provision of technological services, can be very appealing to the public research laboratories as well because they bring new research ideas that can be readily exploited. Industrial Fellowship Programs are ideal tools for establishing such industry – academia long-lasting partnerships.
The SNF Industrial Fellowship Program at Demokritos was designed following this vision. The Program received a €4 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), as part of its Recharging the Youth Initiative, and the participating companies contributed €1.5 million to a total budget of €5.5 million.
The program includes three types of Fellowships:
a) Industrial Fellowships for PhD Candidates, which are four-year full scholarships for PhD candidates doing their Thesis Research at Demokritos under the supervision of Demokritos’ Researchers, while registered at the PhD Program of a collaborating Greek or International University.
b) Industrial Fellowships for Postdoctoral Associates, which are three-year research scholarships carried out at Demokritos under the supervision of Demokritos’ Researchers.
c) Industrial Fellowships for Adjunct Researchers, which are four-year, research scholarships addressed to more mature researchers, hosted at Demokritos, with proven experience of 4-8 years after the completion of their PhD.
For all three types, the research topics and directions are primarily defined by the corresponding company sponsoring the Fellow.