On Sunday evening, the gates of the 4th Patras IQ exhibition that took place from 7th to 9th April at the Pampeloponnisiako Stadium in Patras were closed. 100 exhibitors at 88 booths, presented the treasures of research produced by Academic Institutions, companies that integrate knowledge in mature products and partnerships based on innovation. The attendance of visitors reached 7000, beyond any expectation of the organizers, and shows that both society and the business world have embraced this effort, which aims at - enforcing cooperation among research institutions and businesses to improve their competitiveness and - addressing an invitation to young people to become entrepreneurs, making use of innovation.
At the same time there were many events with targeted topics and selected speakers. On Friday, April 7th, the Achaia Chamber organized an event entitled "Local Support Ecosystem of Innovative & Smart Entrepreneurship", while Mindspace, a student group of University of Patras, organized the "Mindspace All-Stars" event with speakers Mr. Peter Economidis, Stavros Messinis and Pavlos Efmorides.
During the events, a workshop on "Useful Skills for the First Steps of a StartUp" was organized by Comvos - Scientific Student Groups of University of Patras. On Saturday 8th of April, the session "Innovation & Entrepreneurship" was held by the Diophantus Institute of Computer Science & Publishing and session "Changing the Academic Landscape in Distance Education" and "Innovation & Entrepreneurship" by the Hellenic Open University - Department of Special Account Management. Session "Innovation, Science and Communication" followed, organized by Liberal.gr. Forthnet founder Mr. Pantelis Tzortzakis spoke on "Today is your turn ... You can too! From a University's laboratory to the Stock Exchange Market". During the events, Mindspace Patras organized a workshop on "Idea to product".
At 18.00, the opening Main Event of the exhibition was held, with central speaker the deputy minister of Research and Innovation, Mr. Kostas Fotakis, on "Building an Integrated Policy for Research and Innovation". The event was attended by a large crowd, while the former Prime Minister, Mr. George Papandreou, the vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Dimitris Papadimoulis, the Regional Governor of Western Greece Mr. Apostolos Katsifaras, the general secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Development, Mr. Elias Xanthakos, also addressed greetings. The event was co-ordinated by the Chairman of the Patras IQ Organizing Committee and Deputy Rector of Research and Development, Mr. Dimosthenis Polyzos. The second day was completed with a reception, giving the opportunity for discussion and networking among exhibitors, investors, representatives of organizations, businessmen, students, etc.
On Sunday, April 9th, held events included "Innovative Actions by the National Bank" with representatives of the National Bank, as well as "Financial Tools for Innovation and Business Ideas" and "Research and Innovation-Protection of Intellectual Property" organized by the Association of Enterprises and Industries of Peloponnese and West Greece. At the same time, GSRT executives informed the attendees on the Operations of Bilateral Partnerships under the Operational Program for Competitiveness, Research and Development and the Specific Actions under EPANEK programme: Aquaculture, Industrial Materials, Open Innovation in Culture, as well as the presentation of the Single State Aid Actions "Research - Create - Innovate".
In the afternoon, the sessions were completed with the "Create Your Consortium" event for the "Research-Create-Innovate" program, where participants were given the opportunity to develop collaborations to participate in a joint proposal on the above-mentioned program. During the events, "Soft Skills Training: Entrepreneurial Mindset" workshop took place, organized by Comvos - Scientific Student Groups of University of Patras.
Apart from the Educational Institutes and the Institutes of Western Greece, universities and technological institutes from all over the country participated in the exhibition, as well as innovative companies / spin-offs, start-ups and representatives of innovation institutions. Finally, it is worth mentioning that more than 15 B2B meetings between researchers and investment funds took place during the event. The responsibility of entire organization was under a committee of executives from all the parties involved in the programming contract, with the help of 70 volunteer students from universities and technological institutes.
The Patras Innovation Quest - Patras IQ 2017, is a know-how transfer event which has already taken place three times in 2012, 2015 and 2016.It aims at developing and strengthening the cooperation between the research community and the productive sector, thus benefiting the citizens of the region in the following ways:
1. The implementation of research and innovation in the production industry results in developing new competitive products, it generates new needs and ultimately creates new jobs and income in the region with multiplying benefits for the national economy.
2. Attracting perspective Greek or foreign investors that could utilize local know-how and invest in products and services consequently can lead to increasing the competitiveness of the local and national economy with all parallel positive effects.
The exhibition includes:
• Exhibits and models of innovative research products
• Applied Research Presentations
• Speeches by startup founders and innovative SMEs
• Lectures on issues concerning technology transfer, intellectual property and finding resources for financing the conversion of innovative ideas into products.
More specifically, researchers present to the productive sector as well as the investors mature research results that can potentially be exploited productively and commercially. Furthermore, problems that the productive sector is faced with can be discussed in order for researchers to offer feasible solutions.
This initiative contributes to the creating of the crucial competitive advantage, both for the research community and the productive sector, through the perpetual effort to resolve problems and implement innovative ideas. Moreover, it aspires to become a tool for those researchers who wish to present their applied research to the productive sector.
The purpose of these actions is to familiarize both researchers and the productive sector with the knowledge management process and the exploitation of innovative ideas, the mechanisms and conditions for building networks, cluster collaboration and alternative ways of financing innovation.
The exhibition is under the auspices of the Ministries of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and the Economy, Development and Tourism by the signing of a framework agreement between them and the University of Patras, the Chamber of Achaia, the Region of Western Greece, the Hellenic Open University and the Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece.