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Fueling Growth

Increasing Greek Women’s Participation
In Innovation and Digital Transformation

Greek Deputy Minister of Social Cohesion and Family, Maria Kefala and eight members of the Greek Innovation Lab for Women visited Oslo between the 29th and 31st of January 2024. The Greek Innovation Lab for Women was co-founded by the Hellenic Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, four other ministries and the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) with the support of universities and leading research institutes in 2021. In the present project phase, supported by the EEA and Norway Grants under the supervision of Innovasjon Norway, Athena Research Center, functions as the Secretariat and ECWT is the coordinating Norwegian expert partner.

The basic aim of the #GIL4W initiative, created out of a desire to support women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurial activities, is to transform the landscape of innovation and digital development in Greece. #GIL4W desires to utilize collective understanding, strategies, and policies from throughout Europe and beyond, while also providing cutting-edge advice and mentoring. With a singular emphasis on promoting careers in innovation and entrepreneurship, #GIL4W seeks to pioneer a gender-sensitive ecosystem, driving the integration of female talent into Greece’s sustainable, eco-conscious, and digital post-Covid recovery.
The program of the visit was designed around three key pillars: a) facilitating the exchange of best practices and establishing a strong transfer mechanism between Norway and Greece, b) gaining a deep understanding of the operations of key Norwegian stakeholders, and c) identifying opportunities for future collaboration. Within this framework, Deputy Minister Maria Kefala engaged in fruitful discussions with counterparts from Norway, including the Deputy Minister of Justice and Public Security and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Greek delegation met also with Håkon Haugli, CEO of Innovation Norway, Magnar Ødelien, Programme Director at EEA and Norway Grants, and IN Programme Manager Rannveig Gimse, to explore potential collaboration between Greek and Norwegian entities.
Furthermore, the Greek group paid a visit to a Newton Room in Kolbotn, where they met with Per-Arild Konradsen, the founder and CEO of First Scandinavia. This meeting gave an essential chance to discuss ideas on how to establish effective community-led collaborations across educational levels, promoting the holistic development of young people seeking jobs in STEM and digital domains.
The members of Deputy Minister Maria Kefala´s delegation included representatives of the following organizations:
  • Eleni Petra, ATHENA RC, Director for the Innovation Unit for Women
  • Phillip Bodare, ATHENA RC, Associate Researcher
  • Nadia Katsanou, Senior Scientific Expert EETT
  • Katerina Papadaki, ATHENA RC, Associate Researcher
  • Mirto Tsapatsari, ATHENA RC, Associate Researcher
  • Dr. Smyrnaiou Zacharoula, Vice-President of CTI, Professor of NKUA
  • Ms. Martha Georgiou, Associate Researcher CTI
  • Ms. Evangelia Portouli, ICCS – Institute of Communication and Computer Systems
  • Ms. Despoina Kaneti, ICCS SENSE Group
Parties interested in forming joint partnerships with leading Greek organizations in innovation, research, and entrepreneurship, especially in the field of deeptech, can contact ECWT at info(@)