Greece cannot afford to neglect R&D – Georgios Ardavanis (Ph.D.)

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It is a fact that any country whose economy depends mainly on tourism and services is certain to collapse one way or the other. As a proportion of GDP, Greece invests nothing in research and development. Prominent nations like Israel and Sweden invest three or four percent.

Many prosperous nations fall into the 2% range, with their companies conducting more R&D than the government. Universities need to produce knowledge for industry, and the Greek government needs to invest in them. To ensure the success of these start-ups, venture capital and management must also be present. Greece’s innovation ecosystem is consequently not operating at its best, and I believe that we need to address this on a structural basis.

Major R&D clusters in the US, Singapore, and Israel are centered on their top institutions. In terms of producing new knowledge, having the best 1% or 2% of researchers, producing Nobel laureates, and producing researchers whose work is so innovative that businesses want to relocate around these knowledge clusters—we need our universities to rank in the top 50 in the world. Developing incentives for companies and academic institutions to collaborate more closely in order to disseminate that information is the second phase. Intellectual property should belong to people or academic institutions. Nevertheless, they will license it to a business, either one founded by the creator or by others, as universities are unable to develop certain things, like drugs. Someone needs to understand the challenges posed by various technologies and design the vehicles that are best suited for that specific industry.

Several nations, including the US and Israel, provide direct funds for R&D in an effort to encourage larger businesses to conduct more R&D. Thus, they receive the benefit up front since they can deduct their R&D costs from the overall cost. Tax credits have the drawback of being applied after the fact. Attracting international corporations to conduct research and development in Greece is one approach to boost our competitiveness, even though it would cost several hundred million euros or dollars. Furthermore, if we directly acknowledge the R&D done in this nation, we have a higher chance of drawing in further research and development. A vibrant and fiercely competitive ecosystem might be created by establishing a cluster led by larger research and development organizations.

Georgios Ardavanis  – 23/10/2023

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