Democratising AI

A National Strategy for Greece

Pursuing an AI advantage by innovating upon our core values
This White Paper aims to set out the National AI Strategic Vision for Greece and to provide an initial plan of action on how to achieve this vision. It aims to accelerate the adoption and development of AI in both the private and public sectors in Greece and increase the relevant skills and the research and development (R&D) base through the provision of the necessary AI infrastructure and enablers that will facilitate the Democratisation of AI.
A White Paper by the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT) of the National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos (NCSR Demokritos), April 2020.
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Artificial Intelligence

NCSR "Demokritos" has a long history in Informatics, playing a pivotal role in related research. The Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications (IIT) is one of the five research Institutes of the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (NCSR). Its roots can be traced as back as 1958, when the NCSR Division of Electronics was founded, rendering it as a pioneering electronics centre in Greece. This was followed by the foundation of the Computers Division in 1968, initially aiming to support scientific research and data-storage computational needs of the Centre. As a pioneer in the relevant fields in Greece, around 25 members of the Computer Division’s staff between 1975 and 1990 joined various departments of Informatics in Greek Universities, including a number of AI experts. IIT and its researchers have been the driving force for the foundation and establishment of the Hellenic Society for Artificial Intelligence (EETN) in 1988, and its inclusion in the European AI Society in 1992. NCSR "Demokritos" is not only part of AI history in Greece: it also forms this history day by day. Today, IIT hosts 2 AI research labs, with more than 80 research scientists. During 2019, it established an AI Research Centre of Excellence focusing on Document Intelligence – DICE – that constitutes a synergy between Ernst&Young and NCSR Demokritos. Being the first of its kind AI research centre in Greece, DICE aims to become a world class reference centre in AI for business documents. IIT is becoming a hub for Artificial Intelligence (AI), with its many EU and national R&D projects, the recently established international Center of Excellence on Document Intelligence, the House of Classical Greek Ideas, the Time Machine initiative, the AI & Telecommunications project ARIADNE, the joint projects with other NCSR labs exploiting AI in nanotechnology, material science, biosciences, nuclear fusion. Also, through the two Joint MSc programmes on Data Science and AI; through the ahedd Digital Innovation Hub on AI, Big Data and IoT, the provision of AI services, the submission of AI patents.

AI and physical sciences

NCSR "Demokritos" is a strongly multi-disciplinary center, with its 5 Institutes, covering a variety of research domains from Informatics and Telecommunications, to Biosciences, Nuclear Physics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Radiology, Energy and Safety. This rich environment produces numerous interactions, where Informatics and AI come to strengthen other disciplines, but also to evolve through them (e.g. through Quantum Computing or Nanotechnology). Also, NCSR "Demokritos" contributes to a number of national infrastructures that produce, together with other research efforts and funded research projects in the premises, a significant amount of data: experimental data, simulation data, sensor and IoT measurements. The analysis of this wealth of data, its efficient modeling, its sharing and reuse through AI applications, can empower future research, and foster innovation, as can be proven by the variety of high-tech start-ups which have emerged in the Lefkippos tech park, hosted in NCSR "Demokritos" premises. Last, but not least, NCSR "Demokritos" pioneered in the national landscape by mobilizing the joined Natural Sciences and AI community through a related workshop in the SETN 2020 Conference on AI All the above make NCSR Demokritos a powerful cross-fertilization field between Natural Sciences and AI, also connecting research with innovation.


Dr Xenia Ziouvelou
Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), NCSR Demokritos
Dr Vangelis Karkaletsis
Director of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), NCSR Demokritos
Dr George Giannakopoulos
Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), NCSR Demokritos
Alexandros Nousias
Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), NCSR Demokritos
Dr Stasinos Konstantopoulos
Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), NCSR Demokritos
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About IIT

The Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications (IIT) is characterised by its focus on Intelligent Computing and Networking, ranging from network equipment and communication protocols, to multimodal content analysis with Artificial Intelligence techniques, and, finally, the application of integrated solutions in multiple applications fields.

IT heavily invests on research around Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, 5G networks, with significant results on each field. Its close ties with industrial stakeholders and particularly innovative start-ups and spinoffs of Lefkippos Technology Park further facilitate the rapid incorporation of research results in products and services with huge financial and social impact.

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