INTERVIEW: Federico Mena, CEO EIT Digital – Greece could become a digital economy innovation leader

The managing director of EIT Digital, Federico Menna, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA), said that Greece could emerge as an innovation leader in specific sectors of the digital economy, provided that the right investments are made and Greek startups are sufficiently supported, adding that the so-called “deep technology” is an exciting opportunity for the country, given the strong human talent graduating from Greek universities in the field of engineering.

The managing director of EIT Digital, a “child” of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) whose mission is to keep the EU at the cutting edge of digital innovation, spoke to ANA-MPA on the occasion of the organisation’s office opening in Thessaloniki, a city “with a thriving tech scene and a talented workforce,” as he said.

“The development of innovation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and financial technology (fintech) in Greece is certainly possible, given the country’s strong academic background in mathematics and computer science. Greece has a highly educated talent pool that could fuel fintech innovation, especially in areas such as blockchain, (digital) payments, regtech and insurtech,” he pointed out. He added that tourism also offers ample opportunities for innovation, as Greek startups could create innovative applications, services and data analysis tools to improve travel experiences and make various operations more efficient.

In addition, Greece’s strategic geographical location could contribute to the promotion of technological innovation in the field of logistics regarding fleet management, IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, product delivery optimisation, etc. “The shipping industry also provides opportunities , as could the agricultural sector, which could also benefit from innovations such as drone-based surveillance and precision agriculture. Finally, Greece’s focus on renewable energy and abundant solar and wind resources could make the country a hotspot for clean energy technology innovation. With the right investments and the support of startups, Greece can become a leader in innovation in these and other digital sectors,” the CEO of EIT Digital said, which has a portfolio of more than 250 deep tech companies in Europe (as an investor and partner), has supported the fundraising of over 1 billion euros for European scaleups and has facilitated the launch of several Greek startups, among which he singled out Oliveex, Nereid and Ozzy Robotics as some of the most promising.