Wed, 01 September, 2021
TWI Hellas was founded in Athens in 2018 to expand the influence of the TWI Innovation Network (TWIIN) across Europe. By early 2019, it was fully operational and straight away set about taking a deep dive into technology, research and business through assisting European SMEs, research and technology organisations (RTOs) and academic institutions with an affinity to industrial research and development (R&D). Today, TWI Hellas is a valuable contributor to TWIIN, TWI Industrial Members and the wider engineering community by spearheading pioneering technologies development with the potential for commercialisation.
TWI Hellas’ mission is to become a leading European innovation hub. Its research efforts are focused on exploiting technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, machine learning and automation, with the ultimate aim of driving technological and scientific innovation to the maximum in order to effectively serve the needs of both industry and society at large.
To realise its ambitions, the TWI Hellas team seizes the opportunities for innovation offered by European Union (EU) programmes, including Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. This entails forming consortia comprising SMEs, RTOs, universities, and other public and private organisations, then jointly working to produce project proposals used as bids to apply for EU funding. When a bid is successful, it provides funding to facilitate the submitted project, which will be based on a particular technology corresponding to industrial needs. Since its inception to the middle of 2021, TWI Hellas has supported over 70 consortium partners, contributed to achieving €43.2m of EU public funding for seven collaborative projects, and built up its staff headcount to 24.
TWI Hellas’ current projects are:
- SocketSense (ICT: Flexible and Wearable Electronics, H2020) – a lower limb, sensor-based socket combining fabricated lightweight, flexible, printed and multi-functional electronic sensors with advanced QTSS material, employing AI algorithms and constructed using an advanced biomechanical analytics mode
- FleX-RAY (FET Open, H2020) – a flexible X-ray imaging detector that employs single-photon avalanche photodiodes and scintillating fibres while positioning the hardware and electronic components far from the beam path
- SoftGrip (ICT: Research and Innovation Boosting Promising Robotics Applications, H2020) – smart farming project employing cutting-edge technologies, advanced fabrication methods and synthetic self-healing materials to develop soft robotic grippers for delicate produce harvesting
- Sleekship (Fast Track to Innovation, H2020) – a semi-autonomous underwater Vehicle (SAV) that holds together a hyperspectral camera and a cavitation-based cleaning tool to fight marine biofouling
- Kyklos 4.0 (Digital Manufacturing Platforms for Connected Smart Factories, H2020) – an innovative, circular manufacturing ecosystem based on a novel circular production system and AI-based technologies enhanced with production mechanisms and algorithms
- Odin (ICT: Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies - Information and Communication Technologies, H2020) – the empowerment of workers through AI, cybernetics and bionics, and the development of autonomous and collaborative robots, as well as the enhancement of technological infrastructure in medical locations
In the course of 2021, TWI Hellas has continued to build on its position as a leading research and innovation portal to Europe. It contributes to the development and organisation of diverse EU funded projects that can revolutionise healthcare, evolve agricultural methods, promote energy sustainability, assist conservation in the marine industry and more. Simultaneously, strong partnerships are being established with the University of Essex and the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, and the University of West Attica in Greece, forming a research alliance. Towards the future, TWI Hellas will continue to enable the advancement of disruptive technologies as well as work to expand its UK and European partnerships.
Panagiotis Chatzakos, Regional Manager, who is responsible for TWI Hellas and its team, said, “I am delighted with the progress of TWI Hellas since its establishment in 2018. Some of its achievements to date include strengthening the Greek and European economies by channelling scientists, engineers and technologists into industry and academia and boosting the presence and influence of SMEs and universities within the industry.” Adding “It is also important to help SMEs increase their turnover and profit by supporting them with R&D while improving production processes and working environments. Ultimately, our efforts are aimed at lowering costs, increasing revenue, enhancing safety, improving efficiency in industry and bettering the lives of the people working in it.”