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The development of strong links between Research and Educational organizations and companies is essential in the process of technological change. Production of products and services aimed at the market and the incorporation of innovation in entrepreneurship are the only way to achieve economic and technological development and progress. Innovation, as a result of research activities and of knowledge transfer leads to introduction of new products or to optimization of existing products and it is considered,rightly, the necessary ground on which national and regional economies built the increasein productivity and the optimization of competitiveness.

The organization that can bridge the gap between research, development and innovation (R&D+I) and companies is an Innovation Centre which should support researchers and bring them in contact with companies.The Industrial Liaison Offices in Europe are operating only for the past 30 years while in Canada and US there had been always strong links between research and companies.

The number of Liaison offices in American Universities increased dramatically especially after it was allowed to Universities and Public Research Centres to exploit their patents and proceed with private funding of their research. Many studies have shown that there are links between innovation and development aswell with the cooperation of research organizations and companies, where the partnerslearn from each other and from their interaction. From the early 80s a new system of technological innovation surfaced where various cities and regions developed anenvironment conducive to the development and dissemination of technological innovations (e.g. California’s Silicon Valley). In reality, ideas for innovations are created from many sources including research, the relationships between client and supplier, market monitoring and competition monitoring, cooperation with funding agencies and technology transfer organizations. The capabilities for absorption of innovations within the companies are equally important, besides capabilities for innovative product development. All the above conclusions denote the very significant role and the importance ofinnovation and they make innovation an integral part of a competitive productive economy. And specifically for the Greek industry which lags technological competencies,the creation of an environment of support of development and of absorption of innovation becomes more than critical.

The Innovation Centre of Crete (ICC) recognizing the multidimensional character of innovation, the internal problems and characteristics of Greek companies of the primary sector and their technological needs, especially on issues like environmental protectionand preservation of quality of local products, is the right answer and can fill this gap.

The ICC support the development and promotion of innovation focusing on managementof natural resources, through the technology demonstration actions, the development of spin-offs and on offering liaison services and technology transfer through the network of Liaison Offices of the Research and Educational Centres of Crete.

In this effort ICC will integrate, at the best of its capabilities, all the relevant studiesperformed on development and innovation issues and will exploit all relevant results sofar, which have been produced by the many Cretan organizations, like for example the results from RITTS, INNOREGIO, CRINNO – Creta, an Innovative Region, the RegionalInnovation Pole of Crete (i4Crete) as well any results and conclusions from the otherGreek Regions. In addition it will try its best to exploit fully all existing infrastructure ofinnovation support, outside the Liaison Offices, like KETA of Crete, the Science andTechnology Park of Crete, the four Chambers of Commerce of Crete, the Industrial Areaof Chania, and the Incubator of Chania. This will be accomplished through a series ofactions within the publication and promotional plan of ICC. It is worth noting that ICC,by focusing on management of natural resources and on primary sector, it acts complementary with all mentioned structures of support of innovation andentrepreneurship.

 

The objective of a feasibility study is to answer three basic questions:

  • WHY should the proposed project be realized?
  • WHAT does it PERTAINS?
  • HOW will it be implemented?

Why should the proposed project be realized?

The main reasons necessitating the realization of the proposed project are:

  • The need for technology transfer from the research organizations of Crete to the private sector and thus contribute to the local economic development.
  • The need for rational management of the natural resources of Crete so that the continuous degradation of the Environment due to anthropogenic activities in the agricultural sector.
  • The need to have local entrepreneurs to use environmental solutions that have been developed by the research organizations in Crete and thus implement financiallysustainable environmental solutions in the primary sector.
  • The need to employ innovative environmental policies and technologies so that the effect of the upcoming desertification is reduced.
  • The need to protect the natural resources of Crete from the exploitation ofintermediaries in the world market, e.g., olive oil, DOC products, local varieties of agricultural products, etc.

What does the project pertain?

The primary objective of this proposal is the establishment in the city of Chania (Crete) ofthe Innovation Centre of Crete (ICC) emphasizing the management of natural resourcesand in particular, sustainable agricultural development, tackling of the environmentalproblems created by the primary sector and, the valorization of agricultural products andbyproducts through the creation of high value-added products. In addition, it is the aim ofthis proposal to provide pilot scale demonstration of existing innovative research findingsby the research organizations of Crete and their dissemination to the private sector. Thecentre will act as a liaison between the research institutions and the private sector fortechnology transfer of innovative products and services related to the primary sector.