Title: Challenges for R&I policy-making in Greece
- Challenge 1: Stimulate innovation in an improved framework environment
The framework conditions for innovation are not favourable. Venture capital expenditures bottomed to only 1% of the EU average in 2016 (EIS 2017), the country fell one position in doing business in 2017 (from 60 to 61) and another 6 positions in 2018 (67 among 190 countries). In the ease of getting credit is ranked 72nd. (World Bank GII). A new Fund-of-Funds programme was launched in December 2016 that is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) with a total budget of €260m. However, financial instruments are unlikely to be enough to encourage innovation and private R&D spending. Any measure to support private R&I investment will only have lasting effects if bank lending, equity supply, and company liquidity pick up again.
- Challenge 2: Transform brain drain into talent mobility and repatriation
Based on the latest EUROSTAT data the flow of emigration has more than doubled in the period 2009-2015. More than two out of three of the post-2010 emigrants are university graduates while 25% of the total outflow concerns people who hold postgraduate degrees or are graduates of medical and polytechnic schools. The brain-drain issue is recognised as a key challenge that needs appropriate measures. The recently (2016) established National Foundation for Research and Innovation (NFRI-ELIDEK) aims to address this challenge.
- Challenge 3: Strengthen specialisation and improve RIS3 implementation
RIS3 strategies have been developed both at the national and regional levels following international practice. However, the priority areas were defined very widely instead of focusing investments on few and well-defined areas reflecting specialisation. The wide consultation process that was applied along with the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process was very much appreciated and led to increased engagement of stakeholders. At the national level 8 calls have been launched. At the regional level eight out of the thirteen regions have published 1 or 2 calls until now. Delays due to the need to comply with the new State Aid rules and the obligation to develop an electronic management platform for each call for proposals have been reported by regions as the main bottleneck.