Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the first step toward the redevelopment of XRO.PEI industrial plant to create the first Greek innovation hub during a visit to the site on Wednesday.
The site, which sat unused for decades, will house research centers and startups after its transformation, made possible through a Public and private-Sector Partnership.
"All major capitals have a similar innovation hub and the space here lends itself for this, both due to its history and due to its geography and due to its position. I believe that in some years, when we compare what there was and what is going to be created, we will have every reason to be satisfied that we pressed ahead so quickly with this flagship effort in the area of innovation, which is essentially the bridge that our country must cross in order to conquer the future," Mitsotakis said.
The development ministry's business plan envisages an investment of 100 million euros that will help create 2,000 jobs.
Επί σχεδόν 40 χρόνια αυτός ο χώρος παρέμενε εγκαταλελειμμένος. Με την εκκίνηση της διαδικασίας για ανάδειξη αναδόχου γίνεται το πρώτο βήμα ώστε η παλιά «ΧΡΩΠΕΙ» να μετατραπεί στην Πολιτεία Καινοτομίας. Η επένδυση θα ανέλθει στα €100 εκ και θα δημιουργηθούν 2.000 θέσεις εργασίας. pic.twitter.com/MQGZRZyCwc
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) December 30, 2020
The creation of the new hub has the strategic goal of boosting the Greek economy and assisting its transition to a different production model, as well as helping promote Greece as a destination for innovation in southeastern Europe.
It will also help increase employment in highly specialised areas and thus reverse brain drain, while also encouraging the development of start-ups that can generate high added value.
The site has been disused since the plant ceased operating in the 1980s, after nearly a century of production.
The plan to reclaim it for current use was drawn up in less than 1.5 years.
Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis thanked the PM for his presence, as well as US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt.
"I think 2020 has been very exciting to see all of the growth and attention that the Greek start-up sector is getting in the United States. And I’m very excited about the prospect of being able to build further our U.S.-Greek partnership around this center," Pyatt said.
"So, this is a fantastic foundation and we’ve got some real momentum," he concluded.