1PRAXI Network (DRAGON-STAR coordinator) – Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH)


PRAXI Network  is specific unit of FORTH created from a strategic alliance of the Research and the Industrial world in Greece. It was established in 1991 by FORTH, one of the biggest research organizations in Greece, and the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), with the support of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT). PRAXI is one of the main NCP organisations in Greece, is the coordinator of the Greek Enterprise Europe Network consortium, and runs the liaison office for FORTH.

The International Cooperation Unit: Taking advantage of its international activities which were initially focused on Central Asia and on the Caucasus areas, PRAXI Network created a distinct unit in 2007 with the aim to utilize the accumulated experience and further expand its international role. The International Cooperation Unit hosts the Greek International Cooperation National Contact Point (INCO NCP) for the 6th and 7th Framework Programme (FP6, FP7) since 2002.

The International Cooperation Unit has developed strong experience in managing innovation related projects in third countries around the world. Activities and services provided include twinning and staff exchange schemes, as well as personnel training in innovation related topics such as the EU Framework Programs, Technology Transfer and Spin-Off creation.

Contact: Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, Coordinator, epaminondas@help-forward.gr


2. CECO  (China-European Union Science & Technology Cooperation Promotion Office) – China Science and Technology Exchange Center(CSTEC)

CECO is established in 2001, which is a non-profit organization specialized in offering consultation services and guidance to Chinese research institutions, enterprises, companies and scientists for the participation in the EU Framework Program.

CECO has been consistently supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the EU RTDI as well as EU Delegation to China in Beijing. Over past 10 years, CECO’s commitment in the promotion of relevant EU Framework Program information in China has seen more and more Chinese participation in EU Framework program and increasing cooperation between European scientists and their Chinese counterparts.

CECO acts as a unique NCP organization at national level in China. As the first professional organization of its kind in China, CECO established 6 regional contact points and some thematic contact points of EU FP across China with well-trained staff to implement its mandates.

Meanwhile, CECO enjoys close partnerships with regional S&T Commissions and Exchange Centers. Regional S&T Commissions and S&T Exchange Centers, directed by MOST, are the two large networks in China responsible for the administration of regional S&T resources. As an office in the China Science and Technology Exchange Center(CSTEC), CECO is able to access to and make use of these two large S&T network of China for its good.

Contact: Dong Keqin, Email: dongkq@cstec.org.cn


3. APRE (Agency for the Promotion of European Research)


APRE  is a non-profit research organisation, created upon the joint initiative of the Italian Ministry of Research and the European Commission in 1989, grouping together more than 100 member organisations, including both public and private research centres, industries, industrial associations, chambers of commerce, science parks and 50 universities, with the main objective to promote the participation on national and European RTD programmes. APRE received in 2001 the Quality Certification for its Project, training and promotion activities regarding research programmes (ISO EN 9001:2000). During its 20 years of experience, APRE has been participating in several projects (about 90) co-financed by the European Commission (DG Research and DG Enterprise). A renamed experience in training activities on several topics from project writing, project evaluation, valorisation of results, IPR and innovation issues (courses, workshops, info-days and seminars) complete its skills.

Coming from the Third EC Framework Programme, as well the subsequent ones (FP4, FP5 and FP6) and now in the Seventh Framework Programme, APRE has been appointed by the Italian Ministry of Research and the European Commission as host organization of the Italian National Contact Points for all the themes and sectors, as well as expert of the Information, Communication Technology Thematic group in the CIP Programme by the Ministry of Innovation and Technologies.

APRE has a deep knowledge of the International Cooperation sector thanks to the projects where is the coordinator (INCO-NET Projects: ENLACE (Central America), EUCARINET (Caribbean); ACCESS4EU Projects: Canada, India and Mexico, WP leader and partner in INCO-NET Projects: PACENET (Pacific), WBC INCO-NET (Western Balkan Countries); BILAT Projects: China, India, Mexico, USA, Canada, Egypt and Argentina; ACCESS4EU Projects: South Africa, USA. Moreover, APRE has been nominated by the Italian Ministry of Research as Italian National Contact Point for EU-Africa partnership 8.

Contact: Mrs Monique Bossi, Bossi@apre.it


4. United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST)


The United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), founded in Macau in 1992, is one of the  fifteen research and training institutes and programmes of the  United Nations University (UNU).  Over the years, the  Institute has brought some 500 young researchers and lecturers from 50 countries – mostly developing countries  – to Macau. Many of them have become leading computer scientists and chief software engineers in their home countries after working and learning with the faculty of the Institute. UNU-IIST has a strong record of diverse contributions in the areas of Formal Methods in Software Engineering and in E-Governance.  Through its significant contributions in research, education, policy support, and capacity building, UNU-IIST has established itself as a leader in championing the use of ICT to serve the needs of developing countries.

Mission & Vision:

Our Vision

UNU-IIST will become the pre-eminent academic and research center and a valued resource within the United Nations for enabling and promoting the use of Information and Communication Technology to support a more Sustainable Development. It aims to be an intellectual focal point that attracts the top, most innovative minds in research and teaching, and trains students to become leaders of change.

Our Mission

The Institute’s mission is to further the development and application of Information and Communication  Technology to address the pressing global challenges of  Sustainable Development that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Members States through education, research, capacity development, and policy support.

Contact: Prof. Peter Haddawy, Director,  haddawy@iist.unu.edu

5. SPI


SPI is a private consulting company created in 1997 as an active centre of national and international networks. Since its inception, SPI has become a leading promoter of linkages between national and international public and private organizations, private sector companies, and science and technology institutions. SPI embraced the mission of managing projects that promote regional, national and international development, stimulate R&D, innovation and knowledge management and encourage internationalization and creation of strategic partnerships and business relationships. SPI´s services are dedicated to specific markets and clients with different needs, including European Commission, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and National Governments, among others. In addition to Portugal (Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra and Azores), SPI has offices in Spain (Santiago de Compostela), China (since 1999, Beijing and Macau), the USA (Washington D.C. and California), a direct representation in Brussels through EBN, as well as operations in Brazil and Africa. SPI currently employs more than 60 full-time experienced consultants worldwide from different backgrounds. With an international network, SPI has accumulated extensive experience in coordinating and operating EC projects related to bilateral S&T research and innovation between EU and China.

Contact: Mrs Sara Medina, saramedina@spi.pt




Emetris was founded in 1996 offering services in the fields of: Business planning for New Technology Enterprises, Funding: start up, technological projects, Marketing of Technological Products, Development of strategic planning and Futures Studies activities. The company provides a wide range of services with close collaboration with the most important Research – Educational Institutions of the country. Furthermore, Emetris SA has experience in Marketing Analysis, Human Resources, Project Management, Quality Management and Environmental Impact Assessment

Experience: Emetris SA has a long track record of different projects in Research, Development & Technology sectors, as well as several projects related with Strategy and Innovation, while a flagship case was the management of the “Thermi” business incubator for a period of 4 years. In the last years, the company has invested heavily in the field of Futures Studies with several future studies at a national level but also with the establishment of the Millennium Project node in Greece. The Millennium Project was founded in 1996 after a three-year feasibility study with the United Nations University, Smithsonian Institution, Futures Group International, and the American Council for the UNU. It is now an independent non-profit global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. The Millennium Project manages a coherent and cumulative process that collects and assesses judgments from over 2,500 people since the beginning of the project selected by its 40 Nodes around the world. The work is distilled in its annual “State of the Future”, “Futures Research Methodology” series, and special studies.

Contact: Mr Stavros Mantzanakis, sm@emetris.gr


7 . China-EU Center for Information & Communication Technologies in Agriculture (CICTA) – China Agricultural University (CAU)


China Agricultural University (CAU) is one of the top national key universities in the People’s Republic of China. It is the leading and oldest agricultural higher education and research in China. CAU is top 20 university in China.

The China-EU Center for Information & Communication Technologies in Agriculture (CICTA), China Agricultural University is an international science & technology cooperation base established in 2009 by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

In recent years, the Center has undertaken more than 50 national and provincial research projects, including the National Science and Technology Planning Project, National “863” Plan, National Natural Science Foundation of China,. In addition, the Center has undertaken 17 international collaborative projects, including the EU Asia IT & C projects, EU FP6, FP7 projects, Key Project for International Science and Technology Co-operation, and Bilateral International Co-operation projects, now 2 FP7 projects are on going. The Center has established substantial cooperative relationships with more than 20 foreign universities and research institutions, such as Wageningen University of Netherlands, University of Illinois in the US, Queensland University in Australia, Rome University in Italy, the Fraunhofer Research Institute in Germany, and the Gent University in Belgium, etc.

CICTA mainly focus on the information and communication technologies in agriculture, it has 4 groups: Space information technologies, advanced sensor technologies, information processing and system technologies. The group for space information technologies mainly focus on crop growth monitoring, forecasting, agro-ecological environment and land resource monitoring, disaster monitoring. The research approaches are combinations of both theoretic methodology and application approaches, and integrations of innovation and development.

CICTA has more than 20 research bases distributed in 20 provinces all over China and have good relationship with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and informatization, Ministry of Environment Protection, Ministry of Science and Technology.


 8. SEZ (Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)


 Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum of the Steinbeis Innovation gGmbH belongs to the Steinbeis Foundation for Economic Promotion. The Foundation runs approximately 700 so-called “Technology Transfer Centres” mainly in Baden-Württemberg, but also in other regions in Germany and Europe. The Technology Transfer Centres are mostly attached to research organisations in order to guarantee close connection between R&D and industry. More than 3,000 researchers, consultants and engineers carry out more than 20,000 contracts per year to improve strategy, product and process development of companies. SEZ was founded in March 1990 and was a member of the European network of Innovation Relay Centres (IRC) since 1995 as well as head of the IRC consortium responsible for Baden-Württemberg, Thuringia and North of Switzerland. Since 2008 SEZ has been a member of the regional European Enterprise Network (EEN) consortia. SEZ is also official National Contact Point (NCP) for SMEs in the region of Baden Württemberg. The core activities of Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum are:

  • assist organisations to participate in European R&D projects,
  • support the management of international research projects
  • provide assistance in the exploitation of research results,
  • promote transnational technology transfer,
  • foment and facilitate the cooperation between research organisations and companies, and
  • stimulate and support the innovation process in industrial companies.

SEZ has also considerable experience in organising workshops, conferences and brokerage events for technology transfer as well as finding partners for RTD-proposals. Furthermore, SEZ has a vast experience in the implementation of surveys and analyses (e.g. SWOT, Roadmapping, Foresight, market studies, etc.), whose results can be collated in the form of handbooks, recommendation papers or reports.

 Contact: Mr Eduardo Hermann, E-Mail: herrmann@steinbeis-europa.de


Eurelations logo

EUrelations  is a service company dedicated to contribute to good relationships through scientific cooperation. It supports high-tech SMEs, the industry and universities in their activities in research & development. EUREL was established in 2005. Team members are former scientists and people from economy, trained in project management and equipped with intercultural skills. They have been advising the first consortia led by Swiss coordinators in FP6 and 7 after the full association to EU-FP in 2004. EUREL finds customized R&D partners for collaboration between the industry and private/public research institutions, identifies suitable funding programs for its customers, assesses technologies and evaluates chances for success. The training to transfer know-how for successful participation in funding schemes is an integral part of the company’s activities. Its board members are experts and external auditors of national and international public R&D funding agencies. EUREL has participated in several FP6 and FP7 projects, not only as management partner, but also involved in studies on SME participation in FP programs (KAPPA-Health) to provide input for EU policy making. On national level EUREL hosts the Swiss office of the joint technology platform ManuFUTURE since three years and supports approximately 20-30 manufacturing related R&D-projects each year. The company is based in Technopark Zürich, an incubation centre with over 200 companies and excellent facilities.

EUREL contacts with China were established through various activities, one of the them was the organization of the First International Conference on Research Funding in 2009 (see also www.bigband.ethz.ch).

Contact: Dr. Andrea Degen, contact@eurelations.com


10. Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (FING)


The Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (FING) was founded in 1915 for the primary purpose of defending the moral, economic and professional interests of its members. It is the most important independent industrial association in Northern Greece, and one of the first business service providers in the country to receive ISO 9001:2000 certification. Since its foundation, FING has campaigned for the development of industry and – more generally – for the economic, social and cultural progress of the country, particularly in the regions of Macedonia, Thrace and Epirus.

FING undertakes a wide range of initiatives and activities intended to: focus on the industrial development of Northern Greece in the context of the growth of the whole national economy; foster the active involvement of businesses from Northern Greece in developing partnerships and collaborations at international level in general, and with S.E. Europe and the Black Sea regions in particular; encourage open dialogue on a variety of business issues, particularly through the interactive online forum available on the Business Dialogue Panel website, which was specifically created for this purpose.

The FING Enterprise Europe Network – Hellas centre was set up in 2008 as a continuation of the Euro Info Centre (EIC), and its specific mission is to provide regular, up-to-date information and support to FING members in particular, and the business community of Northern Greece in general, on topical European matters (e.g. policy, legislation, funding programmes, business co-operation and public procurement opportunities). The services provided by this business support centre include: organization of and participation in events on topics of business interest; organization of and participation in business delegations and business matchmaking events; regular dissemination of relevant business information; dissemination of European public consultations via the Business Dialogue Panel website.

Contact: Dr Katerina Tzitzinou, k.tzitzinou@sbbe.gr


11.University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)


The University of Nottingham is ranked in the top 100 universities in the World (and within the top 10 universities in the UK) and is considered to be the UK’s only truly international university with campuses in the UK, Malaysia and P.R. China.

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-Foreign university established in China with the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Education. Since its foundation in 2004, the university has grown rapidly and currently has over 5000 students with ambitions for further expansion.

UNNC is divided into eight divisions (including Geographical Sciences, Engineering, International Studies, International Communications, Business and Computer Science).

Contact: Dr Odette Paramor, Odette.Paramor@nottingham.edu.cn

Associated Partners


logo_eupicThe EU Project Innovation Centre (EUPIC) is a non-profit organization established in Chengdu (China) in 2006 under the Asia Invest II Project, a European Union initiative promoting and supporting business cooperation between the EU and Asia. EUPIC is a comprehensive platform promoting trade, investment and technical cooperation between the EU and China. The Center is actively supported by the European Commission, the Torch Centre, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government, the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and the Management Committee of Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone.

EUPIC became and associated partner of DRAGON-STAR at December 2013.