|National Point of Contact|
Jun 2014-Jun 2018
Welcome to the national page of Greece! Do not hesitate to contact us for any queries, additional information, or even if you wish to communicate any upcoming events through the site!
From the very beginning of space activities, the importance of international cooperation was stressed out. It became clear that due the specificities of the space sector, better results are attained by collective efforts. Thus, small countries have also a role to play to the conduct of space research and to the implementation and financing of space programmes. As an active member of the international community, Greece participates to humanity’s exploratory, scientific and commercial utilization of space for peaceful purposes.
Overview of Greek Space Sector
With regards to Greek space-related activities, it can be said as of 2014 that the national space sector is new-born, but developing. Many Greeks have contributed substantially to space exploration efforts in the past after studying or working abroad, either in Europe or in the United States of America.
As a member State of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2005, the EU and other international organisations with competences on the space sector, Greece is fully aligned with the European Space Policy and participates in several space programmes and research undertakings. On the national level there is no authority acting independently, but efforts are being coordinated by the delegations to the aforementioned institutions.
Despite the challenges brought about by the financial difficulties of the country in the recent years, si-Cluster, a new-born Greek cluster of enterprises investing in space-related technologies has been running since 2012, aiming to increase in size and achieve a worldwide level of production standards.
Complementary to this, Greece seems to host a considerable number of young space enthusiasts and a significant amount of amateur organizations or clubs whose activity revolves around the aspects of space (for instance, amateur Astronomy Clubs exist in many cities). Many of the events connected to space or the knowledge spread into the public is driven through them.
As National Points of Contact (NPoC) of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), our primary goal is to create a general culture on the uses of space in everyday life, to raise awareness on the importance of space applications in telecommunications, earth observation and navigation systems and inform the public about opportunities for Greeks to participate in space-related projects, nationally or abroad. Moreover, we aim to increase collaboration between the newfound and developing commercial space sector in Greece, public efforts akin to Greece’s participation to ESA, academic space research, as well as amateur activities that increase awareness about space sciences. Most carnal to all of these actions is to establish effective, coordinated outreach actions to enhance the interest and knowledge of the Greek public in space and (equally important) to its present and future benefits on our life. And this is where SGAC can prove mostly helpful In support of this goal, we aspire to create a unique reference web site as a portal to all Greek space activities. This portal would be the place you go to look up any space-related initiative for those interested, it would cover a wide variety of subjects (from engineering and astronomy to space medicine, from education to space law and policy) and it would include links to other well-established Greek space web sites.
Space-Related Activities in Greece
Greece is a member State to many international organisations and institutions related to space, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), Eumetsat, and the European Union. As such, Greece participates to the space programmes of these institutions and to the establishment of the European Space Policy. Greek citizens are entitled to participate to events and workshops organised by these institutions, as well as to apply for jobs and internships. For more information, you can check the Greek internet page of ESA here.
Other than that, Greece establishes bilateral or multilateral relations with other states conducting national space programmes, such as the programme “Helios II”. The Greek space sector has recently made further progress by signing an agreement to produce its first ever engines for space. What is more, an ongoing collaboration with Israel has been established lately, with a view of know-how exchange.
Most public space-related efforts in Greece are run through GGET (Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology – ΓΓΕΤ, Γενική Γραμματεία Έρευνας και Τεχνολογίας). Find out more here (English and Greek version).
One can have a look at the most recent State-compiled text for a National Space Strategy here (in Greek only).
In late 2012, si-Cluster, the first-ever cluster of Greek space sector enterprises was formed (http://www.si-cluster.gr/en/). The si-Cluster has, among other initiatives, facilitated a professional visit to Israel endorsed by GGET, to further the collaboration and exchange of know-how of the two countries in matters concerning space industry and development.
A number of University Professors and students in Greece as well as independent researchers within the country and abroad are actually involved to research relevant to space. In general, Greek Astronomy Departments, Geology Departments, Chemistry Departments, Medicine Schools and Engineering Departments present with interest in space research. There is also a Laboratory for Space Materials and Applications in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Amateurs and Volunteers
There are many amateur and space enthusiast societies in Greece, not necessarily about “space” in general, but perhaps about more dedicated domains. A good example however is the Amateur Astronomer Club of Thessaloniki (OFA – Όμιλος Φίλων Αστρονομίας Θεσσαλονίκης, ΟΦΑ), which fosters seminars and activities for the general public not only about Astronomy, but about space in general (more at http://ofa.gr/). Similar amateur clubs that promote space sciences to the public exist in several Greek cities throughout the country.
Recent Events in Greece – 2014
Here are listed a few examples of space-related news and events in Greece during 2014:
- • Cretan space painting competition for children, carried out in March - April 2014, with the support of the Lunar and Planets Institute (LPI), the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and endorsed by the local authorities (KEPPEDIH-CAM). This event was an initiative of space architect Marianthi Liapi and more details (in Greek only) can be found here.
- • The Olympian Symposium on Star Formation international astrophysics conference was held in Katerini, near Mount Olympus, between 25 and 30 May 2014.
- • Innovative team from the Democretan University of Thrace in Xanthi gains attention for developing space internet protocols. More details (in Greek) can be found here.
- • ESA Athens meeting about the progress of the Copernicus (GMES) European satellite project and the creation of a data centre within Greece. More details can be read here.
- • Greek students achieved high ranking in ESA’s European CanSat competition. More details about the competition and its theme (in Greek only) can be seen here.
- • 8th PEEA – Panhellenic Amateur Astronomers’ Meeting (ΠΕΕΑ, Πανελλήνια Εξόρμηση Ερασιτεχνών Αστροναυτών), 25 - 28 July 2014 at Mount Elikonas (38.3089° Ν - 22.8276° Ε). This event includes theoretical seminars as well as practical stargazing under the clear skies. Camping on location is an option. More details available (in Greek and English) here.
- • NASA Astronaut Dr Scott Parazynski visits Greece to give a lecture entitled “SPACE: The Ultimate Leadership Challenge” on the 10th of July 2014, at Tavros, Attiki. The exact address of the venue is Cultural Centre “THEATRON”, Ellinikos Kosmos, 254 Peiraeus street, Tavros, Attiki (Athens). More details (in Greek only) can be found online
Here you can find some upcoming space-related events in Greece (last update / July 2014):
In June 2015 a presentation will be carried out by SGAC Greece at the Democritus institute concerning future opportunities for young people interested in space. There is an open invitation to attend and please feel free to contact the SGAC Greece NPoCs for more details.
For a list of other recurring space-related events in Greece, please click here.
Useful Web Links for the Young Generation in Greece
- ESA EduSpace Website
- ESA Educational brochure
- Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing (ISAARS)
- International Space University
- Institut du Droit de l’espace de des télécommunications
- SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) is an independent, student-based organization which promotes the exploration and development of space
- General Secretary for Research and Technology
- Presentation to the Greek Industry: European Space Industry Survey
- Greek delegates to ESA-SPC [PDF file]
- National Experts Committee for Space Research [PDF file]
- Working Group for Greece-ESA [PDF file]
- National Representatives to EU [PDF file]
- Summary of Event organized by the GSRT in order to inform the Greek community on the opportunities related to ESA programs. Athens, 13/12/2010