Afroditi Patroni holds a University Degree in Law (University of Athens, 1983) as well as a MSc. Degree in International and European Studies (University of Athens in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (2000). She is also a graduate of the National Faculty for the Public Administration (1990).
Mrs. Patroni is the Head of the International R&T Cooperation Directorate of the General Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT) with a long experience in International Cooperation. She coordinates and participates in all the activities of the Directorate’s Departments (European Union, Bilateral Cooperation and International Organizations, respectively) and is a member in Committees and Groups of Horizon 2020 and ESA
In 2005, Greece becomes the 16th Member State of the European Space Agency (ESA) beginning a new era in the national involvement in the space sector. Although without a strong basis in Space Technology and in Space Industry in the past, Greece and the General Secretariat for Research & Technology (GSRT) as the responsible body for the administration and funding of this participation, in cooperation with ESA, exploit ESA’s special measures for the support of the New Member States.
Under an Agreement between ESA and Greece, a significant percentage of the national contribution returns to the country to facilitate the Greek entities’ (mainly industry but also Universities and Research Institutes) involvement to the ESA world that is totally different than any other existing experiences. Three Calls for Ideas were announced under the main objective of collecting existing expertise and connecting it with the ESA technological priorities. The promising activities in various technological areas and by various “players” in Greece are presented.
Since 2011 and following the end of the Greece’s transitional period in ESA, several of the existing promising activities have further evolved under the close cooperation with the ESA Executive. Moreover, new ideas and new entities came up allowing new entries in the ESA environment, despite obstacles having arisen at the same period due to the acute and prolonged financial/budgetary crisis.
Also, since 2012, extraordinary ESA measures (Strategic Initiative) have been exploited so that the current interesting national technological expertise could be further supported concluding to an extremely satisfactory overall return to the country at the end of 2014.
Today, at the celebration of the 10 years of the Greek participation to ESA, a significant involvement of the Greek industry and the scientific community can be recorded with a strong perspective for the coming years. Despite current funding problems, certain technological areas and projects move forward, giving us the prospect for the years to come.