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Athens launch of the Gianna Angelopoulos Programme for Science, Technology and Innovation at Cambridge by the British Ambassador

last modified Oct 25, 2019 12:27 PM

On Wednesday 23 October the British Ambassador Kate Smith CMG hosted the launch event of the Gianna Angelopoulos Programme for Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Cambridge.

The programme was presented by Mrs Gianna Angelopoulos, Professor Eilis Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations and Dr Nikos Nikiforakis, the Programme’s Director in the presence of Professor Andy Parker FInstP, CPhys, Head of Cambridge’s Department of Physics.

Based at the Maxwell Centre, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, the 5-year Programme will provide an internationally unique ecosystem of training, research and entrepreneurial activity. Its chief aim is to support the production of high-impact disruptive technologies through a comprehensive programme of world-leading research.

The Programme will nurture exceptionally talented early-career scientists, from postgraduate study and research to the successful commercialisation of their ideas, through a structured training and research programme enhanced by industrial collaboration and entrepreneurial activities.

An embedded Impact for Greece Programme will establish strong links with Greek academic institutions and industry, facilitating a two-way exchange of people and ideas with opportunities for postgraduate study and research targeted at early-career Greek researchers.

In her address British Ambassador Kate Smith CMG referred to the strong links between academia and business:

“Ground breaking research has defined University of Cambridge for centuries. Partnerships are the key to fund future programmes, attract the finest postgraduates and enable excellence. Partnerships between the University, and its Colleges; with the cluster of entrepreneurs and companies around our city; with NGOs and institutes across the globe. Each relationship is reciprocal, enriching the entire network and multiplying our ability to ensure that the University’s next discoveries will deliver—on a global scale.

GAPSTI initiative represents the very best of collaboration between the UK and Greece - education, entrepreneurship and collaboration have never been more important, and it is wonderful to see such a prominent leader in the Greek community establishing such a future-facing programme.”

Mrs Gianna Angelopoulos spoke of her vision for Greece’s significant human capital, i.e. the talented and promising young scientists.

“We want to support young scientists, bright, hard-working people who have excelled and whose professionalism is ready to take-off. To support them, so that they undertake research at the front line of scientific interest – but also where industry is in need of research input.

I am very happy that 15 Greek students have already been able to follow a course in high-performance computing at Cambridge, while SMEs are also participating in a programme designed to help them develop their organization’s managerial skills, setting them up to grow.

Such is our philosophy, a philosophy that one finds at the core of the Cambridge Cluster, based in excellence; that is for research and business to work hand in hand from the very start – putting advanced instruments at the disposal of the real economy.”

Professor Eilis Ferran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations, University of Cambridge noted:

«...the ties that bind us to our European friends must be reinforced, and the GAPSTI programme does exactly that, through exchanges of ideas, but equally importantly, through strengthening cultural understanding. GAPSTI enables all involved to make vital connections.»

Programme Director Dr Nikos Nikiforakis presented the Programme, its progress to date and its future plans and noted:
The Gianna Angelopoulos Programme for Science, Technology and Innovation will have impact of international standing and visibility. It will lead in the development of science and industrial collaboration, and will contribute to the next fifty years of the Cambridge Phenomenon.
The Programme has been received with great excitement by the scientific community of the University, and I am delighted to announce that participating Departments have already leveraged Programme funding by converting the three fixed term lectureships into tenured Associate Professorships.
In the same spirit, we are currently negotiating with industry (including Boeing and Schlumberger) on 1:1 matched research funding, thus doubling the Programme's PhD studentships.
GAPSTI will continue to drive collaborations with the potential for major societal impact."

More information about Gianna Angelopoulos Programme for Science, Technology and Innovation can be found on