Despoina Chalvatzi

Thursday, 28 January 2021

35th SciFY Academy | Assistive Technologies and Education

The month of September is dedicated by SciFY to Assistive Technologies and Education. In that context, SciFY organized the webinar entitled  Assistive Technologies and Education on Friday 25 of September at 18.00. More than 100 participants attended the online event.

In more detail, Professor George Kouroupetroglou, of the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications - University of Athens, Director of Speech and Accessibility Laboratory, Graduate (MSc) Studies and Doctoral (PhD) Studies and head of the Accessibility Unit for Students with Disabilities spoke to us about the current situation in our country regarding the education of people with disabilities and referred to the most important tools currently used.

Afterwards, Vassilis Giannakopoulos, Marketing and Social Impact Manager of SciFY, referred to the projects implemented by SciFY on Assistive Technologies for Education, while also presented us the specific tools and actions SciFY is utilizing.

Finally, Dr. Harald WeberChairman of the Board, Deputy Scientific Director “Institut für Technologie und Arbeit e.V. in his speech he explained to us how technologies can support or even create obstacles on education without exclusions. There was also a discussion about whether assistive technologies help increase inclusion and we tried to determine whether pedagogy should ultimately be given more weight than technology or vice versa.

In order not to lose any future SciFY Academy you can register here so that you are immediately informed about our next seminars.

Thursday, 09 July 2020

34η SciFY Academy | Artificial Intelligence: Institutional Framework & Ethics

The month of July is dedicated by SciFY and IIT to Artificial Intelligence (AI). In that context, SciFY in collaboration with  IIT organised the webinar entitled Artificial Intelligence: Institutional Framework & Ethics on Thursday 2 July at 17.00. More than 90 participants attended the online event, which is available to view here:

Speakers in the discussion include Dr. Xenia Ziouvelou, IIT’s Researcher & Innovation Officer who introduced us to the international institutional strategic framework regarding AI, through her speech: “Artificial Intelligence: Ethical & Strategic Perspectives”.

Moreover, Dr. Lilian Mitrou, Professor at the University of the Aegean and President of the Institute for Privacy Law, Data Protection and Technology (European Public Law Organisation) explained AI’s legal and regulatory implications with her speech on: “The “regulation” of Artificial Intelligence or the Collingridge dilemma”.

Finally, Dr. Dimitris Kyriazanos, Researcher at IIT in his talk, “Artificial Intelligence and Security in Research: The European Approach to Innovation & Confidence” addressed how the emergence of AI, as one of the disruptive technologies, comes with significant capabilities and benefits for European citizens’ protection and security.

In order not to lose any future SciFY Academy you can register here so that you are immediately informed about our next seminars.

Friday, 10 April 2020

With the purpose of engaging with diverse stakeholders for testing and validating its research, SHAPES conceived a set of eight Dialogue Workshops throughout 48 months of activity.

The 1st dialogue workshop is a one-day event happening online on 12th May 2020 and intended to gather SHAPES partners, academics, students, NGOs and many others.

The Workshop will unveil the project’s preliminary findings and in particular:

  • The SHAPES projects and its key messages
  • Ethics requirements for digital solutions
  • Co-creation of think tank for European Integrated Care
  • Foresight exercise: thinking about future technologies for the users of the future
  • Use cases, personas and scenarios

While the morning will be dedicated to present the above mentioned topics (YouTube videos), the afternoon will give space for discussion in smaller groups. Each group will get to discuss each theme, therefore 4 workshops will run parallel on the Zoom platform.

The workshop is organised by one of the partners – Palacký University in Olomouc, with the support of AGE Platform Europe.

From Tuesday 14 April 2020, follow the various SHAPES social media: news, debates and polls will be posted in order to prepare the participants to the dynamic interactions of the Dialogue Workshop.

Links to presentations (YouTube) and workshops (Zoom) will be provided to the registered participants. Language and subtitles: English and Czech.

Register your interest to participate before 29th April 2020 here:

For information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

It all started with a question some time ago. “How do you know if an idea is good, before it is implemented?”

We have heard this question many times in SciFY. We have discussed with many people their own ideas. And we have found out that, for many people, having an idea is very exciting, but its assessment is an unknown territory.
“How do I know it will work?” is usually the good question. It shows you want to work on it.
Unfortunately, there are people who keep describing “their idea” and focusing on its implementation, and never bother to do their homework: discuss with end users, understand the problems they have or their aspirations…
Surprising as it may be, it is much, much more common than you think.

So, what should you do?

Here is a short video on Assessing Ideas and the standalone presentation.

Enjoy, and please contact us for your comments or if you want to innovate.

Vassilis Giannakopoulos
Marketing and Social Impact Manager


Wednesday, 27 May 2020

What is Technology Transfer. How does it influence our lives?

Tech Transfer is changing our lives. Technology and Artificial Intelligence change our lives in more ways than we can imagine. We need to understand it. We need to use it to make our lives better, our organizations more successful
For us in SiFY, “Technology Transfer is connecting 2 worlds: Society’s needs with research results and technological breakthroughs so that created Solutions meet real Needs in a Sustainable way for all Players”

So, here is a short video on our understanding of Technology Transfer.

Enjoy, and please contact us for your comments or if you want to innovate.

Vassilis Giannakopoulos
Marketing and Social Impact Manager


Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Check out our short video on the issue here

  • How can a University / Research Institute see its research applied?
  • How can a company tap into the technological breakthroughs happening now in Research Institutes?
  • How can Not for Profit Organizations solve social problems using the power of Information Technology?
  • How can we, the citizens, understand the changes happening in our lives from tech breakthroughs happening in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Bioinformatics and have a say in how things change?

The answer is Human-centred Technology Transfer. Tech Transfer in a way that moves all of us forward, to an inclusive and better world, instead of a dystopia.

In SciFY, we have been working on Technology Transfer and Innovation for some years now. We have created fantastic collaborations with experts in the fields where we are trying to make an impact: IT, Artificial Intelligence, Assistive Technologies, e-democracy, Civil Society, Technology Transfer, Education.

Nobody can be an expert in so many, so different areas. But our business model has allowed us to tap into expertise of different people and organizations and to orchestrate innovative, impactful projects. This has brought very real, very encouraging results: Our Social Impact exceeds 110,000 people around the world. We have transformed technological breakthroughs into real products that are being used by thousands of users. We have been awarded for our work.

But we stay humble, because we know it is always teamwork that brings these results, work beyond organizational boundaries.

So, we decided to start sharing this experience and knowledge on Innovation / Technology Transfer beyond our organization. In this series, we will briefly discuss issues such as Tech Transfer, Assessing Ideas, Building Support Networks, Staying committed to your cause etc.

We thus hope that we will help innovative people around us to step up and start innovating in an open, collaborative, sustainable and impactful way.

Vassilis Giannakopoulos
Marketing and Social Impact Manager


Tuesday, 05 May 2020

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, Dr. George Giannakopoulos, Co-Founder and CEO of SciFY participated in the first meeting of the "DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI".

DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI is an initiative of the European Commission (AI Watch) and the European DIGITAL SME Alliance where they have set up an experts team which consisting of almost 40 Artificial Intelligence experts representing companies from all over Europe.

From Greece, SciFY and our own George Giannakopoulos were also selected to contribute to this focus group. Specifically, the goals of the focus group are: 

  • Monitoring the development, adoption and impact of AI by companies
  • Provide immediate feedback on their policies and regulatory needs

A series of regular meetings are planned over a period of 3 to 5 years, where the focus group will gain a better understanding of how small and medium-sized businesses adopt and use AI. The team will examine how the introduction of tools and processes related to AI changes the international business environment. In addition, it will examine the social and economic implications of these changes (eg on skills, recruitment and relationships between employers and employees).

The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC), which coordinates AI Watch, aims to work with the focus group to understand the adoption, use and impact of Artificial Intelligence and related technologies robotics, automation, mechanical learning, etc.). At the same time, the team will formally discuss more current issues. For example "how AI can help the fight against COVID-19". The European DIGITAL SME Alliance will work with Artificial Intelligence experts to develop position and policy documents for AI from a business perspective.

See here more information on DIGITAL SME Focus Group on AI and the other companies that participate.

Tuesday, 03 December 2019

What an incredible joy! We are kicking off the EU project "SHAPES"! Will you ask us “what is this you guys?"

Hmmm… How can we describe in a few words a huge European 21 million euros project, in which 36 partners from 14 countries will work for 4 years to make it a reality? What has united us all (universities, companies, research centers, NGOs) under this umbrella?


Imagine a world where the elderly are not "parked" in a nursing home, they are not "burdens" in the health system, they are not treated by experts who see their problem individually, but…

  • they are active members of the community: they engage in community activities (active ageing)

  • their community provides as much care as possible in their home, not in the hospital

  • healthcare professionals focus on the patient (integrated care), instead of everyone acting independently

  • technology (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Mental Exercises, Robotic Systems ...) is specifically designed for them, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.

  • the elderly can to focus on what they can achieve with technology, instead of worrying about how it works

  • healthcare professionals and caregivers have at their disposal publicly available tools that they can use

  • all information, tools, and a support ecosystem are available online

Well, we want to make this world a reality. And with this work we begin the first big step.

How large is the target group? If we only talk about the elderly, numbers show that in 2017, almost one-fifth (19%) of the EU population was +65 years old. And that by 2060 there will be 151 million.

But we see it differently: They are not numbers; they are our grandparents, our parents, it will soon be us.

Let’s do this!


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

The joy and emotion are incredible!
How can you share the joy of a global award?
The Games for the Blind that we have created have been awarded by the Zero Project as one of the best practices in the world for innovation, impact and contribution to disability support!
Vassilis Giannakopoulos went to the United Nations building in Vienna, where he received the award in a room full of hundreds of assistive technologies experts from around the world!

Watch the video here.

But we didn't just stay there.

Vassilis presented Games For the Blind in an experiential workshop on inclusive education, and shared the experience in a special session, where he presented how Games for the Blind are evolving to meet needs in other areas, namely for older people and for people with dementia.
Special reference was made to how they will be used in the huge European SHAPES project to support smart and healthy ageing, in which SciFY participates.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Since a number of years, organisations active in vocational education and training (VET) throughout Europe try to become more inclusive, as to implement high quality education for all citizens. Recently, digitalisation gained relevance on their agenda as well, as it is considered the cornerstone of the digital transformation of EU business and society with the promise of an enormous growth potential for Europe. However, the digital transformation of VET proved itself to be far more complex than just to procure and use pieces of information and communication technology (ICT). Due to this complexity, VET organisations find themselves in the dilemma to either split their resources or drop one of their ambitious goals. The ERASMUS+ project EICON found a third option, discarding this “either-or” restriction, and identified synergies between inclusion and digitalisation in VET. First results to be used by VET organisations are now available. 

The project participants are convinced that there is no 'one best way' for any organisation / institution active in VET to increase its inclusive capacity with strategic use of ICT. Rather, each one needs to find its own solution that then fits perfectly to its respective situation and requirements. Therefore, the results of the EICON project aim to guide organisations / institutions through a thorough review process of its current set-up. This will be done by asking a series of questions, each single one directing the view to an essential area. These collections of questions constitute thematic checklists. Two checklists, one with a focus on “Pedagogy and Teaching / Learning Approaches” and a second with focus on “Technologies and Infrastructure”, have now been published by the project partners, further checklists (that all together will establish a toolbox) will follow during 2020. 

Each single checklist is a tool to be used internally by a group of VET stakeholders (e.g. teaching professionals, learners, management, representatives of the professions and subjects taught or of the labour market, administrative staff etc.). It is recommended that the checklist questions are discussed internally with those stakeholders, and then own conclusions based on the discussion results are drawn. By no means all checklist items need to be answered positively. However, if none of them is met, i.e. a certain ICT / digital media / digitalisation strategy does not address any of the checklist items, then it probably won't impact positively on the respective checklist topic. 

To view and download the most recent EICON checklists, please visit 

About the Project 

EICON’s main objective is to support organisations / institutions providing Vocational Education and Training (VET) to become more inclusive. In particular, the aim is to put the organisations as a whole in the focus, and not just education and training practice. Managers of these organisations / institutions are particularly in need for guidance on how to further develop their organisations, as they often have to work towards multiple aims simultaneously, i.e. inclusion usually is one among other aims. For different organisational areas the project elaborates, if and how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used as a lever / amplifier to increase the overall organisation’s inclusiveness. EICON is the acronym for ‘Enhancing inclusion capacity of educational organisations / institutions providing VET with information and communication technologies (ICT)’. The project runs from 1 November 2018 until 31 October 2020. 

The Partners 

Six partners from Germany, Portugal, Greece, Sweden and Finland have joined forces to elaborate practice-oriented recommendations. Partners come from organisations that provide VET (Ammattiopisto Live (FI) and Cooperativa para a Educação e Reabilitação de Cidadãos Inadaptados de Cascais – CERCICA (PT)), that support organisations / institutions that provide VET (Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten – SPSM (SE) and the National Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (EL)), that provide technology for VET organisations and individuals (EPISTIMI GIA SENA ASTIKI MI KERDOSKOPIKI ETAIRIA (EL)) and that support organisations in complex change processes (Institut für Technologie und Arbeit – ITA (DE); project coordinator). Further information can be found online: 

EICON is a Strategic Partnership in Vocational Education and Training, co-funded by the ERASMUS+ Program of the European Union under grant no 2018-1-DE02-KA202-005110. The European Commission support does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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