The permanent staff of URENIO is about 20 people, and external contract research personnel varies between 15 and 50 people. Qualifications of the permanent staff cover urban and regional planning, mechanical and chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, architecture, sociology and economics, applied mathematics and statistics.


Nicos Komninos is currently a professor of Urban Development and Innovation Policy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He holds a Master’s Degree of Architect-Engineer from the Aristotle University, post-graduate studies in General Semantics with A. J. Greimas, and a PhD from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, with P. H. Chombart de Lauwe. He teaches courses on “Strategic Planning for Cities”, “Learning Regions: innovation systems analysis and strategy”, “Smart City Applications Design and Development” and the postgraduate seminar “Intelligent Cities and Environments of Innovation”.

He is founder and director of the Urban and Regional Innovation Research (URENIO) and has coordinated about a hundred research projects under the European Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), Framework Programmes (FP), and Territorial Cooperation Programmes (Interreg, SEE, MED). He has been honoured with the Award for Excellence and Innovation of Aristotle University for achievements in competitive research. Along with research, he took part in the development of smart cities, technology parks, and innovation strategies in most EU countries; in UNIDO activities on regional innovation in developing countries; in the OECD innovation strategy; and actually in the assessment of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) across many regions of Europe.

Fields of research and expertise:
– City and regional strategic planning: strategic planning roadmap and methods; assessment of innovative agglomerations; planning for innovation clusters, planning for technology districts, technopoles, science and technology parks; urban regeneration projects.
– Innovation systems analysis and strategy: innovation and knowledge-based development; management of systems of innovation; innovation strategies; smart specialization strategies (RIS3); new product development methodologies and tools; measuring and benchmarking of innovation performance.
– Intelligent cities / smart cities design and development: intelligent city strategies and applications; planning for intelligent sectors and districts; web platforms for collective intelligence, technology transfer, collaborative new product development, digital marketplaces; smart innovation ecosystems; user-driven innovation ecosystems; living labs; future Internet technologies.

He has published extensively on urban and regional development and planning, innovation territories, smart and intelligent cities. He is the author of twelve books including the trilogy “Intelligent Cities: Innovation, knowledge systems and digital spaces” (Routledge 2002), “Intelligent Cities and Globalisation of Innovation Networks” (Routledge 2008), and “The Age of Intelligent Cities: Smart Environments and Innovation-for-all Strategies” (Routledge 2014). He was guest editor of three special issues on smart cities, “Intelligent Clusters, Communities and Cities: Enhancing innovation with virtual environments and embedded systems”, International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, Vol. 1.4, 2009; “Smart Applications for Smart Cities”, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, Vol. 2012.3 (together with H. Schaffers and C. Ratti); and “Smart Cities and the Future Internet in Europe”, Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Vol.4.2, 2013 (together with H. Schaffers and M. Pallot).

He is member of the editorial board of eight academic journals and associate editor of the ‘Journal of the Knowledge Economy’, the ‘Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A system’s view across time and space’ and the Journal of Smart Cities. More at
E-mail contact: [email protected]

Elias CarayannisElias G. Carayannis is Senior Visiting Professor affiliated with URENIO. He is full Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as co-Founder and co-Director of the Global and Entrepreneurial Finance Research Institute (GEFRI) and Director of Research on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, European Union Research Center, (EURC) at the Department of Information Systems & Technology Management, George Washington University in Washington, DC. His teaching and research activities focus on the areas of strategic Government-University-Industry R&D partnerships, technology road-mapping, technology transfer and commercialization, international science and technology policy, technological entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

He has published thirteen books to date on science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship with CRC Press, Praeger/Greenwood, Palgrave/MacMillan and Edward Elgar. He has also published working papers with the World Bank and given invited lectures on a number of occasions at the World Bank, the IADB, the European Union, and several universities. Dr. Carayannis is Editor-in-Chief of the Springer Journal of the Knowledge Economy; the Springer Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Systems View Across Time and Space; the IGI International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development; the Edward Elgar Book Series on Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and the Springer Book Series on Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management. He can be reached at: [email protected]

Yiannis FALASDr. Yiannis FALAS has a Mining Engineer degree from the National Technical University of Athens and a PhD on ”Clusters in Traditional Sectors” from the Architectural School of Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His research focuses on European clusters, mainly of traditional sectors of the economy and lately of the wood/biomass/bioenergy sector. After graduation, he worked in the Region of Western Macedonia, as Assistant Co-ordinator of Transport Infrastructure program (1st and 2nd C.S.F.). He has then been the project manager of the Regional Innovation Strategy, RIS and RIS+ Projects, and the “Knowledge clusters” Innovative Actions Program of W.M.
He has been the coordinator of the Regional Innovation Pole of Western Macedonia and the Regional Innovation Office of W.M., as well as the National Coordinator of the Strategic Med project “PROFORBIOMED”. He has long experience with Cross-border and interregional cooperation projects (H2020, FP7, Interreg, Med, Black Sea, etc), coordinated several foresight exercises and has cooperated with a large number of S.M.E.’s (feasibility studies, project proposals and implementation, etc).

He is currently the Director of the Bioenergy and Environment Cluster in Western Macedonia. His main interests are innovation and regional development, interregional and cross-border development strategies, namely for clusters and SMEs.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

Christina KakderiChristina KAKDERI (MSc, PhD) is a regional economist and a researcher focusing on systems of innovation and smart innovation environments (national and regional innovation systems, technology policy, social networks, intelligent cities/districts). Since 2005 she has been involved in numerous EU and national funded projects related to spatial development and innovation ecosystems.

She holds a degree in Economics from the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, an MSc from the School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, UK and a PhD on innovation systems analysis from the Faculty of Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During her studies, she has received a three-year fellowship from the State Scholarship Foundation and a fellowship from the Research Committee of AUTH. She has also attended a number of extended training courses, such as those of the DIMETIC network (in Strasbourg, Maastricht and Pecs) on innovation networks, policies and methodologies, and of the Spatial Econometrics Advanced Institute (in Rome) on spatial econometrics.

E-mail contact: [email protected]

FOTO_2016Margarita ANGELIDOU is a senior research officer. She is skilled in research projects’ management and implementation, as well as project proposals’ development. Since 2005 she has worked in business and academia in European and national research projects related with urban, socio-economic, technological/digital growth. Her research interests revolve around digital platforms for addressing urban problems, urban and social innovation and the knowledge society.

By education, Margarita is an urban development engineer (BSc, MSc) with a PhD in Smart Cities. She has received numerous fellowships and distinctions from the Institution of State Scholarships of Greece (I.K.Y.), the Technical Chamber of Greece, the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly.
E-mail contact: [email protected]
Twitter: @M_Angelidou

Stratos MANOSStratos MANOS is an Architect Engineer and PhD candidate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Thesis title: The Urban Regeneration and Internationalisation of Cities in Europe).

Since 1993 he is working as researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and participated in various projects of the European Union, including the RITTS of East Macedonia and Thrace, the Urban Pilot Project of Thessaloniki, and national projects on urban renewal, innovative spatial development, urban planning and regional development. He participated in European urban planning competitions.

Since 1997, he is member of a consulting group responsible for Regional and Local Development projects and Industrial Parks Development projects. He participated in the Evaluation of Central Macedonia”s Regional Operational Programme (especially in Technical Infrastructures and Local Development measures), the Cross-border cooperation projects (Euroregion “NESTOS-MESTA”-LACE), and the development of GIS applications.
E-mail contact: [email protected]


Giorgos MARTINIDIS (MSc, MA) is a psychologist specialising in research methods and social psychology, with further postgraduate studies in economics and politics in SE Europe. He is a PhD candidate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, researching the contribution of human capital to regional innovation systems.

Since 2007 he has worked on the implementation of various research projects and the drafting of project proposals for URENIO. In addition, he has worked on project administration and financial management both for URENIO and for the South Eastern Europe Research Centre (SEERC).

In 2014, he received an award by Transparency International for a study on corruption in Eastern Europe. He has published papers on various topics, including the view on mental disorders throughout history, the historical and social patterns of alcohol use, and minority rights and minority policies in SE Europe.

E-mail contact: [email protected]

NANCY MARTZOPOULOUNancy (Anastasia) MARTZOPOULOU is a Mechanical and Agricultural Engineer and currently belongs to the academic staff of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning – School of Architecture – Faculty of Engineering – AUTH, where she completed her PhD thesis entitled “Energy and environmental management in industrial concentrations”.

She has been actively involved in the research activity of the URENIO Research Unit – AUTH, participating in the implementation and the management of research projects such as: Cross-Inno-Cut, Innopolis, INTERVALUE, The future of industry in Thessaloniki, Innovation in the Ionian Islands, Digital research center in Central Macedonia, Istos: Innovative Actions in the South Aegean. Scientific fields she is interested in: Urban/Regional Planning and Innovation, Smart Specialisation, Smart Energy Cities, Environmental Planning, Industrial Symbiosis and Ecology, Eco – Industrial Parks, Emergy Analysis, Agricultural Engineering. She teaches at the Schools of Architecture and Agriculture.
E-mail contact: [email protected] | [email protected]

DIMITRIS MILOSSISDimitris MILOSSIS is electrical engineer with studies in the School of Technology, University of Patra, Greece. He has a Diploma in Electronics for Telecommunications from the University of Southampton, England and a Masters cource in Business Adninistration (MBA) in University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece). He is a PhD candidate at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on the topic of “Regional Innovation Systems”.

Since 1999, his is working as a researcher at the URENIO research unit in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and participates in various European projects. His scientific interests are in business performance assessment (benchmarking), web development, and networking in Innovation Management Tools and New Product Development.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

NITSA PAPADOPOULOUNitsa PAPADOPOULOU received a Masters in Business Administration from St John”s University U.S.A, specializing in strategic business planning and marketing. Her undergraduate studies are in Linguistics and Education.

Prior to her current position, she worked for consultancy companies and was responsible for the development of services and coordination of product delivery to clients, and training and monitoring of personnel. She has participated in research projects concerning regional development in the Health Network (Rhine Esprit Project DGXIII) and Interborder Development (ADAPT). Her scientific research interests are mainly focused on knowledge management and innovation management techniques.

Since April 2002, she is an active member of URENIO and participates in the implementation and coordination of research projects related to Regional Development and Innovation Technology for the regions of Thessaly, West Macedonia, and Ionian Islands.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

MARIA PARASKEVAMaria PARASKEVA studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Before her current position, she was a project manager at the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) for seven years. She was also the head of the department that was responsible for combating people’s exclusion from occupation, and for the department that aimed at promoting graduates to labor.

During her career, she has worked at the “Organization of Cultural Capital of Europe Thessaloniki “97”, and at Macedonian Press Agency. She has taught “Greek as a foreign language” and “vocational guidance” at the Vocational Training Centre, where she has also written the handbooks on both subjects. She also taught English (as a foreign language) at various coaching schools.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

ISIDOROS A. PASSASIsidoros A. PASSAS has a Bachelor of engineering on computer systems from the School of Engineering of University of Sussex in U.K. He is in the process of accomplishing his M.B.A. in University of Sheffield in the U.K. His scientific interests are in the application of information technology in business processes of SMEs, business and cluster intelligence, innovation measurement and benchmarking, and web 2.0 new product development, and website assessmenmt.

Since 2001, he has been working as a researcher at the URENIO research unit. He is currently involved in the development of web-based roadmaps concerning New Product Development and the creation of Spin-off companies and supports the URENIO web platform and applications related to benchmarking.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

Maria S. SchinaMaria S. Schoina is a graduate of the Department of Civil Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. After graduation she was involved in several structural design studies as self-employed or in cooperation with a design and construction firm. She has also been working as a scientific researcher at the Universities of Thessaly and Western Macedonia, in a series of projects and studies in the fields of Regional Development, Innovation, Management of Technology and Tourism Management.

Since 2000 she has been working for the Urenio Research Unit of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, participating in the implementation and the management of research projects such as: InnoRegio: Dissemination of Innovation and Knowledge Management Techniques, InVent: Innovative Actions in Thessaly, Istos: Innovative Actions in the South Aegean, Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) in Southwest Bulgaria, Medi-Cube: Mediterranean Technology Led Incubator Co-operation.
E-mail contact: [email protected]

Elena SEFERTZIElena SEFERTZI received a master of sociology from the University of Paris Rene Descartes-Sorbonne, a post-graduate degree (DEA), and a doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris.

She has taught as specialist scientist at the Department of Economic Sciences of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1985-89) and as assistant professor at the Technical University of Crete (1990-99). Her research interests focus on regional innovation policy, technology transfer and industrial development. She has participated and co-ordinated many research projects funded by research organisations and the European Commission .

She is the author of numerous articles, including “Flexibility and alternative corporate strategies” (Industrial Relations, vol. 51, no 1, 1996), “Neo-industrialisation and peripherality” (Geoforum, vol. 29, no 1, 1998), “Innovation in the every day life of libraries” (Technovation, no 20, 2000), “Changing regional systems of innovation in Greece” (European Planning Studies, September/October 2003), and co-editor of Innovation: system-areas, technology transfer, and innovative development in Greece (Athens, Gutenberg,1998), Innovation Development Technologies in Regions and Production Complexes (Athens, Gutenberg, 2001).
E-mail contact: [email protected]

PARASKEVI TARANIParaskevi TARANI studied architecture at the School of Engineering in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, on the topic “The European Cities in the New Economy of Knowledge”.Her research interests include the area of urban and regional innovation, urban theory and planning.

As member of the URENIO research unit since 1994, she has been involved in several research projects dealing with city and regional development and innovation diffusion, such us: Regional Technological Project (RTP) of Central Macedonia, Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS+) Central Macedonia, Agropolis Technology Park of Thessaloniki, Innovation in Ionian Islands. Her experience in the field of urban planning includes several projects on urban renovation and planning, technology parks, and new areas development. A number of her projects and articles on the urban condition have been published in international magazines for architecture and urban planning (Techniques & Architecture, D” Architectures, Architecture in Greece, Threshold).
E-mail contact: [email protected]

PANAGIOTIS TSARCHOPOULOSPanagiotis C. TSARCHOPOULOS received the Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Urban and Spatial Planning from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1992 and 2013, respectively.

He supports the URENIO Research Unit web presence. Since 1993, he has been working in R&D projects funded either by the E.C. or the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology dealing with digital innovation spaces. His current research emphasis is on smart/intelligent cities and regions, and especially on the digital space of intelligent cities. He also teaches, with Professor Komninos, the “Digital Cities” course at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
E-mail contact: [email protected]