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


Nicos Komninos is a researcher and author among the founders of the intelligent (smart) city paradigm. He has published 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 the guest editor of five 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); “Smart Cities and the Future Internet in Europe”, Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Vol.4.2, 2013 (together with H. Schaffers and M. Pallot); “Intelligent Environments and Planning for Urban Renewal”, Sustainability, 8, 2016; and “Smart Cities and Cloud Computing”, Journal of Smart Cities, Vol. 2.1, 2016 (together with C. Kakderi and P. Tsarchopoulos).

He is currently a professor of Urban Development and Innovation Policy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He holds a Master’s Degree of Architecture-Engineering from the Aristotle University, post-graduate studies in Semantics with A. J. Greimas, and a PhD from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, under the supervision of P.H. Chombart de Lauwe. He teaches the courses “Smart and Intelligent Cities: Architectures and Strategies”, “Design and Development of Software Applications for Smart Cities”, “Strategic Planning for Urban Development”, and “Learning Regions: Innovation and Regional Development in Europe”.

He is director of the Urban and Regional Innovation Research (URENIO) and has coordinated more than one hundred research projects under the European research and territorial development programmes (H2020, FP, CIP, LDV, Interreg, SEE, MED). He has been honoured with the Excellence and Innovation Award of Aristotle University for achievements in competitive research. Alongside to research he took part in the development of smart cities, technology parks, and innovation strategies in most EU countries; in the UN activities for innovation in developing countries; in the group of experts for drafting the OECD Innovation Strategy; in evaluation of research in the EU, Nordic countries and New Zealand; and currently in the assessment of smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) and digital growth strategies across many regions of Europe.

Fields of expertise:
Intelligent cities / smart cities design and development: intelligent city formation and evolution; ontologies and architectures; intelligent city strategy and planning; smart city platforms for growth, sustainability, safety, and governance; software applications design and development; smart cities and cloud computing.
Urban planning: strategic planning; planning and design methods and metrics; planning for technology districts, science and technology parks, innovative clusters; urban renewal by LEED-ND principles.
Innovation systems and innovation strategies: innovation and knowledge-based development; management of systems of innovation; user-driven innovation ecosystems; cyber-physical systems of innovation; innovation strategies; smart specialisation strategies (RIS3); new product development methods; measuring and assessment of innovation performance.

He has published more than 150 papers on urban and regional development, innovation territories, smart and intelligent cities and twelve books. 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 http://www.komninos.eu
E-mail contact: [email protected]

Elias G. Carayannis

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 Falas

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 Kakderi

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 with URENIO in numerous EU and national funded projects related to spatial development and innovation ecosystems. She is elected assistant professor at the School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

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]

Stratos Manos

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

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 (Anastasia) Martzopoulou

Nancy (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]

Dimitris Milossis

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]

Anastasia Panori

Anastasia PANORI is a senior research associate. Her main research interests focus on urban and socio-economic development, as long as Smart Cities and Smart Specialisation Strategies at a regional level. Since 2012, she has been working as a researcher and has participated in various projects funded by the European Union and the Greek Government. By education, she is an Electrical and Computer Engineer (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Engineering) and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki. She also has a PhD in Economic and Regional Development from Panteion University of Athens.

E-mail contact: [email protected]
Twitter: @natasa_panori

Nitsa Papadopoulou

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 Paraskeva

Maria PARASKEVA received a Master of Arts in Black Sea Cultural Studies from the International Hellenic University. She is a graduate of the Department of Theology of 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. Passas

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]

Artemis Psaltoglou

Artemis PSALTOGLOU is an Architect Engineer and researcher focusing on urban planning and spatial development. She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (AUTH) exploring the role and contribution of social innovation in cities. Her research interests include the concept of urban intelligence, the use of digital technologies in tackling urban challenges, as well as the social dimensions of smart cities.

In terms of education, she is a graduate of the Department of Architecture of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and she holds a master degree on Smart Cities from the University of Girona (Spain). During her studies, she received a scholarship for her master studies from the spanish bank Santander and two scholarships from Stavros Niarchos Foundation for her participation in international workshops related to digital technologies and architecture (AA Visiting Thessaloniki and AA DLAB 2016). Since may 2016, she is working as a PhD researcher at URENIO participating in the implementation of research projects and the preparation of projects proposals.

E-mail contact: [email protected]

Maria S. Schoina

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 Sefertzi

Elena SEFERTZIElena SEFERTZI is associate professor of Spatial Systems and Innovation Strategies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She holds a Master’s Degree of Sociology from the University of Paris Rene Descartes – Sorbonne, a post-graduate degree (DEA), and a PhD from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris. Her teaching and research activities focus on regional innovation strategies, strategic planning, technology transfer and regional development. She has participated and coordinated more than fifty research projects funded by research organisations and the European Commission (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), Framework Programmes (FP), and Territorial Cooperation Programmes).

She is the author of numerous articles and editor of books, 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, 2003), “Innovation: System-areas, technology transfer, and innovative development in Greece” (Gutenberg,1998), “Innovation Development Technologies in Regions and Production Complexes” (Gutenberg, 2001),” Cost Cutting Innovative Technologies” (European Territorial Cooperation Programme, 2012).

E-mail contact: [email protected]

Paraskevi Tarani

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 C. Tsarchopoulos

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]

Sotiris Zigiaris

SOTIRIS ZIGIARISSotiris ZIGIARIS has an MSc in Computer Science graduate of Lamar University USA. He also has studied Business Administration Management. He received his PhD from Aristotle University in 2009 with a thesis of EU regional systems of innovation. His area of specialization is regional development, public innovation policy, and smart cities.

He has engaged in major re-engineering projects in the United States as well as in Greece, such as the BPR project in the National Telecommunication Organisation of Greece. He is participating in regional development projects in the region of Thessaly, Western Macedonia, Peloponnesus, Ionian Islands, Southern Aegean, working mainly in the design of regional innovation policymaking and the development of public support mechanisms for innovation management. He is a member of the technical assistance team for the regional development of the Bulgaria Ministry of Development. Since 2013 he is Ass. Professor of Business Administration at the MIS PMU University of Saudi Arabia.
E-mail contact: [email protected]