Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

In the context of digital transformation of Greek economy, the main stakeholders and beneficiaries can be categorized in the following groups:
  • Public sector: This stakeholder group includes policy makers and regulators who are active in the digital ecosystem, along with others such as international organizations and members of civil society.
  • Financial actors: This category includes the range of investors that support enterprises and different stages of the startup life cycle, from prototyping for start-ups to initial public offering (IPO) for more mature companies.
  • Academia: Academic actors include primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, as well as research institutions and training centers. Academic institutions support the ecosystem by conducting primary research, helping to build the capacity of human capital, and encouraging the development of young innovators.
  • Private sector: The private sector refers to large, mature corporations, established SMEs, and groups such as chambers of commerce that represent the interests of the private sector.
  • Entrepreneurial support networks: These are the organizations within the ecosystem, such as digital innovation hubs, incubators, accelerators, and associations, which support entrepreneurs. They impact the ecosystem by providing guidance, inspiration, open spaces and digital tools to support local start-ups, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in their digitalization efforts.

Co-creation process

Digital transformation is ultimately the outcome of the collective efforts of diverse stakeholders sharing a common vision for the transformation of their territory. Different key stakeholders must assume a very active and productive role, through constructive interaction. They must have an active involvement and participation in the design, implementation and assessment of policies, actions and relative initiatives targeting the enhancement of the digital economy ecosystem. The state should work with the local government, social partners, chambers, various business associations, universities, the startup community, training organizations, financing institutions, major ICT sector players (including mobile network operators, hardware manufacturers, and services companies), as well as other players having a significant role in the society, in building the enabling environment for the digital economy ecosystem to flourish in.

Digital Transformation Process

The mission of the CDI is to foster digital innovation and accelerate the digital transformation of the Greek economy, by coordinating joint efforts of all involved stakeholders and leveraging world best practices and tools, as well as the Greek research and entrepreneurial potential. Primary objectives:
  • Foster digital innovation and promote the digital transformation of the public sector through Open Innovation initiatives that bring together the public sector with the start-up and innovation community, research and academia, and the private sector
  • Accelerate the digital transformation of the Greek economy via leveraging the full potential of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) to ensure that every company, small or large, high-tech or not, can grasp the digital opportunities
  • Coordinate efforts of all involved stakeholders towards digital innovation, supporting the setup of a Greek ecosystem and cultivating a digital innovation mindset

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Open Innovation, being ecosystem centric, can support digital transformation through innovation by encouraging the cross-sectoral interconnectedness of the main stakeholders (government, industry, academia and civil participants). Bringing together technology and know-how from all involved stakeholders, educating all involved parties in new technologies and cultivating a culture of co-operation and co-creation, open innovation can facilitate new technological developments, while enabling rapid research and development that can greatly benefit both the public sector and the economy as a whole. Moreover, in order to reinforce Greece’s competitiveness in digital technologies, the country must ensure that every business -whichever the sector, wherever the location, whatever the size- can draw the full benefits of digital innovation. DIHs, as one-stop-shops where companies –especially SMEs, startups and mid-caps– can get help to improve their business, production processes, products and services by means of digital technology, can play a key role in supporting companies become more competitive through digital innovation. The Center of Digital Innovation can significantly contribute to the digital empowerment of the country as a government agency that coordinates government interventions to accelerate digital innovation and digital transformation of the economy. Last but not least, the center will seek to promote a Digital Innovation mindset to startups, public entities and the general public, as well as promote and accelerate the creation of the Greek innovation ecosystem and its connection to the global one.

Challenges & Bottlenecks

A key challenge is the effectiveness of the governance scheme. The CDI as a public body, with inter-ministerial characteristics, will be in close collaboration with stakeholders that provide supporting services to the digital economy ecosystem. In particular, it will be aligned with key stakeholders, which shape the majority of initiatives regarding digital economy growth.

Transferability & Replicability

The implementation model of the CDI may be adapted and used by other Governments, Regions, or Local Governments in order to support Open Innovation initiatives that connect the public sector with startups, corporations and small businesses, the research/academic space, and the innovation community as well as for supporting the early adoption of digital technologies to make businesses more competitive and productive.

Success Factors

CDI aims to pursue active involvement of all involved stakeholders in its activities and decisions. At the same time, through the Center stakeholders will be assisted to meet strategic needs. Through the CDI, government and public organizations as well as large corporations will be assisted to develop an open innovation culture internally and engage directly with outsiders, to improve processes and develop differentiated products. To help organizations cultivate an open innovation mentality internally, CDI will support inter-organizational programs with a focus on the public sector, in which employees will be invited to submit their ideas in complex problems of the organization and turn them into real services/products. This could significantly help further engage their employees and unlock the innovation potential in their organization. In addition, CDI will support, disseminate and coordinate the organization of innovation contests, hackathons and open innovation programs for the public and at national level, involving public stakeholders, the industry, the academic/research community as well as the start-up community.

Lessons learned

The Greek Government has highlighted the need to achieve a successful transition to digital services and change the production model in Greece, in which the emerging innovation ecosystem of new enterprises and startups is expected to play a critical role.Although several initiatives are currently in place in Greece to support the digital economy, the digital economy support ecosystem in Greece is quite fragmented and there is a definite need for coordination. The participation and coordination of all involved stakeholders and the identification and implementation of best practices and key initiatives -such as the Digital Innovation Hubs and the Open Innovation -initiatives mentioned above- could significantly accelerate the Digital Economy transformation in Greece. The implementation model for the CDI is based on Open Innovation 2.0, a key EU policy to support Digital Single Market strategy. It is based on a Quadruple Helix Model where government, industry, academia and civil participants work together to co-create the future and drive structural changes far beyond the scope of what any one organization or person could do alone. This model enables organizations to access new talent and reduce research costs, spreads risks and brings innovations to market more quickly. Additionally, it enables researchers, small companies and start-ups to test their technologies in real world settings, adjust them according to market needs, and get (first) customers.