ATHENA Network Collaboration Plan with Industry

The ATHENA consortium will adopt all the necessary actions to strengthen and create a framework for the collaboration with the relevant industrial actors in the fields of engineering. This collaboration is more necessary in Europe now than ever in order to address the following challenges:

  • The high unemployment rates our graduate students experience, particularly in the three Southern states of the consortium; the lack of skills (soft and technical ones) required to fulfil current industrial needs is the main factor for the high youth unemployement in South Europe. The transition to the 4th Industrial Revolution has also contributed to the mismatched between our graduate qualifications and these ones the market is looking for. ATHENA network will consult its Associated Partners but also the network of its Associated Partners regarding all its joint undergraduate & postgraduate programs curricula. Moreover will launch specific professional degrees in undergraduate and postgraduate level to tailor the market needs and help our graduate students to find faster and better jobs
  • The establishment of a communication channel with the relevant Industry that will aim the overcoming all the legislative, economic and personal barriers so to link the results of research and the development conducted within the HEIs with the Industrial needs. This will also enhance the social impact of the HEIs
  • The fast pace of technological advancements in the fields of science and technologies; the collaboration between the Academia and the Industry will update faster the training offered by the Universities
  • Enhance the competition of the European Industry sector; to highlight that due to the business globalization enterprises are subjects of comparison on an international scale. Due to the low cost suppliers competition from South East Asia, and especially from China, the European Companies will survive only thanks to highly qualified employees capable of transferring the graduate and postgraduate University knowledge to practice
  • Attracting new financial resources in equal base (meaning the Universities and the Enterprises they will participate having their own fees e.g. submit a joint project, so the collaboration to benefit both partners and be sustainable) European Universities need in order to fund high quality education and research within their premises
  • Making the European economy more competitive by exploiting and capitalizing all the innovative solutions produced within the European Universities Laboratories

The actions will be followed to tackle the above challenges are:

  • Collaboration in Research e.g. (a) submission of joint research projects; (b) launching of specific goal-oriented research contracts awarded by the industry to the HE; (c) launching of industrial grants for HEI; (d) the provision of industry facilities for general research activity; and (e) the submission of joint publications
  • Establishment of joint research & educational laboratories within the ATHENA consortium where the equipment will be shared for research purposes but also for students’ training under the supervision of Industrial or Academic staff
  • Collaboration in Educational – Training Programs; (a) development of professional degrees in undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level tailoring the Academia and Industrial needs; (b) development of joint projects (from mini projects to long term internships) within the Industry or Academic laboratories in order the students to come in contact with their future employees
  • Organization of Job Fairs every year in the ATHENA Consortium facilities where the Associated Industry will advertise the skills they are looking for but also the existed vacancies
  • University staff (teachers and researchers) acting as experts and helping the industry to solve specific problems
  • Industrial experts (e.g. engineers, executives) acting as (a) part-time university lecturers; (b) members of the various examination committees; (c) members in the accreditation bodies (and especially to this one evaluating the competences of ATHENA consortium graduate students) of the collaborating Faculties and Universities and (c) members on the governance boards of the Faculties or even more in these ones of the Universities
  • The purchase of 2nd hand scientific equipment at lower prices or even through donation by industry to HEIs for educational and research purposes
  • Participation in joint exhibitions, conferences and fairs
ATHENA Network Research Flagships

The ATHENA consortium contains some world class performed research groups within its nework. These are the ATHENA research flagships that will define the network’s  research priorities and coordinate  joint research projects.

The ATHENA research flagships include:


  1. Innovative electronic Systems, Smart Emebedded systems 

Materials & Energy Storage and Harversing

  1. Nanomaterials for Printed Electronics & Energy Devices
  2. Materials for energy storage (batteries) and production of alternative energies (solar, hydrogen)
  3. Materials for environment metrology and decontamination
  4. Intelligent Energy Systems

Optoelectronics & Lasers

  1. Plasma Physics and Lasers
  2. Plasma propulsion

Computing and IT

  1. Real Time Computing Systems

Earth Science

  1. Laboratory of Geophysics and Geoinformatics

4th Industrial Revoloution Topics

  1. Robotics and Sensors
  2. Novel Sensor Principles and Sensor Development
  3. Sensor Information and Signal Processing
  4. Underwater Robotics
  5. BioSensors
  6. Assistive Technologies 
  7. Artificial intelligence and decision support systems