Michael Kratsios, the US Chief Technology Officer, who accompanied Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on his visit to Greece earlier in the week, was instrumental in the signing of a ground-breaking science and technology agreement between the two nations.
Kratsios, a Greek-American, joined the Trump administration in early 2017 as a technology adviser to the President, being confirmed as Chief Technology Officer in August of 2019.
Kratsios worked tirelessly with his Greek counterparts to finalize the new agreement, signed by Pompeo and Greece’s Minister of Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis on Monday in Thessaloniki.
— Michael Kratsios (@USCTO) September 28, 2020
“For us, this agreement underscores the commitment of both our nations to the advancement of science and technology for the benefit of our citizens, the economy of the future and security,” Kratsios said after the signing ceremony.
“It paves the way for a number of new investments in research and development and technological breakthroughs for both our countries,” he added.
“Some of the priorities we have in the White House for technology, artificial intelligence and 5G are shared by our counterparts here in Greece and we are happy and committed to working with them to promote their development (in these areas),” Kratsios revealed.
The U.S. and our allies must work together in support of emerging technologies, including secure 5G.
— Michael Kratsios (@USCTO) September 29, 2020
According to the agreement, Thessaloniki, the international gateway to the western Balkans, a market of 30 million people, is emerging as a regional science and technology hub.
It notes that American companies like Pfizer and Cisco are expanding their footprint in Thessaloniki.
Pfizer plans to make its new office in Thessaloniki a global hub focused on artificial intelligence and big data analytics. The company hopes to increase its staff to 200 by this Fall.
Cisco is investing 10-12 million euros on a digital hub that will develop technologies for smart cities and applications for agriculture.
The agreement adds that prestigious U.S. companies are acquiring Greek science and technology startups: Microsoft acquired SoftoMotive in Athens, and Applied Materials acquired Think Silicon in Patras. ANSYS has made an acquisition in Greece that leverages the expertise they have found in software and engineering.
It adds that U.S. companies like Tesla and Blink Charging are entering the electric vehicles market. Tesla has a new research and development center in Athens focused on drive trains. Blink Charging has deployed a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout Greece.
In February 2020, Amazon Web Services signed an MOU with Greece to drive innovation across the economy through cooperation in digital governance, digital infrastructure, and cloud skills education.
Greek engineers at Nokia collaborate daily with their American counterparts to develop next-generation solutions to telecommunications infrastructure.
The science and technology engagement in Greece — says the agreement — supports a strong bilateral relationship with an EU partner and NATO ally, ensures U.S. access to international expertise and facilities, and helps the two countries compete with malign influences in the Eastern Mediterranean.