An innovation hub for Greece may be in the works for an abandoned industrial site in Piraeus visited by Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister of Development and Investments Christos Dimas and Minister for Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis gave Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis a tour around the expansive site, which covers 17,900 square meters (192,674 sqare feet).
The site, which sat unused for decades, will house research centers and startups after its transformation, made possible through a Public and private-Sector Partnership.
A plan released by the Greek Ministry of Development involves a massive investment of 100 million euros into the site, one that will help create around 2,000 new jobs.
Plans for the transformation of the lot, once home to an industrial plant that manufactured synthetic dyes and pharmaceuticals, were drafted in under one-and-a-half years.
PM Mitsotakis criticized former governments for letting the dilapidated, massive, centrally-located site sit unused since the 1980s, when the plant ceased production.
“All major capitals have a similar innovation hub,” Mitsotakis noted on Wednesday. This site, which will allow for new developments in the field of science and technology on a grand scale, will serve as “a bridge that must be built for our country to be successful in the future,” the PM stated.
The construction of the cutting-edge hub will not only bolster Greece’s long-troubled economy, but will also help transform it into a nation of innovation in the region, attracting more start ups and creatives to set up operations in the Mediterranean country.
Brain Gain instead of a brain drain for Greece
Additionally, cultivating this association with Greece and innovation could help the country reverse its brain drain, when many highly-skilled, educated Greeks left the country to work abroad after the economic crisis.
Many Greeks abroad may soon return to their home country, enriching the fields of science and technology, if there are more high-paying jobs in their fields.
Transforming the lot into an innovation hub is part of Greece’s larger plan to attract forward-thinkers and corporations on the cutting edge to move operations to the country.
Greece has started by reducing taxes by 50% for those who decide to make the country their home base. Additionally, Greece has promised significant tax benefits to court Greeks living abroad, lost to the brain drain during the financial crisis, to return to the country.
This model has proven to be quite effective, bringing in a number of highly-qualified, creative workers already working remotely to Greece, drawn to the country’s vibrant culture and stunning natural landscapes.
Tech and pharmaceutical giants, such as Microsoft and Pfizer, have even begun major operations in the country, which was once mired in an immense economic recession.