Corallia is the first organisation established in Greece for the management and development of Innovation Clusters, in specific sectors and regions of the country, within which actors operate in a coordinated manner. In those clusters, Corallia acts as Cluster Facilitator (cluster initiative or cluster organisation) implementing specific support actions, which involve all innovation ecosystem actors, including industry, universities, research centres, financial institutions, regional and national authorities, infrastructure providers, suppliers and buyers, media, etc.
Corallia has supported, up to date, the development of highly-specialised clusters in knowledge-intensive thematic sectors with a strong exports-orientation:
The mi•Cluster is the first innovation cluster in Greece; since 2006, it has shown significant development in a number of performance measures. Today, the mi-Cluster consists of the Industrial Association (HSIA), the Cluster Facilitator (Corallia), and more than 50 industrial members (large enterprises, SMEs, international design centers and start-ups). In addition to its industrial basis, over 100 members promote complementarity within the innovation ecosystem.
The si•Cluster aiming to develop Greece as a leading region for space technologies and applications with a high international visibility, capable of developing and attracting high impact research, innovation and business activities, brings together private and public actors in the field of space technologies and applications in Greece and provides an efficient framework around themes of common interest to reinforce the competitive advantage of its members.
The gi•Cluster is a recently formed innovation cluster in Greece, with its core concentration in the region of Attica, which displays a state-of-the-art technology edge coupled with an extrovert, global-reaching entrepreneurial spirit. To date, gi-Cluster has attracted a critical mass -including large businesses, SMEs and academic and research institutions-, yet the in-depth, national-wide sector mapping already performed indicates great potential for substantial development, based on the existent pool of talent and activities in this field.
More so, Corallia pushes forward the hyper-concentration of industrial members of clusters in thematic Business & Innovation Centres in order to accelerate synergies, the bonding of cluster members and establish reference points for the thematic sectors it supports. Corallia operates three thematic InnoHubs:
The α1•innohub has been established in 2007, as the innovation and cutting-edge technology «node» in the Greek capital, Athens (Maroussi suburb). It is housed in modern facilities occupying 2,800 m², close to Kiffissias Avenue. It offers fully-equipped offices and meeting rooms, able to host workgroups from 10 to 65 persons, complemented by areas for further interaction and waiting halls.
The π1•innohub (has been in full operation since 2011, as the innovation, research and high-tech «bridge» in Patras, the third largest urban area and regional capital of Western Greece. It dedicates its resources primarily to start-up and early-stage companies. It is housed in modern facilities occupying 2,400 m², offers fully-equipped offices and meeting rooms, able to host workgroups from 10 to 70 persons, with videoconferencing facilities for presentations addressed to a local or a distant audience.
The α2•innohub opened its doors in 2014, as the innovation, networking and high-tech «ring», strategically located in the business district of Athens (Maroussi suburb). It is housed in the most prominent business center in the Greek capital occupying 2,500 m² and, apart from Corallia's headquarters, it already hosts seven gi-Cluster and five si-Cluster industrial members.
Corallia implements also a series of initiatives to stimulate and promote Youth Entrepreneurship with partners and donors in Greece and abroad, some of which are:
Educational Trip is organized in cooperation with Greek student associations at highly acknowledged universities worldwide (Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Georgia Tech). The programme provides each year 20 students from Greece with the opportunity to live student daily life in four of the world's most prestigious universities and it unfolds over a whole week of a life-changing experience.
The egg-enter•grow•go is an integrated incubation, acceleration and co-working programme as a corporate social responsibility initiative by Eurobank designed and implemented in cooperation with Corallia. In short, the programme can engage young aspiring entrepreneur from all over Greece who have creative and innovative ideas in any sector of the economy and who have the passion to put their 'idea' into 'action'.
Corallia also organises the Ε-bootcamp Competition with Stanford, Internships Days, Carpe Diem, Career Days in order to expose students and young entrepreneurs to new horizons and career perspectives, change their mindset to think-out-of-the-box and unveil the joy of creation.
Corallia has established strong strategic international collaborations in order to accelerate the international exchange of ideas, expertise and best practices in the fields of clusters, innovation, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, regional development policies and smart specialization strategies, through:
Projects: Aiming at achieving transnational and interregional cooperation while seeking to exchange expertise and best practices with other cluster organisations and clusters in Europe, Corallia participates in several EU projects, such as ClusterPoliSEE, SEENECO, INCOMERA etc.
Partnerships: Collaborations and international business relationships have been initiated on a bilateral basis with a variety of international and regional bodies related to cluster policies, other clusters and cluster initiatives, such as ESCP, INVIO etc.
Policy making: Corallia has been working continuously towards raising the level of cluster excellence and management as well as in transferring its operating model both within Greece and Europe via its participation in several policy bodies, such as the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis, the European Cluster Observatory etc.
Last but not least, Corallia facilitates access to finance. In this vein, it actively contributes to the smooth and efficient flow of work and the proper management of public and community resources. In the period 2006-2008, the pilot cluster program implemented by Corallia within the Operational Programme Competitiveness (3rd Community Support Framework), yielded very positive results through the establishment and expansion of the mi-Cluster and the milestones achieved by its cluster members, such as the double-digit growth rates in turnover (+59%), exports (+109%), employment (+92%) and patent applications (+137%). In the period 2008-2013, Corallia implemented one of the most important interventions for the development of clusters in Greece, the "Phase-2 Microelectronics" programme, utilising again ERDF structural funds within the Operational Programme Competitiveness-Entrepreneurship under NSRF of approximately € 38 million, targeting again both Infrastructures and a dedicated Aid Measure sub-programme to support enterprises. The assessment of the programme in 2013 certified that the members of the cluster exhibited, in the reference period, even higher growth rate of turnover +145%, employment +70%, exports +108% and investments +269%. Respectively, patent applications exhibited an estimated growth rate of 177%, while joint Industry-Academia diploma and doctorate thesis’ exhibited an estimated growth rate of 106%.
Corallia is a Unit of the Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies. Corallia’s activities are financed by the private sector, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and National funds under the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship, the Regional Operational Programmes, the Hellenic Public Investments Programme, the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme and donations from the private sector, foundations and other benefactors.
- acts as a think tank, supporting national policies on cluster initiatives, innovation mechanisms and entrepreneurship programmes applied in Greece with significant impact at a European level.
- acts as a one-stop-shop, through which the entire innovation network gains access to unique business opportunities in the thematic segments of cluster operation,
- supports new venture creation, where students and entrepreneurs “to be” can apply innovative ideas and set-up start-ups,
- expands the innovation-knowledge horizon with a thorough training program, through which members gain best-in-class know-how on topics ranging from technical skills and project management, to negotiation tactics and business plan development,
- eases the innovation gap through complementarities and partnerships among members, as well as between members and national and international organisations, including world-class innovation centres of excellence in Europe, USA, Japan, etc,
- supports members to access international markets and develop strategic alliances with partners abroad,
- sponsors actions to establish strong ties with universities and research centres to enhance technology transfer and R&D commercialisation in the thematic technology areas of focus,
- provides incentives for VCs and Business Angels to invest, especially at the early stages, by creating a favourable environment and matching investments;
- supports IPR protection and patent submission with an IPR helpdesk to support SMEs on the complete process of patent filing, including dedicated IPR due diligence, patent seminars covering a wide array of topics, full process filing, etc.
Corallia | a2-innohub is a partner in these projects