Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career Development
“Career Paths” Webinar
Saturday, February 20, 2021, 11:00 a.m.
Καλημέρα σας. Friends, students, colleagues, thank you for inviting me to speak at the “Career Paths” conference. This is the third year I’ve participated in an event organized by Panorama, and I’m a big fan of the work you do.
The Panorama of Entrepreneurship and Career Development is one of Greece’s top conferences for students and young professionals interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. You are helping to equip Greece’s next generation workforce with the tools and skills they need to succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy.
As the Greek government embraces digital reforms and continues to create the right conditions to attract U.S. investors, this mission could not be more timely or more important. Since I spoke at Panorama last July, American investment in Greece’s technology and innovation sectors has grown at a phenomenal rate.
Microsoft will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in new cloud infrastructure to place Greece at the forefront of the digital economy in Southeast Europe. Digital Realty followed suit, acquiring the region’s largest data center operator, and Amazon Web Services just announced that it will soon open its first office in Athens.
Of course, under the leadership of Thessaloniki-born CEO Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is turning the tide in our fight against the global pandemic. And at the end of 2020, Pfizer announced plans to open a second innovation center in Thessaloniki, which will offer administrative, financial, operations, and human resources services to Pfizer hubs around the world.
Just before Christmas, I also had the opportunity to participate in the virtual launch of the ONEX-Cisco Maritime Technology and Innovation Center on Syros.
The center will help to transform the Syros Neorion shipyard into a beacon for 21st century seafaring, showing Greek captains and shipowners how they can use state-of-the-art programs, tracking applications, and big data to optimize their routes, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce emissions.
These U.S. companies are investing in Greece because they understand the value proposition that Greece represents. As a member of NATO and the EU, Greece shares Western values as well as market and regulatory protections.
In addition, Greece’s strategic geographic location and its abundance of wind and solar resources give it a competitive advantage in the emerging green economy.
By far the most important factor for investors in Greece is this country’s dynamic, highly skilled workforce: all of you participating today. American companies are committed to training Greek students and young professionals like you to help unlock your full potential.
For example, the award-winning Oracle Academy enables hundreds of educational institutions and educators to leverage the program’s free educational resources to help their students prepare for future studies and successful careers.
In addition, Oracle for Startups was one of three supporters ofFound.ation Spark, a free, intensive, eight-week program that provided technology startups with tailored coaching, training on service design and pitching, and networking and market exposure opportunities.
Meanwhile, Accenture, an American pioneer in management and technology consulting, employs more than 870 consultants in Greece, training the next generation of Greek leaders in digital technology, cloud, and security.
The United States is proud to contribute to the growing momentum in Greece’s innovation sector. We will continue to work with the Greek government to harness the skills and talents of Greek youth like you to open wider paths to your success.
Greece’s digital future looks bright. I recently had the pleasure of accompanying Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Minister Georgiadis, and Minister Dimas on a tour of the Chropei industrial plant, which the government envisages as a future innovation hub housing research centers and start-ups.
I’m optimistic that this hub will be an important site for our countries’ collaboration in science and technology in the years to come and perhaps a future workplace for many of you watching today.
The United States has been Greece’s friend and ally for 200 years, and we will continue to support organizations like Panorama that invest in the creative energy and vision of young Greeks like yourselves.
I look forward to the results of this panel, and I want to thank all of the companies here today for their commitment to transforming the Greek economy. The Embassy is also committed to working with you to further develop innovation centers and initiatives to support Greek young people.
Thank you again Professor Ladopoule and Panorama for the invitation.
Ευχαριστώ πολύ, and good luck.