Monthly Archives

July 2018

Cycling from Thessaloniki to the whole world

By | Success stories

What has BrainBox SA done – What are the next steps

Using a bicycle for transportation is gaining more and more fans in the European cities both among the residents and the visitors. Thessaloniki is no exception and this has allowed BrainBox SA to deal with the specific market in the last decade, innovate and eventually expand its activity across other Greek cities as well. In 2008 the company successfully launched the EasyBike system and is now taking the next step. From sharing classic-style bikes with automated rental, it goes to the electrically-assisted e-bike, which is self-contained and completely controlled by a smartphone, as long as the user has downloaded the application and has registered for easybike. BrainBox has already placed 900 e-bikes in total by the end of the first half of 2018 in Thessaloniki, Athens and Rethymno, 300 in each city. The goal is that by the end of the year these new electrically-assisted bikes will have reached the number of 3,000.

Brainbox’s new proposal for the development of sustainable mobility with the use of the greenest mode of transportation, the bicycle, and the use of GPS (tracking) and GPRS (security) systems and also the e-bike itself were presented at CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas) at a special event for the promotion of technologies that contribute to the development of the tourism product.
The white-yellow bike is designed and controlled under BrainBox’s software and systems and it is manufactured in China. E-bike is locked and unlocked via the smartphone, and it is secure once the payment is made by the user electronically, so it is protected against theft. For this reason, it is not necessary to park bicycles in a controlled area, and because it is equipped with a tracking system, the user can either collect it or leave it wherever it is convenient for him in the city or the area where it was rented, and not necessarily at a bicycle parking station. The e-bike, which easily climbs an uphill slope, carries a battery with a lifespan of 100 km and the capacity for 140 loads. The user of the bicycle or the administrator does not have to charge the battery as the company promotes a battery exchange system, which means that exhausted batteries are exchanged with charged ones. Moreover, with the e-bike, the cyclist will not worry about a flat tyre or the tyre pressure, as the tyres are solid with no tubes. According to the administration of BrainBox, the communal e-bike is ideal for municipalities near the coast and hotels that want to offer their customers a friendly and enjoyable way of travelling, combining exercise with relaxing transportation.
It is worth noting that BrainBox has up to now 3,500 classic-style bicycles in the EasyBike system in 36 cities in Greece and 6 abroad. The company, which first launched with the EasyBike system in 2008, has exported its system to Eindhoven, Nicosia, Montpellier, Krakow, Levanger (Norway) and Istanbul.
Brainbox, with EasyBike, has entered successfully markets where cycling and eco-friendly modes of transport have a lot of punch, as do the systems that support them, something that is expected to happen with the e-bike as well.

Thessaloniki as an ideal innovation friendly destination to live and invest.

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The USA is focusing on the Greek technology and innovation market

By | News

Technology and innovation are the hallmarks of the USA participation as the honoured country at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) from 8 to 16 September 2018. More than 30 major US companies will participate in the pavilion of the country, while on the occasion of the exhibition, Mr. Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce of the Trump administration, will be visiting Thessaloniki. By participating as the honoured country at this year’s TIF, the USA is seeking to feature Greece and Thessaloniki as the centre of developments in the wider region, while creating at the same time development opportunities for the country.

As the President of the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Simos Anastasopoulos, points out, the aim is to create perspectives for cooperation in technology and innovation, two areas in which the USA is distinguished and is the world’s leading. The interest in investment in Greece, where US companies are already dynamic, especially in the technology sector, is very large and mainly in energy, tourism, real estate and logistics, areas with potential that exceeds the country’s risk.

40 companies

The US participation at the 83rd TIF will ‘‘occupy’’ No. 13 Pavilion, the largest of the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. Around 40 companies, which are active in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence, green environmental technologies, aeronautics, information technology and communications, will be hosted in this venue. Among the companies involved are Lockheed Martin, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Cisco. The orientation of the Pavilion favours the interactive presentations, so that everyone understands how technology and innovation play a key role in development. That is why, in addition to the exhibition stands of the companies, there will be a central venue for events, discussions, artistic happenings as well as a separate seminar room. The US participation in this year’s TIF will be enriched with parallel events. The agenda includes the Energy Forum for the South-Eastern Europe, the round-table discussion with the participation of Secretary Ross and CEOs of multinational companies, as well as the Transatlantic Cooperation Conference in which representatives of regional American chambers will participate. There will also be a forum for cybersecurity as well as a debate on attracting investment in Southeastern Europe.

It is noteworthy that on the occasion of the presence of the USA at No.13 Pavilion , the Hellenic Ministry of Digital Policy and the TIF – Helexpo are organizing the group participation of start ups at No. 12 Pavilion in order to demonstrate the Greek dynamics in this critical area of the modern economy. Besides, in Greece – and particularly in Thessaloniki where the Alexander Innovation Zone is based – many start-up companies operate, the scope of which far exceeds the borders of the country.

Thessaloniki is becoming the design centre in the Southeast Europe

By | News

The Hellenic Design Centre, a centre created by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the support of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, began operating in Thessaloniki in the first months of 2018. This is an initiative that aims at harnessing the potential of a branch which is closely united with innovation and is of great magnitude in Europe. According to the European Commission, design has significant economic and cultural value for Europe, since 12 million people work in the creative and cultural industries of our continent. These industries have a production that accounts for 4.2% of the EU’s GDP, while more than 400.000 designers are employed. The Hellenic Design Centre, whose scope is expected to soon cover Greece and, more broadly, Southeastern Europe, is ready to offer its services to enterprises – mostly to small and medium-sized ones and start-ups – but also to collaborate with other organisations to promote first-priority issues in a creative manner initially for Thessaloniki. Its first activities include workshops on three themes: the original design clinic concept, the special services for six-month start-ups and the design challenge which at an initial stage starts urban interventions with a special reference to tourism. Design is neither fashion nor aesthetics for the European Union. It is something much more than this, it is of economic and business importance. It is the design that should be integrated into innovative products, services and processes for the sake of private companies that are strong in the global competition as well as efficient public bodies. Based on these facts, the EU has included design into its policies, beginning with its first action plan in 2013. Since progress is flowing and perceptions change rapidly, it is obvious that the design driven innovation becomes a catalyst for innovative changes in industry, services and the public sector.

In the context of new trends and the new European industrial policy, the EU is planning four axes of design intervention:

– The boosting of the European Industry Days every February.

– The opening of a regular communication between the creative and cultural sectors.

– The utilisation of design as a creative stimulus for innovation in the economy but also for the development of skills by human resources.

-The availability of resources that will be directed through new programs to businesses and operators.