1.1 Overview

My strategic policy for EKT has remained constant throughout my time with the organisation (some 17 years) and even if it has changed to meet the needs of a particular time, it is fundamentally based on two essential factors: EKT has a central role to maintain in Greek society, and Greece must continue to have a visible, reputable and, above all, participatory position in the global community.

Taking the former factor into account, as the director of the National Documentation Centre (EKT), my main task, now, more than ever, is to ensure the optimum conditions for EKT's sustainable growth so that it can actively contribute in a variety of ways to boost the country's performance at home and abroad.

This means not only identifying the needs of the organisation but also those of society in general so that there is mutual development to that end.

In order to accomplish this, I am convinced that it is crucial to be constantly aware of:

·        what is happening within EKT itself;

·        what domestic and foreign policies include;

·        what the demands of our users, partners, collaborators -  nationally and internationally – are;

·        what the needs of society in general are;

·        what legal aspects might be involved

·        and last but not least, what new ideas are available and what their potential may be.

 

Recognising the diversity of the above, I advocate a certain flexibility as I realise that a 'fixed' way of tackling a matter cannot always adequately address every situation. It is for that reason that I feel a holistic approach is best as it allows me to consider all the angles which, in turn, enables me to make the best choices for the best results. In many cases, it is a matter of combining approaches, for which collaboration is required.

Looking at, listening to and considering a variety of angles from which to deal with a situation, seeing potential,  making the connection between needs and new methods that can be applied to meet them, being open to new ideas, technologies and innovations are essential in any endeavour to hold and add to EKT's multi-faceted role currently and in the future.  

I base my strategy on knowing what is wanted and what is available to satisfy that need. Thus, my first consideration before tackling the development of strategic policy has always been to understand what needs to be achieved, while being fully aware of the innovative means that could be applied to accomplish this. As far as EKT is concerned, it has a number of roles to play, each with its own significance for Greek society, particularly in the cultural, educational, research and scientific communities. Frequently, there is a divide between the various communities, which is where EKT can intervene by acting as an intermediary to provide a means of interconnectability between those with needs and those who have the know-how to fulfill those needs

My approach requires that I fully appreciate the climate of the time and adapt policies to allow for changes both internally as well as externally. I make it my business to be fully aware of the needs not only of the cultural, educational and scientific communities but also the business sector. Knowing the needs of all, I then seek solutions to satisfy those needs. This search may involve considering the potential of a suggestion which is perhaps not the obvious choice, a little thinking out of the box perhaps.

'Flexibility' is a key word in my vocabulary, as is 'sustainabilty'. As I see it, it is not simply a matter of finding a 'quick' immediate solution to a current issue; it is more about the successful long-term outcome. The latter being crucial for any sound growth. This is where 'sustainability' comes in. For me, any strategic policy must have the capacity for sustainability, particularly of resources, and a well-thought out plan which allows for all contingencies, unforeseen as well as foreseen. In order to be prepared for future decisions, whether in planning for EKT's development or in providing the data upon which others will base their actions, I realise how essential understanding relevant data is. Two of EKT”s main activities are documentation and metrics, both of which provide vast amounts of data. My belief is that clear presentation, even interpretation, of that data is necessary for a better overall understanding of a situation.

I believe that progress cannot be made without constant communication with the various sectors of society so I welcome feedback, no matter what form that might take. Advances cannot be made if we deny that problems exist. For that reason, I encourage open dialogue and welcome the opportunity to participate in national and international conferences so as to share opinions and experiences in the hope that together solutions can be found. Through collaboration, not only new models of operating and best practices can be established but also common policies can be formulated. The result being more effective outcomes for all. At this point, we must not forget the general public, who can be reached through our active presence in the media, especially social media. Keeping them in the loop is just as necessary as our connecting with academic, research and business communities. The more people we 'touch', the better for us, as a dynamic organisation, to constantly evolve.

I have always followed European, OECD and international policies as closely as possible for two main reasons: to support the position of Greece in the international arena, and       to encourage the adoption of similar ways of operating within the country itself. An example of the significant role played by EKT in this area is the fact that it has always been a contact point between international and national programmes, indeed, EKT is currently the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 and also co-ordinates Enterprise Europe Network – Hellas.

Recognising the contribution that people can make to a situation, whether this is a case of personnel within EKT or external collaborators, I believe that to achieve goals which are beneficial for a number of areas, the best work possible should be done by those who have the right expertise. It goes without saying that excellence, in every aspect of any activity, must be a target. This means not only searching for the best personnel to do the job as well as the best collaborators to work with, but also demanding excellence from them.

Networking is one of the basic means through which to build up connections and collaborations. EKT is in an excellent position to take full advantage of that due to its know-how. However, once again, it isn't only the individual who might be expected to be interested in EKT that should be catered for, so being a contemporary organisation, EKT keeps itself in the public eye through the social media, for example, through Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and so on. (There are approximately 3,000 Twitter 'followers').

To maintain a central role in national and international affairs, EKT needs to be at the forefront technologically. Over the years, my policy has led to the independence of EKT as far as development and use of software is concerned. This independence has enabled the development of e-infrastructures as a means with which to achieve all the above. Its continued evolution is high on my list of activities. It is through e-services, such as online journals and sites, e-helpdesks, surveys and reports that EKT is best able to connect with and interconnect those who can make innovative use of available information.

No project can be carried out without funding. Thus, seeking the appropriate partners, knowing where to find funding are essential for the organisation itself as well as putting EKT in a position whereby it can aid others who may not be as well connected as EKT is. As far as EKT is concerned, besides the state funding it receives for various projects, extra funding is needed, particularly for advanced technology, if the organisation wishes to remain a leader. With that in mind, as EKT is a partly independent organisation, I welcome national and international partnership opportunities for funded projects.

Believing EKT has evolved into an organisation on a par with those found in other countries, my intention is to maintain that position. One way in which to keep EKT in peak operating condition is for the activities of the various departments to be frequently reviewed and evaluated. Moving forward means changing mentality, ideas, being open to new ways of thinking and acting . It means encouraging individual thinking, out of the box thinking, while, simultaneously, recognising the importance of team work.

There are several areas on which I would like the efforts of EKT to focus, such as open access, knowledge-based capital, data-driven innovation, science for science and innovation policy and social enterprise.

It is my main goal, through my policies for EKT, to continue to provide even better services to support the work of the academic, research, scientific and entrepreneurial communities upon which evidence-based policies can be made to benefit all of society.

I actively encourage the use of e-libraries, e-repositories, e-journals, e-newsletters online surveys, reports and feedback as a means of preserving, disseminating and reusing content so as to foster the creation of a knowledge-based society with which economic and societal challenges can be met. 

1.2 Resources

1.2.1 Funding

The use of funded projects to supplement EKT's budget has always played a major role.

Since 1997 more than 75 development projects have been implemented at national and European level, with a total budget that exceeds 50 million euros, which generated an annual average of 40 new jobs for highly specialised scientific staff.

1.2.2 Human Resources

The choice of partners with high-level qualifications, the constant improvement of skills and, most importantly, the development of a common culture within the organisation has been one of the main concerns in the development of EKT.

The interaction between permanent staff and an extensive network of external partners and experts is crucial and a key tool for improving the skills of staff and the transfer of knowledge within the organisation.

 It should be noted that since 1997 over 40 studies on the internal organisation and strengthening of EKT’s outward operation have been conducted. 

1.3 Infrastructures

Technology - Training & Support - Legal

The focus has been on two types of transitions:

(I)  the transition from closed commercial technologies supplied by third parties to open technologies developed mainly by the global community of organizations to which EKT belongs

(II) the transition from physical infrastructure to cloud technologies.

 

To do this, guides and reference material for users along with support and advanced training for each service are provided.

There has been a conscious strategic positioning to ensure the following conditions:

(I) legal studies of great expertise in relation to the managed flows

(II) complete documentation of the legal information relating to the knowledge gathered,

(III) and decision support systems for the easy management of rights.

1.4 Management

Standardisation of procedures substantially improves the quality of both the work environment and the services provided to third parties, while, at the same time it allows for the effective management of the organisation, which is essential when responding to a constantly changing environment.

The assessment of EKT's performance is enabled through  activity reports published annually, progress reports and the regular monitoring of objectives.  

1.5 Ecosystem

 EKT should not  be seen as a single organisation, but as a focal point in the complex ecology of knowledge, its role has been gradually formed in such a way to:

• provide the infrastructure to form services in collaboration with third parties

• provide the infrastructure and services to organisations and users

• link organisations and users located in different parts of the ecosystem.

The creation of a web of legal relationships between third parties and EKT has worked as a catalyst to clarify the relations between them and to enable the sustainability of partnerships. This grid activates and completes the existing institutional framework of EKT, but also specifies the obligations of the parties, ensuring the smooth flow of rights, content and value within the ecosystem knowledge.

1.6 Policy

The main elements of EKT’s Strategy are:

• open standards and technologies to ensure interoperability and sustainability of the organisation’s infrastructures

• acquiring expertise in open source applications,  such as repositories and epublishing

• support of open access policies, content and data at national and European level, with the participation in European programs, consultations and working groups

• coordination of the working group for open public information and open licenses, as well as standardisation at European level

• coordination of working groups for open access policies at European level

• establishment of institutional open access policies, content, and data at the National Documentation Centre (EKT) and the National Hellenic Research Foundation

• systematic documentation of IPR

• development of standard procedures and instructions for opening the content and data that EKT has or makes available through its facilities

• standardisation of licenses and conditions for opening data and content and automated control and evaluation systems of those organisations whose metadata are accumulated by EKT

• ensuring the technical conditions for the creation and publication of open interconnected data and metadata

• accumulation and open dissemination of literature as well as research, scientific, and cultural data

• carrying out activities of open access e-publishing

• organising events, hackathons, editathons and working groups on open access, open data, content and software.

1.7 Values

Values are based on the principles of transparency, openness, collegiality, reliability and sustainable development,with a view to measurable results.