The Innovation Forum 2024, held on February 9-10 at JOIST in Larissa, Greece, and accessible online, became a showcase for groundbreaking initiatives in technology and sustainability, with the ARSINOE project under the spotlight. Organized by the University of Thessaly in collaboration with other prestigious institutions, this event featured a rich agenda of exhibitions, roundtable discussions, and interactive workshops, drawing in a vast audience from across the local, regional, national, and EU innovation ecosystems.

ARSINOE experts from the University of Thessaly and the Athena Research Center engaged participants with an array of activities. Their exhibition booth offered an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, allowing visitors to witness the impacts of climate change in Athens firsthand, illustrating both human influence and the urgent need for educational outreach on environmental issues.

Highlights from the first day included roundtable discussions on “Technology & Quality of Life” moderated by Professor Chrysi Laspidou, and sessions on “Education – Technology – Innovation,” where Alexandra Ioannou introduced the MINKA platform for citizen science and biodiversity mapping. The day continued with insights into the innovation ecosystem and the pivotal role of technology in enhancing quality of life and educational practices.

Day two focused on “Smart Cities,” with Anastasios Zafeiropoulos presenting on machine learning and graph analysis technologies vital for developing climate-resilient cities. Further discussions covered the “Energy & Environment” nexus, moderated by Giannis Adamos, and explored sustainable practices in the construction sector. A significant roundtable on “One Health” highlighted a holistic strategy for health, well-being, and sustainability, chaired by Rector Charalambos Billinis and featuring key insights from Chrysi Laspidou.

The forum concluded with an “Innovation Marathon” workshop, where participants presented proposals to an evaluation committee, fostering a dynamic environment for collaboration and feedback. Greek Deputy Minister of Development, Maximos Senetakis, engaged with the ARSINOE VR world, marking a high-profile acknowledgment of the project’s contributions to understanding and mitigating climate change impacts.