Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: Research Committee

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: Research Committee – Special Account for Research Funds, School of Economic Sciences


Theodore Laopoulos

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Stella Kostopoulou

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Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) is the largest Higher Education Institution in Greece and South Eastern Europe, with 72,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. AUTh has cooperation with Universities in Balkan and Black Sea countries, China, Russia, U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Africa, Latin America, the Near, Middle and Far East and approximately 600 bilateral agreements with European Universities. AUTh implements more than 2,000 national, European and international research projects per year. The School of Economics was established in 1928, and In terms of student numbers, is one of the largest schools in the University. The curriculum of undergraduate studies consists of two cycles: the first with common courses to all students, the second with two fields of study: Economics or Business Administration. The School offers Postgraduate Programs in Economics, Business Administration, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Informatics and Management, Total Quality Management and Innovative Implementations on Education, Complex Systems and Networks, Local and Regional Development and Local Governance. The attendance of the Ph.D. Program completes the second cycle of Postgraduate Studies. The School of Economics-Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (ECON-AUTH) was the Lead Partner Coordinator of the EU Project “Local products festivals and tourism development in cross border cooperation Greece-Bulgaria-LOFT” Operational Programme “Greece-Bulgaria” 2007-2013, European Commission (ECON-AUTH budget: 112.110 E).

LOFT project was implemented to serve a dual purpose in the cross-border region Greece – Bulgaria: (a) To promote and reinforce local fairs and festivals linked to local production, (b) To further promote local/ traditional products. A map of local fairs and festivals organized across the Greek – Bulgarian cross-border area has been successfully created, while pilot activities promoted local products and cultural activities. Specific structures continue to operate after the end of the project: The cross-border network of local festivals organisers; The project website with the web-GIS tool, as well as the project mobile application (available in Android and iOS) and the training material that can be used in future training activities. Events organised in Thessaloniki offered an excellent opportunity for the dissemination of project results and networking between the festival organizers. In addition, presentations in national and international conferences and publications in books and journals of scientific papers, resulted in the availability of project’s results, and are still generating numerous views, downloads and citations. Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding about the Establishment of the Network of Local Fair Organizers was signed by the project’s partners, tourism stakeholders, organizers of local production festivities and producers of local products in the eligible area, ensuring the sustainability of the project activities in the future. ECON-AUTH is Partner to the Project ERASMUS+ LMPT, “Professional Bachelor and Master programs for design and development of sustainable tourism activities”. 24 organizations originating by 9 countries (1BG, 1FR, 1RO, 3IT, 2GR, 2PT, 8KGZ, 2VN, 4CN) participate to the project, where 17 are Universities: 8 in France, 3 in Kyrghyzstan, 4 in Chine, 2 in Vietnam. LMPT Project mains aims are to: • Create a professional Bachelor and Master program for design and development of sustainable tourism activities • Create a modular Lifelong learning course (LLL) and experiment it with 50 employees • Open a centre of excellence as a resource center to support the new training offer.

ECON-AUTH is Partner to #europehome project, supported by ERASMUS+, Key Action 2, Strategic Partnerships (2014-2017). The project partnership is: University of Alcala de Henares, University of Latvia, Lodz University of Technology, University of Aveiro, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, European University Foundation, Erasmus Student Network. The overall goal of the #europehome project is to address the challenge of student employability and the need to increase the relevance of education by focusing on 4 main pillars: Employability and entrepreneurial education by fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and mind-sets; Relevance of education by consulting with the employers and proposing feasible solutions; Employability and mobility by merging both academic and professional experiences while studying abroad Employability and internationalisation at home by encouraging non-mobile students to participate in a part-time placement scheme in their home country in tandem with international students. ECON-AUTH was the Project Coordinator of the project “Creation of local sustainable tourism cluster: Assessing Tourism Creative Capacity of Parnassos broader area”, Parnassos National Park Management Body, AUTh, 2012.


ECON-AUTH participates to the Projects: “eMobilita – Electromobility in urban transport: a multi-dimensional innovation (socio-economic and environmental effects)”, EU Programmes 2014-2020, Horizon 2020, Excellent Science, Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions, starting date: 1/3/2017, ECON-AUTH budget: 310.500 E. “Business and Competitive Intelligence for Entrepreneurship”, ERASMUS+ programme, starting date: 1/10/2016. “Framework contract for the provision of services to the Commission in the fields of research evaluation and research policy analysis, Lot 2: Data collection and performance indicators to monitor European research policy”, date: 13/12/2013. Evaluation of the MEINEPO Master Program (TEMPUS Joint European Project: “MEINEPO – Master Studies in European Integration and Neighbourhood Policy”, Agreement No.: CD-JEP-27034-2006). Evaluation Report (in English) submitted in June 2009. In the scope of this proposed project the School of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (ECON-AUTH), will focus on sharing knowledge and experience on conducting high quality researches, promotion of tourism sector across the Black Sea Area and using the academic staff and external expertise in creation of interactive databases. ECON-AUTH will add value to the project by using its solid long lasting experience of creating research studies and organizing large-scale academic events promoting transnational cooperation.