The Athena Research Center was founded in 2003 as the “IRIS – Integrated Research for the Information Society”, in order to consolidate and further expand the Greek R&D activities and initiatives in the area of ICT. In 2006 IRIS was renamed to “Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies”, with the name designation “Athena”. The new Center initially comprised of the following existing institutes: the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), the Cultural and Educational Technology Institute (CETI) and the Industrial Systems Institute (ISI). Also, the founding act provided for the creation of new institutes that would cover vibrant areas of digital technology as well as of units that would incubate know-how development activities that may lead to new major development directions.
Athena Research Center is organized into Institutes and Units, which are active in different aspects of information and communication technologies. Currently, it comprises of three Institutes:
- The Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP), a center of excellence in interdisciplinary research in language, cultural and educational technologies
- The Industrial Systems Institute (ISI), a leader in industrial systems technologies R&D covering the entire spectrum of Greek industry’s ICT needs
- The Information Management Systems Institute (IMSI), the sole Institute in Greece specializing in (big) data management and scalable analytics
These Institutes are complemented by Research Units which bring together skills central to particular areas of computer or computational sciences:
- The Hellenic Technology Cluster Initiative (Corallia), the first organization established in Greece for the structured and systematic management and development of innovation clusters.
- The Space Programmes Unit (SPU), aiming to foster the participation of Greece in the European Space Agency (ESA) and advance the use of leading-edge technologies in space engineering and science.
- The Robot Perception and Interaction Unit (RPI), with a goal to advance and sustain research in the intersection of robotics, informatics, communications, and cognitive systems.
- The Environmental and Networking Technologies and Applications Unit (ENTA), dedicated to promoting fundamental and applied research in all aspects of the contemporary environmental and networking problems, such as climate change and space networking.
- The Pharma-Informatics Unit, focusing on all the computational work (modeling and simulation) involved in the stages of discovery-development and application of pharmaceutical products into clinical practice.
- The Sustainable Development Unit, focusing on interdisciplinary systems research and the delivery of innovative solutions for the transition to a green, digital, job-based and fair future.
- The “Archimedes” Center for Research in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms was founded in January 2022 with the support of the Committee Greece 2021 and operates as a Research Unit of the Athena Research Center. Its main mission will be the funding of visiting researchers (faculty members and researchers in Greece and abroad) as well as PhD candidates in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms.