Research is mainly carried out by research centres and universities. The leading universities, such as the National Technical University (Athens), the National and Capodistrian University (Athens), the Aristotelian University (Thessaloniki), play a very important role, not only in conducting basic research but also in preparing scientists and researchers. Taking into account the world trends in the strengthening of competitiveness in the field of technology, Greece has been modernizing its technological environment through a policy for Research and Development that has been implemented for the last two decades.
The General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Ministry of Development is responsible for the planning, development and funding of various research and technology programmes. It supervises 32 of the most important R&D Centres and establishes new institutes, with main aims the improvement of competitiveness in the Greek economy, the transfer of technological know-how from research centres to industrial production and the restructuring and reinforcement of the human resources of the research sector. Sixteen research centres, such as the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and the National Hellenic Research Foundation (Athens), the Foundation for Research and Technology (Crete) and the National Centre for Research and Technology Development (Thessaloniki) and 12 technological organisations (in sectors like marine technology, the renewable energy sources, water cultivation etc.) provide research and technical support to Greek enterprises. Furthermore, 4 technological parks (Attiki, Thessaloniki, Crete and Patras) offer the necessary know-how to industries and companies and support new industries and research centres through the use of new technologies.
The information society policy aims at using new technologies for the creation of an open and effective government, for improving the conditions of economic development, for the creation of new jobs, for the quality transformation of the education system, the improvement of quality of life, the protection and promotion of Greek culture.