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FORTH at the service of the Local Authorities. The valuable contribution of Geoinformatics in the prevention and treatment of landslides

The unprecedented rainfall of high amount and intensity that hit the island of Crete during the 9-10th of November, 2020 had as a result the occurrence of extensive floods and landslides in residential and rural areas of the island. Among the severely affected areas was the Regional Unit of Rethymno, with the effects of severe weather on both infrastructures (damages to constructions and road network) and in its primary sector (destruction of crops) being characterized as incalculable.

Prof. Athanasios Nenes was elected a 2020 AGU Fellow

Prof. Athanasios Nenes, Affiliated Scientist of FORTH/ICE-HT, Coordinating Member of the Center for the Study of Air Quality and Climate Change (C-STACC) and Professor at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland was elected by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellows Committee as a member of the 2020 class of AGU Fellows.

A new international research programme targeting the accurate prognosis and precise treatment of prostate cancer will be coordinated by FORTH

Α big European research project on developing new software tools for the accurate prognosis and precise treatment of prostate cancer, will be coordinated by Prof. Manolis Tsiknakis, Affiliated Professor at the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) of FORTH.

Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis elected Vice President of the European Research Council

As announced today in Brussels, Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), and Professor at the Medical School of the University of Crete, was unanimously elected Vice President of the European Research Council (ERC).

The medal Vilhelm Bjerknes 2021 is awarded to Prof. Spyros Pandis, a collaborating faculty member of the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences of FORTH

The European Geoscience Union (EGU) will award Prof. Spyros Pandis the medal Vilhelm Bjerknes for 2021. Prof. Pandis is a collaborating faculty member of FORTH/ICE-HT (Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences) and professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Patras. This medal is awarded for significant disciplinary contributions in the Earth, planetary and space sciences and the ceremony will be held during the EGU Annual Assembly, 25-30 April 2021.

New Spin-off Company founded by FORTH for the production of reflection-free glass that improves the quality of consumer electronics displays
A new spin-off company under the name “Biomimetic” was created leveraging patented technology developed at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL, of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas ( The company was founded by the Research Director Dr. Emmanuel Stratakis, together with FORTH research personnel Dr. Evangelos Skoulas, Mr. Andreas Lemonis, Mr. Antonis Papadopoulos and Mr. Alexandros Mimidis, as co-founders. The company raised 900.000€ seed funding by Big Pi Ventures (, one of the funds of EquiFund supported by the European Investment Fund (EIF). It is the second spin-off company of IESL that is financed by Big Pi within the last six months.
Novel method for COVID-19 diagnosis developed at FORTH receives funding for immediate market release

Biosensors lab of FORTH( has developed a novel molecular diagnostic method for the detection of nucleic acids at the point-of-care. The method exploits a newly designed portable 3D-printed device and a smartphone to perform isothermal amplification and real-time quantitative colorimetric detection of the target analyte. The simplicity of the methodology, rapid analysis time (<30 min) and affordable cost make it ideal for non-trained users at the point-of-need and in both the developed and resource limited countries. Clinical validation of the device with patients’ samples, for infectious diseases (COVID-19) and cancer-mutations (BRAF V600E) detection, demonstrated excellent performance compared to standard methods.

FORTH collaborating researcher’s major contribution to an important scientific publication in a leading medical journal, about a targeted treatment for Tumor-Induced Osteomalacia (TIO).

Dr Georgios Z. Papadakis, collaborating researcher of the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), had a major contribution on a study published on September 10th 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), in collaboration with scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Collaborating Researcher of FORTH elected Fellow of the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics
Dr. Angelina Kouroubali, collaborating researcher of the Institute of Computer Science (ICS) of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), has been elected as a Fellow in the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics. The International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI,
Wildfires at the nexus of a climate and public health crisis
Smoke from forest fires and biomass burning can remain in the atmosphere for weeks, traveling thousands of kilometers and affecting climate, public health and ecosystems far away from its source. The climate crisis is increasing the frequency, intensity and impacts from fires globally, which further accelerates climate change and creates crises in public health and ecosystems. The Weather Channel scientific editor Ally Hirschlag wrote an article in BBC and discussed with the affiliated researcher of ICE-HT/FORTH prof. Athanasios Nenes on the effects of wilfires, including results from his ERC project PyroTRACH hosted by the Institute and C-STACC.
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