The Athens Digital Lab of the City of Athens is the first municipal, tech innovation hub to support tech ideas that are spun into advanced IoT solutions. To address the real needs of Athens and supply tailored answers to the modern challenges of the city, the development and maturation of these applications is essential. In accelerating Athens’ digital transformation, ADL is upgrading the quality of life for both Athenians and visitors.
ADL is a pioneering venture, at the heart of the Greek startup ecosystem. It introduces and infuses innovation into municipality’s structures, supports youth entrepreneurship and creates the conditions that lead to the development of policy-making tools that bring economic prosperity and growth. ADL enriches the relationship between the city, the private sector & the startup ecosystem, allowing a new model of urban governance and civic participation to flourish in Athens. Its’ experimental approach and strategy has ushered real change in how we envisage the future of urban planning.
Each year, ADL stages an Open Call that focuses on different themes aligned with the municipality’s strategic plan by inviting young entrepreneurs / startups, university students/graduates and research teams to submit their innovative ideas. After the required assessment, the incubated teams work together with municipality executives, executives of COSMOTE and Nokia’s innovation divisions, and other bodies of the Greek and EU startup ecosystem, to develop sustainable tech solutions.
For at least 6 months, following the development and the maturation of the solutions, the teams test their ideas in the real field, in different locations of the municipality. For the first time, a “smart city” innovation lab of a municipality is prioritising the needs of the city and putting into practical use new technologies, while motivating young people to innovate together with Athens. Open Call presents a rare opportunity for young entrepreneurs to experiment, create and give new impetus to their city.
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ADL is located at the Innovation, Culture and Sports Centre – Serafio of the City of Athens. This modern complex houses tech startups, a fully equipped MakerSpace and other innovative initiatives of the City of Athens related to social entrepreneurship, education and tourism. The initiative is already three years old; it came into life in 2017, in the framework of the implementation of the digital strategy of the Municipality of Athens and with the exclusive donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN), in collaboration with the Athens Partnership, COSMOTE and Nokia.