Since 2008 The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has been providing funding for a large number of scientific research projects under its ‘Scientific Projects’ programme. Following the call for 26 selected research projects in 2015 it has been announced that the programme has now reached the end of its eight-year cycle. Funding for scientific research through The John S. Latsis Foundation will now cease but will be implemented in future under new programmes which are set to be announced in the immediate future. For eight years the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, overseen by the family supervisory board Henrietta, Margarita, Marianna and Spiro Latsis, has assisted funding for research groups from almost every academic institution and research facility in Greece, Greek scientists residing abroad and a series of independent research groups. The aim of the Scientific Projects initiative was to not only strengthen research activity but also to promote collaborations between international higher educational institutions and those in Greece.
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation was established in 2005 to continue the legacy of the late Greek entrepreneur and philanthropist John S. Latsis. The foundation aims to plan, manage and fund a broad range of programmes within the fields of social welfare, education, science, healthcare, culture and the environment. Following the death of John S. Latsis in 2003 his remaining family decided to establish The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation under his name and to continue his many good works within his home country of Greece and abroad. The family make up the supervisory board – wife Henrietta Latsis, daughters Marianna and Margarita Latsis and son Spiro Latsis. The approach of the foundation to grant-making prioritises situations where emergency relief for citizens is required, NGO capacity building and community development, infrastructural improvements, and projects highlighting Greece’s cultural wealth and educational and scientific research programmes.
The ‘Scientific Projects’ Programme Overview
The Scientific Projects programme has been included in the programme of activities of The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation since 2008, financing a series of scientific one-year research projects with the aim of promoting collaborations between academic institutions in Greece and across the globe and strengthening Greek research activity across a wide number of scientific fields. Each year the foundation has issued a public call for applicants including all relevant terms and conditions for participation. Since 2008 there have been:
- 6,200 project proposals submitted
- 145 projects funded by the foundation
- 556 participating scientists
- 46 Greek organisation involved including universities, research centres and NGOs
- 14 overseas organisations involved
- 6 independent research teams
Projects have been divided into three main scientific categories: Humanities and Social Sciences; Physical Sciences and; Life Sciences.
2014 Funded Projects
There were 19 research projects in total funded by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation in 2014 including but not limited to:
Humanities and Social Sciences (7 in total)
- Documentation of the Yevanic dialect (Independent Team)
- A study of the willingness of consumers to pay for certified agricultural products ensuring fair working conditions (University of Athens’ Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
- A study of the advancement of agriculture, exploring agrarian production’s technical improvements and the significance of these for the Greek countryside society, using the Agricultural Museum collections from 1920-1960 (Hellenic Open University)
- Research into the policies and ideologies of prosecution, discrimination and exclusion in the modern world to create an educational guide and historical anthology (The Aristotle University of Thessalonki’s Department of Political Science)
- The case of Greece in terms of the underground economy and fiscal consolidation policies (The European University Institute)
Physical Sciences (6 in total)
- A study of the use of nanogels in regenerative medicine (The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Department of Chemical Engineering)
- A study for structural integrity monitoring of self-sensing cement / graphene-based nanocomposites (The University of the Aegean’s Department of Financial and Management Engineering)
- The effects of ocean acidification on benthic organisms’ calcified structures (The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research)
- The development of a new system of information for automating reconstruction of important archaeological fragmented findings (ICCS)
Life Sciences (6 in total)
- A study of the underlying epigenetic mechanisms of myelofibrosis (BRFAA)
- An identification using a systems biology approach of human hepatocellular carcinomas’ natural inhibitors (The National Technical University of Athens’ School of Mechanical Engineering)
- Using whole exome sequencing to unravel the genetic basis for MRKH syndrome (BSRC “Alexander Fleming”)
The 26 selected projects to be funded in the eighth and final cycle of the Scientific Projects programme are yet to be publically announced. Further programmes for the funding of scientific research by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation will also be announced later on this year.
The John S. Latsis foundation has recently supported ‘The Human Hepatacellular Carcinoma Research‘