Although the organisation has been around for nearly a decade, it was not until 2008 that the John S. Latsis Foundation began funding one year research projects in not just Greece, but in universities throughout Europe. The Foundation was set up two years after the death of Greek entrepreneur, John Latsis who also spent many years and his own money in helping welfare and scientific projects. Currently, the Foundation is growing annually with continued applicants from the field of science making full use of the organisation’s funding.
Continuing Latsis’ philanthropic work is his son, Spiro John Latsis who forms part of the supervisory board along with other members of his family. In order to remain a viable non profit organisation, the supervisory board has to work alongside the board of executives in deciding which applicant can receive funding. This combination of shrewd business sense with the humanist qualities inherited by the Latsis’ family members has ensured that the Foundation can continue helping the neediest of applicants without stretching the budget too far.
The primary function of the Foundation is to assist Greek research institutions and universities in a variety of scientific fields. Co-operation between Greek universities and others in Europe is also promoted by the Latsis Foundation in order to further advance Greek higher education. An open call is made for applications each year, which outlines what the Foundation is looking for in beneficiaries as the boards behind the organisation are committed to helping as many people as possible.
In 2008, the first year in which the Foundation decided to focus on education, there were 10 successful applications. Each following year has seen the Latsis legacy extend to ever more research projects, the highest of which was in 2010 when as many as 21 successful applications were made. There are three primary areas of science in which the Foundation focus their attention on; social sciences, physics and engineering as well as the life sciences. Every year, the organisation attempts to address each three years with an equal amount of funding, testament to the commitment it has to furthering all sciences.