Ms. Meral Guzel

Meral Guzel is the Partnership Manager of Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, a multi-partner initiative designed to improve women entrepreneurship around the world in collaboration with five United Nations agencies.

She has previously worked as the Women’s Empowerment Principle Specialist to establish WEPs Secretariat within UN Women. She founded and launched the Women’s Banking department of BNP Paribas TEB and also designed and managed several multi-country entrepreneurship programmes at the World Bank.

Meral has a wealth of experience in global development with 15 years of experience in programme and policy work on gender equality in collaboration with the private sector, financial institutions, governments, CSOs and institutional partners. Meral’s expertise includes women empowerment at the workplace, banking on women, financial inclusion (MSME development, remittances, access to finance) and women’s entrepreneurship.

Meral is an economist and holds Master’s degrees in High European Studies, International Finance and International Franchise and SME Development. She speaks Turkish, English, French and Spanish. She is the proud mother of three sons.

Ms. Rannia Savvaki

Rannia Savvaki prior to her position at the Embassy was an international (agri) business expert, combining education and training, consultancy and conceptual research expertise. She did her business studies in the UK and has over 25 years’ experience in the field of business development, value chain analysis, and strategic planning.

Besides advisory work she has been a lecturer and researcher for several Higher Education institutes in the Netherlands. Her research focus was on Netchain innovation in the EU agri-food industry: multi-actor approaches for regional innovation and entrepreneurship in niche supply chains aiming at policy advice on critical success factors for innovation in the agriculture sector. Through international consulting work she has gained a good insight in agricultural markets, value chain development, and the lead role of private investors in agriculture sector growth.

Dr. Dimitrios Vlachos

Professor Vlachos is the Director of the Laboratory of Statistics and Quantitative Analysis Methods, Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LASCM) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), Greece.

He conducts research and consulting in the fields of supply chain management, logistics, applied operational research, combined transport systems management, business restructuring and strategy development. He has participated in more than 60 research projects (in 15 of them as a principal investigator) in the field of Supply Chain Management, and he has co-authored the respective technical reports.

He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, conference proceedings and book chapters. He has participated as a consultant or expert in numerous projects funded by public and private organizations. He is President of the Greek Association of Supply Chain Management (EELBE).

Dr. Philip Papadopoulos

Dr. Philip Papadopoulos holds a PhD from London School of Economics and is currently the Director of the Strategic Project Management Office of the American Farm School (AFS). In this capacity he is responsible for the Agrifood Entrepreneurship Centres run by AFS in the cities of Thessaloniki and Kalamata, and oversees training and consultancy projects in over thirty locations throughout Greece. Building and managing multi-actor alliances between research institutes, civil society institutions and the real economy is one of his core activities.

His fields of interest include Consumer Behavior related to the Mediterranean Diet, Alternative Tourism, Food Anthropology, Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, Organizational Culture & Climate, Leadership and Management, including motivation and performance management.

Dr. Eleni Maloupa

Dr. Eleni Maloupa (BSc Agronomy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, MSc & PhD in Plant Biology and Physiology, “Pierre et Marie Curie” University of Paris) is Director of the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, Head of the Laboratory for the Conservation and Evaluation of Native and Floricultural Species (LabCENFS) and Curator of the Balkan Botanic Garden Kroussia.

Her research fields focuses on protection, conservation, propagation and utilization of native Greek plant species (mainly aromatic-medicinal). She has teaching experience in graduate and postgraduate level (Universities, MAICH). She participated in the MSc program “The biodiversity and sustainable exploitation of native plants” (School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and supervise MSc and PhD thesis in school of Pharmacy and Athens Agronomy University. Her research work has been published in more than 60 international and Greek journals. She has also participated in the publication of 3 book chapters.

She has implemented major research programs in collaboration with internationally renowned researchers. She has organized and materialized educational programs and seminars addressed to farmers, enterprises and interested civilians on the above-mentioned subjects. She has educational certification for adult training from the National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP).


Abstract (EN/GR): here

Dr. Panagiotis N. Skandamis

Dr. Panagiotis N. Skandamis is Assoc. Professor of Food Microbiology and Food Quality Control and Food Hygiene in the Agricultural University of Athens and member of the BIOHAZ panel of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). He received his Bachelor Degree on Food Science & Technology and a PhD on Food Microbiology by Agricultural University of Athens (AUA). He has worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Animal Science of Colorado State University in USA. In 2004, he joined the Department of Food Science & Technology of AUA, teaching Food Microbiology and Food Quality Control and Hygiene. Dr. Skandamis has (co-) authored 135 original research papers in journals of SCI, 30 book chapters, edited 1 book, more than 200 oral or poster presentations in conferences and has a total number of 6280 citations (h-index 36).

His research is funded by 5th, 6th and 7th EU Framework Program, HORIZON 2020, multiple competitive Grants from Greek Research and Technology Funding Agency, Hellenic institute of Research and Innovation, as well as direct contracts with the Greek Food Industry in the following areas: (i) active antimicrobial and intelligent packaging of foods; (ii) assessment of microbial food spoilage; (iii) survival/growth of pathogens, with emphasis on the adaptive response to food-related stresses, (iv) biofilm formation and removal by chemical and natural disinfectants, (iii) predictive microbiology of foods and quantitative microbial risk assessment, (v) application of mild preservation technologies and antimicrobial interventions; (vi) detection, isolation and subtyping of foodborne pathogens from foods and food processing environments and (vii) ecology of mycotoxin-producing fungi. He has been Associate Editor in Food Research International (2012-2017). Currently he is serving as scientific co-editor in Journal of Food Protection and member of the Editorial Board in Applied and Environmental Microbiology and International Journal of Food Microbiology.

Dr. Skandamis is member of the scientific committee of International Conference in Predictive Microbiology in Foods (ICPMF) since 2008, member of the organizing committee of European symposium of International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) since 2015, and current co-President of the FoodMicro 2020. He is also Chair of the Professional Development Group of “Microbial Modelling and Risk Assessment” of IAFP.

Dr. Skandamis is the Head of “Department of Dietetics and Quality of Life” and co-ordinator of the WG “Food Safety” of the National Technological Platform “Food For Life”. He has been involved in the task force established by SEVT and the National Food Safety Authority for the development of guidance documents for Good Hygiene Practices against SARS-CoV-2 in the food processing and catering services, producing one document for risk profile and a Guide of Good Hygiene Practices against Covid-19 for personnel of the Food Industry.

Predictive Modeling software development: Dr. Skandamis has also developed a Predictive Modelling Software tool, entitled GroPIN, which constitutes a database of 714 kinetic and probabilistic models for pathogens and spoilage organisms in response to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic foods parameters (e.g., T, pH, aw, preservatives, atmosphere, etc.). GroPIN is capable of simulating microbial growth and inactivation under static and dynamic processing and distribution conditions along the food chain, both deterministically and stochastically, via Monte Carlo simulation.

Dr. Eleftherios Iakovou

Dr. Iakovou is the Director of Manufacturing and Logistics Innovation Initiatives at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES); the Associate Director of Supply Chain Management and Applied Operations Research at Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) of TEES; and a Professor and a Holder of a TEES Research Professorship at the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University.

His research areas include: Supply Chain Management, Inventory Management, Intermodal & Maritime Logistics, Green Logistics – Sustainability, Port Management, Global Logistics & Free Trade Facilitation, Manufacturing & Production Systems, Humanitarian Logistics, Emergency Response Management and Innovation, Policy-Making & Strategy Development.

Prior to joining Texas A&M in 2015, Dr. Iakovou served as the Department Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Dr. Iakovou has published more than 230 papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings, as well as two books. He has served as a keynote speaker for a plethora of national and international events, while he has been consulting extensively for a number of governmental and corporate organizations both in the U.S. and in the EU for more than two decades. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and briefly also as its CEO for the Alexandrian Innovation Zone S.A., in Thessaloniki, Greece. For more than ten years, he was the President of the Greek Association of Supply Chain Management (EEL ΒΕ).