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.

Mr. Alexandros Angelopoulos

Alexandros Angelopoulos, was born in Athens in 1972. He studied Business Management (Boston University 1995) and successfully completed his post-graduate studies in International management at Boston College (1998). He is Graduate of the PDP program of New York Cornell University, (2008).

He is the Managing Director of Aldemar Resorts, a leading resorts chain company in Greece. He has been active in the family business since 1995, working hard towards ideas and policies that open up new horizons in the Greek hotel business and place Tourism at the core of Greek economic activity.

Alexandros Angelopoulos, has been following with great interest the developments in the Business Ecosystem in Greece and the developments in Europe while he is very active as he participates in various organizations and committees representing the tourism sector and the entrepreneurship in Greece. In 2018, he became a Member of the Advisory Committee of the newly formed Sustainable Development Center of Governance and Public Law and a Founding Member of the Hellenic Council of Competitiveness.

Up until 2017, he was holding the position of Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Environmental Policy Committee of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels while in 2018 he was elected as the Ambassador of all 5 star hotels located in Crete and Secretary General to the newly formed Chamber of Hotels in Heraklion. He is currently also holding the position of the Vice President II of the Board of Directors of Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association. In 2020, Mr. Angelopoulos was assigned by the Ministry of Tourism to be an active member of two special committees to oversee the national tourism strategy for Gastronomy and Sustainability in Tourism. During this year he has taken the role of guest lecturer at the University of Piraeus teaching Sustainability in Tourism of the post- graduate studies “Biochemistry, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development”. Up until 2019, Vice President of the Greek Eurasian Business Council. He is Honorary Consulate of Ukraine for Peloponnese.

Dr. Kalliopi Chalkou

Studied Biology at the University of Athens, Greece, holds a PhD in Applied and Environmental microbiology and has completed a Post Doc study in Microbial Biotechnology.

During her PhD studied, has been head of the accredited laboratory of University of Athens for GMO detection in foodstuff and completed several projects funded by European Community in cooperation with food and pharmaceutical industries.

She worked in Cretafarms SA (food industry) as Quality Control mgr, and joined Coca Cola Hellenic in 2009 as Quality Assurance & Quality Control mgr in different production plants. She is member of the Water Treatment and Microbiology networks of experts of CCHellenic, member of Global TCCC Microbiology Community and member of the technical committee of the International Fruit and vegetable juice Association (IFU). 

Dr. Nikolaos Thomaidis

Nikolaos S. Thomaidis is Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Chemistry Department of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He leads a dedicated scientific group (TrAMS group), with constant research activity over the last 25 years. Prof. Thomaidis’ research interests focus on the development of cutting-edge HRMS methodologies for the thorough characterization of foods, but also of environmental and clinical samples, by applying both targeted and untargeted screening workflows.

Sophisticated chemometric tools have been developed, supporting data process and reliable evaluation of the results. Prof. Thomaidis lab has also established an accredited service laboratory according to ISO 17025, performing food analysis in line with European and International standards. His overall research activity is summed up to >250 articles, >8000 citations and a 50-h-index (Scopus ID: 6701846377). As principal investigator he has participated in several research projects, highly contributing to developing new methods and protocols in challenging authenticity and safety issues.

Dr. Apostolos Koutinas

Apostolis Koutinas is Chemical Engineer (University of Patras, Greece) with PhD in Biochemical Engineering (UMIST, UK). He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the Agricultural University of Athens (Greece).

His research focuses on bioprocess and biorefinery development within a circular economy context. Emphasis is given on process development combined with process design, techno-economic evaluation and life cycle assessment for the sustainable production of bio-based chemicals, polymers and various value-added products (e.g. active and biodegradable packaging materials, solvents, coatings, polyurethanes, advanced biofuels, bacterial nanocellulose) using crude renewable resources.

Since 2011, he has participated in 32 research and development projects funded by national and international funding agencies and the industry. He has published 145 papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals (h-index 40, scopus database) and 19 book chapters. He currently serves as co-Editor in the Biochemical Engineering Journal (Elsevier).

Dr. Phoebe Koundouri

She is a world-renowned environmental economics professor and global leader in sustainable development. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in innovative, human-centric, interdisciplinary systems for the sustainable interaction between nature, society, and the economy.

She is listed in the most-cited women economists in the world, with 15 published books and more than 450 published peer reviewed scientific papers, book chapters and reports. She is elected member of the World Academy of Art & Science, President-elect of the European Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists and she has received numerous international awards for academic excellence, including the prestigious European Research Council Synergy Grant (2020). With 100 European/Global research projects/initiatives and a team of 150 researchers, her work defines global policies and supports human well-being across the globe.

She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has taught at Cambridge, UCL, LSE, Reading University. Since 2006 she is professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), founder/director of the ReSEES Research Laboratory (AUEB), the Sustainable Development Unit (ATHENA Informatics Research and Innovation Center) and the Climate-KIC HUB Greece of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology .

She chairs the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Europe, the International Center for Research ICRE8 and the SAB of European Forest Institute. She is a commissioner of the global COVID-19 Lancet Commission, member of the Pissaridis Commission (10 year Greek Development Plan) and of the National Climate Change Committee of Greece, and an advisor to the EU, the World Bank, the UN, NATO, the WHO and other international organizations and governments worldwide.

Dr. George Tsangaris

Prof. George Th. Tsangaris was born in Chios, Greece. He holds a degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Biochemistry. He was post-doctoral fellow of French Government at INSERM U200 (Paris, France) and researcher at the same Unit up to 1994. From 1994, he joined the University Research Institute of Genetic and Malignant Diseases and the Haematology Unit, First Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Athens (Greece)  as principal investigator, responsible for the project “Molecular Study of Childhood Cancer”. In 2002, he joined the Roche Centre for Medical Genomics (Hoffman-La Roche LTD, Basel, Swiss) for sabbatical studies in proteomics. 

In 2003 he joined the Proteomics Research Unit of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens as a Professor Level Research Scientist. From his research has published: 130 peer-reviewed research papers, 30 review articles in International and Greek journals, 1 book, 6 research papers in Greek journals, 4 book chapters, 26 presentations as invited speaker in International and Greek Congresses, 125 abstracts in International congresses and 65 abstracts in Greek Congresses. 

Prof. Tsangaris is owner of 11 Greek and 3 European patents. In 2016 he was awarded as Researcher-Entrepreneur of the Year, StartUp Greece Awards (established by EU and the Greek Ministry of Development). He is founded member and president of the Hellenic Proteomics Society, founded member and local representative of the European Preventive, Predictive and Personalized Medicine Association. From 2019 he is member of the Advisory Board of Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) and from 2016 member at Large of Food and Nutrition Initiative (FaN), founded by HUPO. From 1998 he is member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Institute of Anticancer Research and member of the editorial board of three international Journals.

Dr. Spyros Fountas

Dr. Spyros Fountas is Associate Professor at Agricultural University of Athens and Editor-in-Chief in the ELSEVIER journal “Computers and Electronics in Agriculture” (IF: 3.84) since 2014. He holds an MSc from Cranfield University UK in Information Technology, and PhD from Copenhagen University, Denmark in Systems Analysis on Precision Agriculture.

He was Visiting Scholar at Purdue University, USA. He has been keynote speaker in several conferences among others in the International Horticultural Congress (IHC 18) in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2018 on “Applications of new technologies in horticultural crops”, in the 17th European Weed Research Society (EWRS), in France in June 2015 on “Big data analytics for crop protection”; in European Conference on Precision Agriculture (ECPA) in Spain in July 2013 on “Application of Precision Agriculture technology in high value crops”.

He has coordinated 3 H2020 projects, Smart-AKIS, GATES and currently OPTIMA on optimized Integrated Pest Management for precise detection and control of plant diseases. He is also participating in 22 other H2020 funded projects. He has 130 papers, including book chapters, journal papers and conference papers and 4000 citations (Google scholar, April 2021).

Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, MD, PhD

Dr. Trichopoulou is Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine, University of Athens. She has served as president of the Federation of the European Nutrition Societies (FENS) and as chairperson or key member of numerous Greek, European Commission and World Health Organization Committees.

She has received numerous honours and awards and was decorated by the President of the Greek Republic with the Golden Cross of Honor for her work in nutrition and public health. In 2011, she received the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) Award for her “outstanding nutritionist career”.

Her scientific work has focused on public health nutrition and nutrition epidemiology, with emphasis on the health effects of the Mediterranean diet and traditional foods. She has been included in the 2014 Thomson Reuters list of the Highly Cited Researchers in the field of Social Sciences, and in 2018 has been named a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics.

Mr. Dimitris Skarmoutsos

Globe-trotter and communicative, classic but modern, visionary and innovator, Dimitris Skarmoutsos is the chef who manages well in both Mediterranean and French cuisines, but also in sushi and street food. In every type of meal or cuisine, the starting point of his work is to create tasty and filling food.

Rather associated with «experimental» Greek cuisine, the chef introduces modern recipes, with respect to the Greek tradition, and focus on local ingredients, which he promotes with passion. In his hands, humble dishes like spinach with rice or a pumpkin pie go to the next level. Traditional dishes like moussaka seem innovative, while baked eggplants with lentils add an unexpected surprise to every meal.

Everything started while living in USA, where Dimitris Skarmoutsos completed his studies in economics from UCLA, and continued studying in the Culinary Institute of America. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, he apprenticed to world-class chefs, learned all the secrets for international cuisines and worked for top restaurants and hotels until 2000. In 2001, he returned back to Greece to focus on Greek cuisine. His move was faced with success considering the fact that while working as a chef in «Alatsi» he won the Golden Skoufos («Toques d’or») and Gourmet awards, leading to wider recognition.

His successful television career started in 2010, with prime time shows («Master Chef» and «Junior Master Chef», «Without Recipe», «Blind Taste»), establishing him as one of the most recognizable, familiar και popular personalities in Greek gastronomy.