Dear Former Minister for Research, Innovation & Digital Policy, Mr. Kyriacos Kokkinos

Dear Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Andreas Louka

Dear Mr. Andronikos Kakkouras from the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation & Digital Policy

Dear Mr. George Danos

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to be here, among talented individuals, for the 5th Cassini Hackathon, organized by C.I.P.:  “Citizens In Power”, we express our gratitude to you for your lasting and unrelenting work to bring social, economic and environmental prosperity.  Initiatives like yours, bring together some of the brightest minds from all across the country.

Cassini, as the European Commission’s initiative to boost space entrepreneurship, is set to become a stepping stone in leveraging space data to weather ‘storms’ of varying ‘origins’,  improve our defense and security, and enhance our cyber resilience.

Hackathons focus on solving real-world problems and provide new and innovative solutions to a vast range of challenges. They are, also, an invaluable opportunity for participants to self-develop, and to meet and network with like-minded individuals and industry professionals.

Over this weekend, we will come together to leverage the power of space technology to specifically address some of the most pressing, current defense and security challenges.

As we all know, space is becoming an increasingly vital instrument for defense and security. With a growing number of satellites in orbit, we now have access to a wealth of data that can be resourcefully used to enhance our ability to detect, track, and respond to threats.  We, therefore, want to harness the power of innovation and collaboration to develop new solutions for defense and security utilizing this wealth of data.

The three challenges of this year’s hackathon - enabling cross-terrain mobility, making seas more secure, and protecting our critical infrastructure - can effortlessly be paralleled with the responsibilities of our Authority:

The Digital Security Authority is an independent state agency, established in April 2018 under the Commissioner of Communications. The DSA’s responsibilities include the implementation in our country of the European Network and Information Security Directive (the NIS Directive), with a strong focus on upgrading and maintaining high levels of cybersecurity for all the operators of essential services and critical information infrastructures, including operators in sectors like energy and transport, water and health, banking and financial services, and digital infrastructure.  And, of course, space.

The DSA, also encompasses the National CSIRT.  The National CSIRT offers proactive services, in the form of alerts and warnings, to the local and international community, as well as reactive services, such as incident management in cases of cyber-incidents, to a range of constituents. Moreover, we promote the creation of sectorial CSIRTs in crucial segments of society and the economy, to encompass specialized sectoral expertise and complement the services of the National CSIRT, thereby offering reinforced monitoring and response mechanisms at multiple levels.

Over the weekend, we will get a flavor of challenges ahead and of ways to effectively mitigate them.  We are in search of ideas and initiatives that will utilize space data to improve intelligence-gathering, surveillance, and early-warning capabilities.  And we are in search of solutions and applications that can be used to enhance the resilience of our critical infrastructures, and protect our communities against security threats and natural disasters.

Your creativity, and your new and innovative ways to use space data for defense and security, can save lives on a mass scale.

We have a challenging and rewarding task ahead of us.  Together, we can make a difference.

We wish you all the best of success, and we look forward to the results of this Hackathon.

Have a great and productive weekend.