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The International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills was established in June 2020 by Cisco in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Digital Governance and the Ministry of Development and Investments, under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister in Thessaloniki.
Its purpose is to enhance innovation, accelerate digital transformation, enhance digital skills as well as promote digital culture.
More specifically, at the Center, Cisco with the support of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, its partners, the academic community and start-ups, will create teams that will analyze, design and propose solutions that concern any area of economic and social life. At the same time, the Center will have a training department - Cisco Networking Academy (www.netacad.com) - as well as STEM and Robotics departments, which aim to enhance the digital skills of pupils, students and professionals who want to acquire specialization equipment, which are in now days required by the labor market.
The historical building, which was erected between 1896 and 1897, served as the home of the Public Slaughterhouses until their closure in 1988. Following a brief hiatus between 1978 and 1980 to repair damages caused by an earthquake that struck the city, the building resumed operations until 1990 when it was transformed into a Municipal Athletic Center alongside a newer building in the area.
In recognition of its significance as a prime example of early 20th-century industrial architecture, the building was declared a preservable structure by the Ministry of Culture in 1994.
The current use of the building as a hub for Digital Transformation and Skills (DT&S) is a testament to the compatibility of modern digital technology with the preservation of local cultural heritage. In fact, the presence of DT&S in this space demonstrates how technology can contribute to the promotion and development of cultural values in the community.
The decision of Cisco Hellas, for the creation of the Center, is part of the Cisco strategy for the enhancement of the digital transformation and the digital skills in Greece, through the technological innovation for the strengthening of the country's economy and consequently the development. The center will be a reference point for innovative technological solutions that Cisco will develop with its partner ecosystem, start-ups and educational and research institutions in sectors such as life quality (e.g. smart cities), health, rural development, tourism, environmental protection, civil protection and many others, not only for Greece but also for the Balkans and Southeastern Europe.
The company is committed to continue to support in every way in this direction and will always be a helper in efforts aimed at technological progress and consequently the economic development of Greek society.
Cisco has a network of innovation centers where, with the help of partners, startups and academia, they analyze and propose solutions that concern any area of economic and social life.
The Center offers a range of fully operational solutions for visitors to experience. Additionally, our Center collaborates with local partners to continually develop solutions that address issues faced by the Greek Public Sector and Administrative Divisions, as well as private companies. To support this effort, we host new startup companies and work closely with local universities and research institutes in the area.
The Center hosts startups that focus on studying and developing innovative technological solutions to address social problems. Additionally, in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Center hosts a variety of cultural events including concerts, theatrical performances, and art and technology exhibitions. These events are live streamed on the internet to reach a wider audience.
The Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki (MOMus) has taken a significant step towards enhancing the museum experience for visitors with the Visitors Location Data Management System (VLDMS) pilot project. The VLDMS project was developed by DT&S in close cooperation with MOMus administration and was made possible with the support of Space Hellas, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner.
The primary objective of the VLDMS pilot project was to provide MOMus administration real time data related to visitors’ movements inside their premises, focusing on which area they are visiting and how much time they are spending in front of exhibits. To implement this solution, we provided to them with a fast, secure, and highly reliable WiFi 6 network with a highly accurate Real-Time Location System (RTLS). In addition, MOMus can provide the wireless network as a platform to implement and use new type of applications, like AR/VR, wayfinding and more, as well as offer free WIFI access to the internet.
This project was developed for Digitally Transforming the MOMus-Experimental Arts Center located at Wearhouse B1 at the Harbor of Thessaloniki. The project was delivered successfully to the Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts in Thessaloniki administration within January 2023, achieving in full its scope and targets, as verified by a relevant protocol signed by the beneficiary Organization administration.
The VLDMS project faced several challenges, including enabling visitors to connect anywhere and anytime, ensuring real-time location high accuracy, adapting the system to constantly changing exhibition areas, covering all museum spaces (floor, open space-atrium), and visualizing important visitors' data.
To overcome these challenges, the VLDMS project utilized the benefits offered by a WiFi 6 network, such as bandwidth, reliability, and security, while ensuring interoperability with the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology for providing highly accurate visitors' Real-Time Location data. The Real-Time Location System (RTLS) tracks the geolocation of a specific target, whether an object or an individual visitor, in real-time, providing valuable information and analytical data related to visitors' behavior, patterns, average time spent per exhibit, and inclination towards specific exhibition areas or the museum during their onsite experience. The RTLS data is stored on the cloud, providing the MOMus administration with easy access, redundancy, and reliability.
The VLDMS pilot project utilized a variety of hardware to achieve the desired results. The project utilized Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points, Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers, and Cisco Catalyst 9000 Switches. These products ensured fast, reliable, and secure WiFi coverage throughout the entire museum, allowing visitors to connect and receive customized content and advertisements. The UWB technology was implemented using Cisco IoT infrastructure for highly accurate visitors' location data.
The results of the VLDMS project were impressive, achieving full location coverage by a reliable, fast, and secure WiFi network, adapting to constant changes in exhibit areas, and providing high visitors' location accuracy in real-time. The project enabled storage and visualization of important visitors' data, empowering the MOMus administration with valuable insights that can guide decision-making and improve the museum experience for visitors.
The implementation of the VLDMS project serves as a prime instance of leveraging technology to enhance the overall museum experience for its patrons. By delivering precise and dependable location information, museums can gain deeper insights into visitor behavior, trends, and interests. Such valuable data can inform strategic choices and enable museums to offer a tailored and captivating experience for their visitors.
The VLDMS pilot project stands as an exemplary archetype for other museums and cultural institutions seeking to augment the visitor experience through digital transformation. The project substantiated that, with proper technology and proficiency, museums can deliver a profoundly sophisticated and interactive experience to visitors, securing their continued relevance and appeal to both present and upcoming generations.
The Digital Skills Program at our Center includes the Networking Academy, STEM, and Robotics departments to help pupils, students, and professionals acquire specializations and stay up-to-date with the latest digital technologies in a rapidly evolving landscape. In today's job market, it's more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve and enhance your skills.
The Cisco Digital Academy offers free online courses for learners of all levels. Follow the link below to find out more and get started on your journey to enhancing your skills.
The companies from the Cisco Partner ecosystem that collaborate and are hosted at the Center, aim to study and develop innovative technological solutions, as well as to present these solutions to the visitors of the Center.
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Mayor of Thessaloniki Mr. Konstantinos Zervas: "This is a very important moment for the city of Thessaloniki, as it is the beginning of a systematic effort we make to change radically for the better. Less than a year has passed since our first contacts and meetings with Cisco, which began in September 2019 until today. "Which proves that when there is a will, things move fast", he also stated. "Greece must change. In order to do this, we must be strengthen the Greece that produces. The Greece that innovates. Must be set up next to our heavy industry, which is tourism and services, other new ones with added value. And the role of Thessaloniki in this is to become a second development pole, a center of entrepreneurship, innovation, trade, tourism, technology production. In addition to what already exists in Attica. Not competitive, but parallel. This is a national demand and requirement."
Ministry of Development and Investments. Minister Mr. Adonis-Spyridon Georgiadis: "Cisco's decision to establish this digital acceleration center in Thessaloniki, one of 15 in the world, is an extremely joyful event and obviously the Government and the Ministry of Development support it."
Ministry of Digital Governance. Minister Mr. Kyriakos Pierrakakis: “Greece has huge work force and huge potential. But it does not have the necessary conditions to be able to release them. What is happening today in Thessaloniki is great. It is great that we are all together and open a new era for our country. And it's great to think that technology empowers people."
Antonis Tsimpoukis, General Manager, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Malta, Cisco: "It all started with an intention to cooperate with the Municipality, the Ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister in Thessaloniki and just 8 months later we reached an investment phase that will give new life, not only to the city but to the whole country. At this center we want to show what technology can do, not in theory but in practice. Technology, solutions, will be here. Each visitor will be able to see them in real operation and most importantly, to use the infrastructure and know-how of the center to develop solutions that will solve problems. At the same time, the center will operate a digital skills center, where certifications recognized by the market will be given, with the aim of providing today the supplies for a better tomorrow."
The Cisco International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills is situated in the Old Slaughterhouse on the west side of Thessaloniki, close to the new facilities of the Federation of Industries of Greece. We provide a platform for digital skills development and digital transformation to assist individuals and organizations in thriving in the digital era.
For any inquiries or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our head of the center for digital transformation and digital skills, Agathoklis Vatzias, can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +30 6980279787.
AIRPORT - 18 Km
Macedonia Airport https://www.skg-airport.gr/en/ at Thessaloniki having airport code SKG has 18 Km distance from DT&S and approximately 30 minutes drive from there. You may use Public Urban transportation,taxi or rent a car to visit the city and also get to DT&S.
PORT - 1,3 Km
Thessaloniki port is located around 1,3 Km from DT&S around 3 Minutes drive and 17 minutes walking from there to DT&S. More information you may find at: https://www.thpa.gr/index.php/en/
TRAIN STATION - 2,8 Km
Thessaloniki train station is located around 2,8 Km from DT&S around 8 minutes drive or 26 Minutes walking from there to DT&S. More information you may find at: https://www.hellenictrain.gr/en
BUS STATION (KTEL) - 5 Km
Macedonia Bus Station interconnects all major cities of Greece with Thessaloniki and is located around 5 Km distance and about a 9 minutes drive from there to DT&S. More information you may find at: https://www.ktelthes.gr/en/
URBAN TRANSPORTATION WITH BUS (OASTH)
Being in the city of Thessaloniki you may use the Public transportation buses that cover most of the city routes. Bus number 31 Voulgari-KTEL has a bus stop named Palaia Sfagia close to the entrance of DT&S while more info about the urban buses routes you may find at: http://oasth.gr/#en
URBAN TRANSPORTATION WITH TAXI
You may request Taxi services by calling any of the below phone numbers:
+30 2310 525 000, +30 2310 550 000, +30 2310 214 900, +30 2310 551 525, +30 2310 866 866, +30 2310 511 855 , +30 2310 246104-, +30 2310 566500, +30 2310 866866-214900
DT&S has available parking space for about 40 vehicles and it is free of charge.
Valuable information about the City of Thessaloniki including proposals for visiting museums, historical monuments and others you may find at Thessaloniki Municipality Webpage below:
Fire Department: 199
Tourist Police: 171
To make your stay more comfortable and convenient, the following hotels tprovide special pricing for our visitors:
Thank you for your interest in the Cisco International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills. Please do not hesitate to contact our secretariat for any questions or further information.