At the end of September 2022, the day had finally come to meet in person in Greece for the kick-off meeting. While the project and our work had started officially and practically on 15 September 2022,  from 27-28 September 2022 the consortium met in Marathon near Athens, Greece, to finally also kick off the project on location and physically (well, mostly). 

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The teamPhoto: Nikos Sarris

While the majority of people involved in the project attended in person, some joined online for various reasons. Once again it became clear that while joining remotely via video conferencing system can have some benefits, there are simply occasions when a person-to-person meeting is so much better as it allows for deeper interaction and also facilitates getting to know each other better.

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The meeting room and project teamPhoto: Jochen Spangenberg

The gathering started with project coordinator Symeon (Akis) Papadopoulos from ITI-CERTH / Mever team welcoming everyone to both Marathon and the project. He stressed how great it was to see so many people in person on location and online via video beamed into the meeting room. He furthermore pointed out that he and his team were very much looking forward to embark on this exciting and challenging undertaking together.

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Akis Papadopoulos welcoming everyonePhoto: Jochen Spangenberg

After some welcoming words of the project officer Peter Fries, introductory presentations of all partners and a video intervention and overview presentation by Francesco Saverio Nucci / Engineering of the TITAN project ('s “sister project”), we started to dive deep into the project work in order to further plan the period ahead.

It was a fruitful and important exchange among the different partners involved, also making clearer to everyone which partner was pursuing which goals why and how. One of the challenges: to bring all this together in a fruitful and beneficial way.

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Having a breakPhoto: Jochen Spangenberg

After a long and intensive day 1, it was time to close the day's sessions and have a little time to relax - or attend to other work-related matters - before a social dinner took place in a beautiful location right by the sea. 

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Team dinnerPhoto: Jochen Spangenberg

On day 2, we continued where we had left off the previous day. It meant diving even deeper into work packages and respective work to be carried out in the various strands of the project. 

The team eventually parted, glad to have got together and further fine-tune all the work and collaborations. All this happened in a lovely place: famous Marathon in Greece. The name of the location may somewhat be symbolic: the project team certainly has an interesting journey ahead. Whether it will be more like a marathon or numerous consecutive sprints remains to be seen. Whatever it will be: the team is ready and prepared to take on the challenges lying ahead.

Author: Jochen Spangenberg (DW)  

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Ready for the challenges aheadPhoto: Jochen Spangenberg is co-funded by the European Commission under grant agreement ID 101070093, and the UK and Swiss authorities. This website reflects the views of the consortium and respective contributors. The EU cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.