From Atmel HELLAS to Think Silicon & … now in Applied Materials

4 min read

One of the first companies that evolved at Patras Science Park (PSP) was DCT HELLAS that manufactured products for wireless Internet, unique for the global market. Two years later, the American company Atmel Corp (of George Perlegos), one of the largest processor companies in the world acquired DCT HELLAS which was then renamed as Atmel Hellas A.E.

It was one of the first successes of PSP, a living example where a budding company (DCT HELLAS) grows dynamically into a high-tech company (ATMEL HELLAS) and finally succeeding in leaving the incubator completely, moving to a privately owned building at the end of 2003.ATMEL HELLAS employed about 160 people in 2004, mainly engineers and computer scientists. It has invested in its human resources by continuously providing advanced training and education. The existence of these highly educated human resources-such as George Sidiropoulos and Iakovos Stamoulis- led to the creation of new StartUps in Patras, such as Think Silicon.

Both of them were designing integrated circuits (chips) for Bluetooth and Wi-fi at ATMEL when they decided to start their own business. The story of the high-tech company Think Silicon , which first evolved at PSP in 2007, began with the dynamic team of these two. The CEO and co-founder of Think Silicon, George Sidiropoulos, graduated from the University of Patras in 1998, did his master there and in 2002 started working at Atmel where he stayed until 2007, and founded his company. The CTO and co-founder of Think Silicon, Iakovos Stamoulis, had also worked in Atmel and the CSO of the company, George Keramidas, in University of Patras.

The company specializes in semiconductors and in the design and development of high performance and very low power GPUs for wearables, Internet of Things, home appliances and industrial automation screens. It has recently expanded its product range to Artificial Intelligence solutions due to the growing demand for low-power Edge Computing processors.It is remarkable that 10 patents were issued in North America, with offices in Athens, Patras, Toronto (marketing office) and California (sales office). The company has managed to maintain high cooperative bonds with European countries and worldwide. Also, Metavallon VC of Equifund , which maintained office hours at PSP every month, was introduced to Think Silicon which was funded by the VC in 2019.

Applied Materials, which is listed in Nasdaq, is a world leader in semiconductor technology and one of the largest in the field of high technology in Greece. Applied Materials is present in 18 countries and employs more than 22.000 employees worldwide, while holding over 13.300 patents and last year, invested $2.1 billion in Research & Development. The acquisition of Think Silicon by Applied Materials, comes as a vote of trust in the hosted companies of PSP, as well as in the wider ecosystem of emerging technology companies.

Former president & CEO of PSP, professor Vassileios Anastasopoulos stated in 2020: ”Transforming research into a commercial product and developing a business, is a difficult process. The example of Think Silicon shows the evolution of the technological ecosystem from 1999 until today, which is still beneficial for the local and national economy. PSP is a driving force for any development effort and an important growth supportive mechanism of the state, that can contribute to the reconstruction of the national economy. At the moment, PSP hosts 25 high-tech companies, with sales almost exclusively abroad and an annual turnover of €10.000.000. The ecosystem that has been created, has chosen PSP because it offers funding opportunities, participation in programs, cooperation with financial schemes, workshops, networking with embassies, location value/ proximity to University Institutions & Research Centers, high level technological infrastructure and interconnection with institutions, sponsors and partners abroad.”

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Evangelia Gralista

Web Design Internship

Evangelia Gralista from Trikala,Greece is in her senior year at University of Patras in the department of mathematics. She is currently working as a web design intern at Patras Science Park (PSP).

Vicky Tomara

Development Director

Vicky studied Business Administration at Athens University of Economics and Business and she got a M.B.A. from University of Patras. Her experience and background focus on supporting businesses-academia partnerships. Especially, she has been primarily activated in innovation supporting tools, while she worked in the past as an economist and research project manager in the industry. She has a good knowledge of the Greek innovation ecosystem actors, including academia, research institutes, regional and central governmental organizations, entrepreneurs and industry. She contributed to the launch and development of the Innovation and Technology Transfer Office of the University of Patras where she served as a Technology Transfer Consultant for 4 years. She acted as the principal organizational officer on behalf of the University of Patras for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Patras IQ Innovation Exhibition. Also, she contributed to the launch and development of the Technology Transfer Office of Patras Science Park and she involved in the building of the collaborative network between both CERN procurement and CERN Technology Transfer Group with the Greek start up community & enterprises. She is currently the Development Director in Patras Science Park, she is member of the Advisory Board of the Proof of Concept and she participates in the selection committee in various regional innovation competitions.