Costas Fotakis has been appointed Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation in January 2015. He has been President of FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas), since 2011. He has also served as Director of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) at FORTH (1997-2013) and he is Professor of Physics at the University of Crete. He has also served as Chairman of the Association of the Presidents of the Research Centers in Greece. Fotakis is the founder of the Laser and Applications Division of FORTH, and since 1990 has been leading the European Laser Facility at FORTH, which is currently part of the EU “LASERLAB-Europe” project, linking 26 major European laser infrastructures.
His research interests are in the fields of laser spectroscopy and photonics; in particular, laser interactions with materials and biomaterials and related biomedical diagnostic and processing applications. He has been chair and co-chair of major international scientific conferences and member of influential EU and national scientific policy panels and expert groups, including the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), the European Advisory Group for Research Potential, the Experts Committee for the Interim Evaluation of the EC 7th Framework Programme (Research Infrastructures), and the National Advisory Board for Research and Technology. He has also served as Chairman of the EU Advisory Group on Research Infrastructures in HORIZON 2020 and he has chaired the Expert Group on the role of Universities and Research Organizations in Smart Specialization Strategies for regional development. He has over 300 publications in refereed scientific journals, and more than 7000 citations, primarily in the field of photonics and its applications. He has been plenary, key note or invited speaker in numerous international scientific conferences and events and has also served on the editorial boards of several international scientific journals.
Distinctions awarded include the 2004 “Leadership Award” of the Optical Society of America (OSA) “…for decade-long leadership of, and personal research contribution to, the field of laser applications to art conservation and leadership in establishing and guiding the scientific excellence of laser science programs…”. He has been Springer Professor at the University of California, Berkeley for 2005-6. He has been elected as a Life Member and Fellow of OSA and has been a Member of the Fellows Committee of the European Optical Society (EOS). Currently, he serves as a member on the Board of Stakeholders of the European Technology Platform “Photonics 21″. In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Mediterranean University of Marseille.