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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GR-2019-13/881 Updated – measures in Greece

COVID-19 Response Greece initiative - community of volunteers

Εθελοντική δράση για την αντιμετώπιση της πανδημίας COVID-19 Response Greece

Country Greece , applies regionally

Time period Open ended, started on 24 March 2019
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Elena Kousta (INE GSEE) and Eurofound
Measure added 08 June 2020 (updated 30 July 2021)

Background information

In March 2020 a new initiative was taken by the OK!Thess community named 'COVID-19 Response Greece'. This is a voluntary action coordinated by companies and startups associated with OK!Thess and the broader technological innovation ecosystem of the city of Thessaloniki in Greece. The OK!Thess community includes the city of Thessaloniki, universities, the association of industries in the Northern part of Greece, association of exporters, innovation bodies, association of information technology businesses, etc. The 'COVID-19 Response Greece' consists of a team of volunteers with scientific, research background and start-uppers who offer solutions to the problems and needs arising from the pandemic. The aim of the initiative is to provide through research, design and manufacture free delivery of products and services such as face shields, masks, ventilators, surgical masks, on-line self-assessment monitoring systems for people suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms, etc.

Content of measure

Within just days of launching, the 'COVID-19 Response Greece' initiative managed to mobilise companies and produce two types of face shields and face masks. The team designed and manufactured the face shields for free and made the design openly (under the terms of Creative Commons (4.0 International License) Attribution-Non Commercial), accessible to any companies wishing to produce them on the condition that no profits should be sought. It is clearly indicated on the 'COVID-19' Response Greece' website that 'face shields may be made available for free or at a reasonable price to cover the cost of manufacturing. In the latter case, the manufacturer must first acquire a license, the purpose of which is to exclude the possibility of profiteering'. The research and development for the shields has been undertaken by Thodoris Aleksandros Marioglou (Project:Veltio), Harry Yeremtzes (AidPlex), Dimitris Moustakas (AidPlex), Kostas Paraskevas (AidPlex) with support by the initiative.

Additionally, the team and members of the community conducted research and development for surgical masks and non-invasive mechanical ventilation devices for patients as well as online self-assessment & remote monitoring systems for people who have potential COVID-19 symptoms. The goal of the community is to respond and mobilize quickly through research and design of practical solutions to critical problems, free delivery of products and services, open access and open innovation. The team consists of 270 volunteers, 21 organisations and has produced 8 projects. Several companies and startups involved in the OK!Thess initiative participate in the coordination of this voluntary initiative. The main objective of the OK1!Thess group is to ensure an effective innovation ecosystem in the Thessaloniki geographical area.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

29 July 2021

This measure is still in place and the COVID-19 Response Greece initiative is continued.

Use of measure

At the time of writing the article (June 2020) the number of face shields delivered had reached 50,445. The team has worked with 15 medical associations, 40 hospitals and numerous other organisations.


  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Start-ups
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
Local funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


Not applicable.

Views and reactions

Not applicable.



Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 Response Greece initiative - community of volunteers, measure GR-2019-13/881 (measures in Greece), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.