On 14 September 2017, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG and Bodossaki Foundation announced the launch of their collaboration for the identification, preparation, implementation and monitoring of social and environmental initiatives in Greece and, in particular, in the three regions traversed by the TAP pipeline.

The ΤΑΡ – Bodossaki Foundation collaboration is part of TAP’s extensive social and environmental investments (SEI) programme, budgeted at a total of €32 million, which TAP has voluntarily undertaken to implement in all three Regions of Northern Greece along its route.

The primary objective these investments is to support all the local communities which are affected by the pipeline project. In selecting these communities, TAP works with the regions’ residents, competent authorities and other local bodies, always with a view to ensuring the substantial contribution and sustainability of every project undertaken.

The initiatives underway or about to be implemented under the TAP – Bodossaki Foundation collaboration focus on projects that:

  • support the improvement of the quality of life in the local communities along the pipeline route;
  • enhance the livelihoods of the people living in these areas;
  • improve skills and capabilities through education and training;
  • contribute to the improvement of environmental management, giving priority to the conservation of biodiversity.

In this context, at the moment, three large educational and training programs are being implemented:

1.Education and training programme in Gas Technology offered by the International Hellenic University

At an event held on Thursday, 26 April 2018 at the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Technological Educational Institute (TEI) and attended by Press representatives, the “Gas Technology” education and training programme was presented. The programme, which is offered free of charge and is implemented with the financial support of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG, aims to create a new generation of specialist executives, fully qualified in the operation and safety of gas pipelines. The programme is modular and combines theoretical and laboratory training in basic and advanced technologies. More specifically, the programme is organised in five modules, which are the following:

  • General Principles of Gas Technologies
  • Operation of Gas Transmission Systems
  • Maintenance of Gas Pipelines and Installations
  • Inspection of Gas Pipelines and Installations
  • Safety of Gas Pipelines and Environmental Protection

Each module is composed of six sub-modules, while the participants to the programme can choose one or even up to all five programme modules from those listed above, i.e. the entire programme, which runs for a total of 500 teaching hours per year. The initiative will have a duration of two academic years and is funded by TAP, in the context of the SEI programme which the organisation is implementing in the areas traversed by the pipeline. Bodossaki Foundation, as the TAP partner supporting the implementation of the pipeline project’s investments in the local communities, is the programme’s manager.

To view the relevant Press release (available in Greek only), click here.

2.Investing in energy-focused postgraduate programmes

On 21 September 2017, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG presented its €1 million initiative for funding postgraduate (Master’s) programmes in the energy sector, offered by the University and the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Western Macedonia – the Region’s two tertiary education institutions (following the synergy of the two institutions, both Postgraduate Programs are now offered by the University of Western Macedonia). This investment is implemented in the context of the broader collaboration between TAP and Bodossaki Foundation.

With this initiative, TAP covers, over a period of five years, 50% of tuition fees for a total of 90 students per year attending the following postgraduate programmes:

  •  “Advanced Engineering of Energy Systems (ADVENS)” (former “Energy Resources Management & Utilisation Technologies”), offered by the University of Western Macedonia.
  • Greek-Azerbaijani Inter-University Master’s Programme – “Petroleum Oil and Gas Management & Transportation” (M.Sc. MOGMAT), offered by the University of Western Macedonia (former TEI of Western Macedonia) in collaboration with the Azerbaijan State University of Economics.

3.THRIVING LAND: A programme supporting agri-food education

The THRIVING LAND programme for the support of agri-food education is implemented under a grant from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG (good energy pipeline), in partnership with Bodossaki Foundation, in the context of TAP’s social and environmental investments in the three Northern Greece Regions traversed by the pipeline. The programme’s other participants are the American Farm School of Thessaloniki (AFS) and the Institute of Applied Biosciences (INAB) of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), as implementation partners. The program is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020.

Work under the programme is organised in two strands: education and biotechnology. In the first one, the education activities are implemented by AFS associates and are addressed to producers, small businesses and cooperative business ventures interested in promoting their products. The educational activities cover a wide range of agri-food sector activities, from sowing to marketing, sales and even exports, while the training content is adapted to the particular characteristics of the products and the regions.

The programme’s second strand of work covers biotechnological research, undertaken by the scientific associates of CERTH. The objective here is to identify the particular characteristics and the qualities of the agri-food products chosen, so as to create their genetic “identity” and highlight their added value, with a view to promoting them in the domestic as well as in the international market. The results of the research will be accessible to all interested parties.

The direct beneficiaries of the program amount to 709 producers of all activities. The dynamics of this particular investment initiative, however, reach beyond this first level of direct beneficiaries, as they will result in multiple benefits for the residents of the areas along the overall TAP route, as well as for the local economy in general: the programme creates bridges for communication and the exchange of knowledge between producers and scientists; it highlights the products’ unique characteristics; and links agricultural production to tourism, as the products and their uniqueness become “ambassadors” of their areas of origin.

In line with the above, the common goal of all cooperating organisations is for this project to become a novel and innovative example of regional development and of the development of the broader agricultural sector, in which thousands of people are active in Northern Greece.