Dr Dimitri CORPAKIS, an engineer by training, has to date more than 30 years’ experience in European affairs. Before joining the European Commission in 1990, he worked as an EU expert with the Greek Ministry of Education. His Brussels career started in Education and Training (Task-Force Human Resources, 1990) before moving in 1992 in the area of R&D.
After an assignment with the ESPRIT Programme (European Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technologies), he moved to the R&D Policy area, with personal contributions to several initiatives (moving towards e-Science, setting-up the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB), the pilot action on Regions of Knowledge, and contributing to the first Benchmarking exercise (Expert Group on Impact of R&D on Competitiveness and Employment).
From March 2006 to the end of December 2010 Dimitri served as the Head of the Coordination and Horizontal Aspects Unit of the Directorate for Science, Economy and Society of the Directorate General for Research, managing two Programmes of the 7th Community RTD Framework Programme (Research on Socio-economic sciences and Humanities and Science in Society). From 1.1.2011 to the end of Dec. 2013, Dimitri led DG Research’s Unit on the Regional Dimension of Innovation managing the FP7 Programmes on Regions of Knowledge and Research Potential and building links with the Union's Cohesion Policy, with a strong focus on developing Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3), ensuring the Commission’s link with the JPI Urban Europe and preparing future actions on closing the innovation divide.
As of Jan.1st, 2014, Dimitri leads the new Unit on Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation, in the new Directorate for the Innovation Union and the European Research Area of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation. He has also immediate responsibility for the Horizon 2020, new Part III-a on Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation, which published its first open calls for proposals in December 2013 (Teaming, Twinning and ERA Chairs). The Unit performs also an active monitoring of Research and Innovation programming and actions in the new Operational Programmes and Partnership Agreements supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds and works towards active synergies between Cohesion Policy and Research and Innovation policies, while continuing coordination of Commission’s work with the Joint Programming Initiative on Urban Europe.