This time we are going to learn more about Nikos Marianos, one of the oldest members of the Agroknow team – and not age-wise! Nikos is our Project Management Director and has already successfully managed a high number of EU-funded projects. FYI, Nikos is holding a BSc, an MSc and a PhD from the Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport of the University of Aegean, Greece – on top of that he holds a Project Management Professional Certification (PMP), which makes him the ideal person for the specific position.
Let’s see what Nikos has responded to our questions.
When did you join the Agroknow team? Any interesting story behind your recruitment?
I joined Agroknow on a part time basis on December 2009. I’ve known Nikos Manouselis, the company founder since 2007, when we worked in the “legendary” Rural-eGov project and I was keen on getting on-board. I clearly remember working with you to assemble the furnitures of the first real Agroknow office on January 2011. It’s a practical way for team-bonding. 😉
What is your role in the team?
I am the Project Management Director of Agroknow, responsible for planning and leading the development and implementation of a broad coordinated set of programs and projects to meet the strategic goals and priorities of the department and the organization, and coordinating the proposal writing effort to acquire new funding. I have been involved in the coordination and implementation of several European projects such as the CIP ICT-PSP Organic.Lingua, CIP ICT-PSP Open Discovery Space and FP7 SemaGrow initiatives. Our newest and very exciting projects include FREME, Big Data Europe, OpenMinTeD and CAPSELLA (starts on 1/1/16) all under H2020 programme.
What do you find interesting in your work with Agroknow?
Although my studies are on Maritime Shipping Economics and e-services, I really enjoy working in a “Green” company. I never imagined working in agri-food research, but the people we work with to create solutions for their problems are dealing with really interesting topics. The really interesting part is that in order to do this I have to work with a strong team of high skilled, motivated people with different expertise, including agronomists, information scientists, librarians, software engineers, web developers and food scientists.
Agroknow used to rely on projects but during the last years there is a definite turn to developing products targeting the industry. How do you feel about that?
EU funded projects are great but they cannot sustain a company in the long term. If you rely on them and design solutions that solve no real problem and have no real market, you will find yourself fading into oblivion. We focused all our efforts in designing new projects that our focused on building products and services that will solve real solutions of people working mostly in research in the agri-food sector. This makes our work more meaningful and allows us to have a sustainable future.
What are your hobbies / How do you spend your free time?
I really love reading all kinds of books, from respected mainstream classics to sci-fi (eg Stalker-Roadside Picnic) and horror. I also enjoy graphic novels and I have an extensive collection. I used to be into movies, focusing on sci-fi and all kinds of dramas, but during the last 10 years I’m turning more and more into tv series like “Boss” and “The Wire”.
Although I did not mention this first, I really like traveling in different cities all over the world and exploring their culture, architecture and local cuisine!
Where can we find you online?
Favorite kind of music?
As you can deduct from my photo, I really enjoy metal music. I’m more into thrash and heavy metal but my latest favorite band is Monster Magnet, a stoner metal band.
Which was the last book you read / movie you watched?
Although I’m mostly a sci-fi and fantasy fan, the latest book I read was “Cockroaches”, a crime novel by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. It was quite good.
As for a movie, I just watched again “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” after reading an article about the achievement of researchers from Beijing’s Tsinghua University in China that invented a self-powered liquid.
Any specific achievement for which you are proud?
I’m really proud of a team achievement that people all over Agroknow helped with. We crashed two proposal writing records with over 40% success and 790K funding for the next 3 years.
What was the last gadget you bought and why you bought it?
I bought a new hybrid pc/tablet, Asus TransformerBook T100. It comes with a quality keyboard that offers additional functionalities and full Windows 8.1 (yes, I know…) and MS Office 2013. This allows me to travel light and complete all my regular tasks easily.
Anything else to share with us?
We’ve got a new member in the family but no photos are allowed to go public. Sorry Vassilis.
We would like to thank Nikos for taking the time (and we mean precious time!) to respond to our questions… and we are already in the hunt for our next interviewee within the Agroknow team!