The Cultural and Educational Technology Institute was founded in 1998 in Xanthi (Greece) as an independent research institute under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (Ministry of Development). In November 2003 it was integrated into the Centre of Integrated Research for the Information Society (I.R.I.S.), which in February 2006 was renamed to "Athena" - Research and Innovation Center in Information, Communication and Knowledge Technologies.
The Institute constitutes an integrated research environment with continuous interaction with the academic community, in particular with the Democritus University of Thrace, the national and European educational and cultural technology industry, the international scientific community and the public sector.
The aim of the Cultural and Education Technology Institute (C.E.T.I.) is the strengthening of research and technological activities and the application of new technologies to the sectors of humanitarian science and culture and to education. More specifically, the Institute concentrates its scientific activities a) to the application of Information Technology to the study of texts, analyses, study and registry of languages, works of art, monuments etc. b) to the study of related material, particularly ceramics, paper and parchments and c) to the application of information technology to the area of Education such as Distance Learning and Education-on-Demand.
To achieve these objectives the Institute:
1. Conducts research programs into the area of the application of new technologies to culture and education.
2. Provides information technology support for scientific and developmental activities of the region by creating databases, electronic storage facilities, network connections etc.
3. Provides scientific and research networks and international joint ventures with the emphasis on co-operating with academic foundations in the Balkans and Black Sea countries and for exchanging information on subjects of mutual interest.
4. Collaborates with research establishments and faculties of other Universities of similar interest and particularly with all those, which are already operating in the area.
5. Collaborates with technological and industrial establishments of the region and of the country in general, with the aim of coordinating research and production and the exploitation of research results.
6. Provides special training for calculation and with the funding of interested organizations. It trains scientists especially in the above mentioned sectors with the organization and funding of research programs both in Greece and abroad, by conducting post graduate seminars and workshops and through various publications and presentations.
7. Supports initiatives for the utilization of the position of Thrace as the meeting point and the South-Eastern gate of the European Union to the Balkans and the Black Sea.
8. Undertakes initiatives for keeping up-to-date the scientific manpower of Thrace.
9. Can take part in any enterprise by producing products or providing services for sectors relevant to its aims.
10. Collaborates both within Greece and abroad with experts and organizations specializing on topics relevant to its activities, with the purpose of the advancement of its objectives, and if needed, subcontract them for research topics of special interest.
To this end, it tries to create the necessary technical infrastructure and to attract experienced scientists. The development of its infrastructure is funded with an initial budget of 2,35 Million ECU for the period 1999-2002. Its objective is to create high technology laboratories (multimedia, distance learning, archaeometry e.t.c.).
In 1999-2000 the main emphasis was placed in the creation and operation of the Multimedia Laboratory and the Archaeometry Laboratory.