US giant Tesla looking to establish R&D base in Greece

US giant Tesla, specializing in electric cars, energy storage and solar panel manufacturing, is examining the prospect of establishing an R&D center in Greece, energypress sources have informed.

The Silicon Valley company, one of the world’s biggest technological firms, has been engaged in talks with Greek government officials over the past few months, the sources said.

Tesla is said to be considering beginning with a modest investment. However, investment decisions have yet to be taken as the US firm is seeking to secure the best possible operating conditions before pursuing any plans. The US firm, striving for a high-yield arrangement carrying minimal risk, is expecting the Greek government to take action and shape appropriate conditions. The ball is now believed to be in the Greek government’s court.

A highly-ranked Tesla official contacted by energypress refused to make any comments on the matter.

In an interview with local newspaper Avgi tis Kyriakis, Research and Innovation Deputy Minister Costas Fotakis, who is spearheading the Greek government’s effort to lure the Elon Tusk-led US firm to Greece, noted that establishing local R&D departments of rapidly growing foreign firms stands as a key short-term objective. This suggests the government will strive to establish an agreement with Tesla.

The US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, has often referred to the prospects of Greek-American collaboration in the R&D domain. Last summer, Fotakis, the deputy minister, was among the guests at a Fourth of July function organized by the American diplomat at his Athens residence.

Tesla’s Chief Motor Designer, Kostis Laskaris, a Greek national who gained a PhD in electrical engineering systems at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), has been employed at the Silicon Valley firm since 2012.

Greece’s R&D sector has been subdued in recent years as a result of a lack of funding and mass exodus of young scientists.