Mr Georgios Stavropoulos gives an overview of the work carried out and the challenges that SMILE Action will face in the coming period.

Q: What has been achieved during the last period, and what is left for the final months of the project?
A: “Over the past months, the SMILE backend and the various applications have been refined and debugged. We focused our efforts on making the applications as user-friendly as possible, in collaboration with our end-user partners, and the backend services secure and reliable. SMILE is about border checks, and our software needs to be secure and user-friendly at the same time. […].

Q: Your organisation is one of the leading research institutes in Greece. Based on your experience, how should SMILE Action approach the transition from lab to market?
A: “Going from lab to market is not an easy feat. The consortium will need to collect all the feedback from the pilot sites and, based on that, modify and improve the developed solution. The next step would be a concrete business plan (under development at the time of writing) that will be our guide for the next few years. If SMILE wants to succeed as a product […].

Q: There is growing controversy on almost every aspect of border control. Did SMILE partners face any challenges during the development phase?
A: “Of course, there were challenges. Border controls mean checking personal information, including biometrics. This alone raises a number of privacy and ethical challenges. What should be checked? How? By whom? Who can have access to what data? Is the provided platform secure enough to be trusted by the general public? And many more. […]

Mr Georgios Stavropoulos is a Research Associate in Electrical & Computer Engineering at Information Technologies Institute — Centre for Research and Technology Hellas

To read the complete interview of Mr Stavropoulos, get a copy of the 3rd issue of the SMILE newsletter here!