Professor Constantine Stephanidis

Distinguished member of FORTH
Head of the Human - Computer Interaction (HCI) Laboratory
Head of the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) Programme
Professor of Computer Science, University of Crete

Institute of Computer Science (ICS)
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)

N. Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton
GR - 70013 Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Phone: +30 2810 391741
FAX: +30 2810 391799
Mobile Phone: +30 6947 000176


Constantine Stephanidis, Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Crete, is Affiliated Faculty Member of the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas(FORTH), for which he served as the Director (2004-2016), as Founder (1989) and Head of the Human - Computer Interaction (HCI) Laboratory, as well as Founder (2004) and Head of the Ambient Intelligence (AMI) Programme. As of December 2016, he is a Distinguished Member of FORTH.


Academic and Research Activities:

He received his BSc (Honors) in Electronics in 1981 and his PhD in Electronic Engineering in 1987, both from the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK). Prof. Stephanidis is one of the pioneers of the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) internationally. In the early '90s, he organized and taught the first HCI courses in Greek Universities, having since supervised a long series of PhD(16), MSc(63) and BSc(109) theses. He has introduced in the international literature the concepts of “Design for All” and “Universal Access” in Human - Computer Interaction, formulating the applicable principles and supervising the development of the technological frameworks that support their adoption in the evolving Information and Communication Technologies ICT) field.

One of the primary goals of his research and development activities was to ensure the accessibility, usability and acceptability of systems, products, applications and internet-based services, for all citizens, including people with disabilities and older people.

Since the late '80s, he has been engaged as the Scientific Responsible of more than 150 European Commission and nationally funded R&D projects, RTD contracts, studies and industrial projects. Many of these projects were targeted to the provision of equitable access for disadvantaged user groups, as well as to the optimization of the development lifecycle of the user interface of interactive systems and applications.

From May 2023 he is the Scientific Responsible and Coordinator of the flagship national project "Interconnected Smart Cities for Greece 2.0" funded by the Greek National Recovery and Resilience Plan, under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation of the Ministry of Development, with the participation of Greek Universities, Research Centres and major Greek cities. The project aims to develop a universal Internet of Things (IoT) platform, designed to efficiently collect and present data generated by diverse existing vertical smart city systems, ensuring semantic compatibility between data and services and fostering cities' modernisation though a new generation of products and services.



The internationally recognized research and development work of Prof. Stephanidis has been published in more than 600 articles in scientific archival journals, edited books and handbooks, proceedings of international conferences and workshops. He is the Editor of the book "User Interfaces for All - concepts, methods and tools" (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001) and “The Universal Access Handbook” (CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group, 2009), which report his research activities along with the international state of the art at the time of publication, in the homonymous R&D area. He is the lead Editor and chapter (co-)author of the book series "HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION: FOUNDATIONS AND ADVANCES” (CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group, 2024, ISBN: 9781032750842). This is a collection of 6 books with a total of 90 chapters that provides a broad and extensive coverage of the interdisciplinary field of HCI. It addresses state-of-the-art theoretical and application-oriented aspects as well as best practices of HCI, along with cutting-edge technological advancements that aim to illuminate how on-going innovations reshape this field, redefine user interactions, elevate the overall user-experience and promote the overall technology user-acceptance. Methodological analysis and discussions on future directions empower readers in furthering their pursuit for knowledge in the HCI field. Collectively, the book series provides an invaluable resource for researchers, academics, students and practitioners.

The monograph “Design for All”, included in the on-line “Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction” (Interaction Design Foundation, 2013),is a comprehensive account and consolidation of methods, tools and technologies related to the notion of ‘inclusive design’ in human interaction with technological artifacts. Prof. Stephanidis edited seven White Papers in his field of expertise, published in the international literature as policy recommendations for research and technological development, to be considered by international organizations, government agencies and industry, amongst of which:


Editorial Activities:

Prof. Stephanidis is the Founder (2000) and Editor-in-Chief of the Springer-Nature international journal "Universal Access in the Information Society".

Since January 2016, he is the Managing Editor of the “International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction”, published by Taylor & Francis.


Administrative Positions:

- From 2004 to 2016: Director of the Institute of Computer Science of FORTH and member of the Board of Directors of FORTH.

- From 2004 to 2016: member of the Board of Directors of the Science and Technology Park of Crete (STEP-C), serving as its President from 2003 to 2010.

- From 2016 to 2020: member of the Board of Directors of the ICS spin-off company FORTHnet (appointed by the Board of Directors of FORTH).

- Since January 2017: President of the Council for Research and Innovation of the Region of Crete.

- Following nomination by the Prime Minister and approval by the Hellenic Parliament in April 2021, Prof. Stephanidis is the President of the newly founded National Accessibility Authority.


Participation in National and European Committees:

From 1989 to 2016: National representative in European Commission Management Committees of the R&D Framework Programmes in the field of Information Society Technologies.

From 2006 to 2012: National representative and member of the Management Board of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), having been involved in the establishment of the European Agency and its hosting in Crete (since its preparatory phases in 2002).

From 2008 to 2009: Member of the Sectorial Scientific Committee of Informatics of the National Council for Research and Technology, and from 2014 to 2016 Member of the Council.

From September 2013 to September 2014: Coordinator of the five-member Task Force for the drafting of the new (currently in use) Framework Legislation for Research and Innovation (law 4310/2014).

Since June 2022: Member of the ESPA 2021-2027 Monitoring and Coordination Council.

He was the national representative of Greece at the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), of the UN (New York, June 13-15, 2023): (a) at the round table discussion of the session regarding the "Digital accessibility for persons with disabilities", (b) at the side event organized as part of the session of the Permanent Mission of Greece to UN and the European Parliament, (c) at the working breakfast organized as part of the session by the European Commission with the Swedish Presidency of the European Union.


International Initiatives:

Prof. Stephanidis was the Founder and Chair (1995-2006) of the Working Group "User Interfaces for All" of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), in the context of which he organized nine international Workshops. Since 2001 he is the Founding Chair of the International Conference "Universal Access in Human - Computer Interaction". From 1997 to 2002 he was the Founder and Chair of the International Scientific Forum "Towards an Information Society for All", in the context of which he edited two White Papers concerning the roadmap and R&D agenda towards an Information Society for All at an international level. These actions were funded by industry and by the European Commission and influenced, amongst others: COM (1999) 687 final, by the European Council (eEurope: An Information Society for All, Lisbon, 2000), and by the US National Science Foundation (nsf03612 Universal Access | NSF).


Distinctions and Awards:

Prof. Stephanidis delivered, upon invitation, many distinguished lectures and keynote speeches on his research activities and in particular on inclusive design and universal access.

In 1999, he received the ERCIM Information and Communication Science and Technology Award for his research work reported in the monograph "Designing for all in the Information Society: Challenges towards universal access in the information age".

In 2000, he received the ERCIM Award for his achievements as the Founding Chair of the ERCIM Working Group “User Interfaces for All”.

In 2010, Prof. Stephanidis was elected member of the Informatics Section of the Academia Europaea (the European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences).

Since December 2016, Prof. Stephanidis is a Distinguished Member of FORTH.

In 2023, he received the award of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (Greece) for his internationally recognized contribution to "the development of human-centered Artificial Intelligence and the configuration of Human-Computer Interaction structures"


Contributions to the European RTD Policy:

Since the late ‘80s, Prof. Stephanidis has been actively contributing to the European Commission RTD Policy on Information Society, and in particular for the equitable access by people with disabilities and older people, either as a member of EC experts’ committees, or as National Representative in Management Committees of successive RTD Framework Programmes, within the broad field of Information and Communication Technologies.

He is one of the co-founders of the European Design for All e-Accessibility Network (EDeAN) and founder of the corresponding National Network GR-DeAN. He is also the senior editor of the EDeAN White Paper (2006), outlining a roadmap for possible relevant future European initiatives.

He was the Scientific Coordinator of the EC-funded strategic project (2006-2009) ‘InterLink - International Cooperation Activities in Future and Emerging ICTs - Coordination Actions enabling the European research community to interact with research communities outside Europe in a series of strategic, basic research areas’.


Impact and exploitation of research results:

The results of the research activities that Prof. Stephanidis has initiated, performed and supervised, include methodologies, software components and tools for the design and development of interaction-intensive applications and services that optimally suit the requirements of diverse users, platforms, and environments. These methodologies and tools have been adopted internationally, by academic and research institutions and by the industry. They have also been used in University courses for educational purposes, in combination with the handbooks that Prof. Stephanidis has edited. Several universally accessible portals and online services have been developed by employing these methods and tools.

During the ‘90s, Prof. Stephanidis has contributed to the ISO 9241 TC 159 / WG 5 / SC 4 (Software Ergonomics) pertaining to the issue of accessibility of interactive applications and telematics services by people with disabilities. He has also contributed to the early efforts in the late ‘90s for de facto standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) aiming to provide accessibility guidelines for the Web (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative - WAI).

The results of the research and development activities of Prof. Stephanidis, as well as his contribution to policy issues for the equitable access by people with disabilities to the Information Society, at national and European levels, have influenced field work internationally. Over the years, Prof. Stephanidis has closely cooperated with the European Disability Forum (EDF), the National Confederation of Disabled People (NCDP) and other national Disability Associations in many European countries and the USA.

Since 2004, as Founder and Head of the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) Programme of the Institute of Computer Science of FORTH, Prof. Stephanidis is coordinating activities targeted to the deployment and exploitation of technologies, systems and applications developed within the Programme. As a result, more than 150 interactive systems and applications have been developed and have been installed in public places (museums, airports, seaports, etc.) in five countries. He is also leading the efforts for a continuous development of simulated smart space environments, in a variety of application domains (smart home, smart classroom, smart office, smart museum, smart entertaining room, smart garden, etc.) to provide a ‘test- bed’ for pilot developments in multidisciplinary and cross-thematic RTD activities, where end-user groups are actively engaged, through participatory design and user studies.

List of Projects