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Amazon to Create First Smart Island Hub on Naxos island, Greece

naxos night
Amazon plans to create the first “smart” island hub on Naxos, Greece as part of the “Naxos, Smart Island” project, a bundle of seventeen different actions all related to modern digital technology.

It will be the implementation of an idea proposed by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Amazon’s main shareholder, Jeff Bezos, during their meeting in Antiparos in the summer of 2021. This idea is none other than Amazon turning one of the Greek Aegean islands into a “smart” island.

Amazon will offer solutions for “smart” management of the island’s marinas, applications for the distribution of goods via drones on the Aegean islands, telemedicine applications and high connectivity applications.

 Trial flights of drones have been underway for months. These are expected to transport biological material and medicines not only between different locations on Naxos but to and from the nearby islands, as well.

The drones that will be used by Amazon in the project are of Greek design and manufacture and are of the heavy military type with enhanced capabilities.

Furthermore, an Internet of Things (IoT)-type circuit is being created on the island by placing, for example, electronic sensors in the parking spaces reserved exclusively for PWDs or Coast Guard vehicles.

The waste bins will also be equipped with similar sensors so that the collection and recycling process can be completely streamlined. The plan even includes the training of the island’s residents in the use of today’s digital tools to simplify their relationship with the Greek state.

The entire project “Naxos, Smart Island” is based on technical infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services, which has undertaken the coordination of numerous other companies, including both Greek and multinational startups. Public bodies will also be involved as partners in project implementation. This will include the Ministry of Digital Governance, the Ministry of Development and Investment, and the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy as well as the local governments of the South Aegean Region and the Municipality of Naxos.

The original idea to turn Naxos into a smart island was discussed during the informal meeting between Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos on Antiparos in 2021. The Greek department of Amazon Web Services (AWS) took over the investigation of the implementation prospects, and its staff has now already completed the design of the architecture for the entire project. The process is extremely sensitive but also fundamental in terms of the further implementation of the project.

Moreover, the operation of most of the planned smart actions on Naxos is based on the services and know-how of AWS, especially in cloud computing technology.

The philosophy of the “Naxos, Smart Island” plan is broken down into three pillars. The first of these is sustainability, which involves the reduction of energy and environmental burden of the island from the daily activity of locals and tourists.

The second pillar is related to the upgrading of the quality of life on the island, especially for permanent residents, through the effective improvement of health and emergency services, communication, transactions, and transport among other things.

Finally, increasing tourist traffic to Naxos and the Small Cyclades is the third pillar. This includes attracting visitors as well as digital nomads for long-term or permanent settlement.

The flagship project of this pillar is the creation of the smart marina. With a digital application for mobile devices (an app), for example, the skipper of a boat will quickly be informed of everything pertaining to the port of Naxos, including whether or not there is space and the potential for berthing. There will also be information about the types of facilities available—service, water, electricity, internet connection, etc.

The smart marina is considered the first and crucial step for marketing Naxos—and, more broadly, Greece—as a modern destination and a place where visitors can stay as long as they wish without feeling cut off from their personal, social, and professional obligations.

Greece will soon be the center for smart islands hubs in the Mediterranean.

In addition to Amazon’s ”Naxos, Smart Island” plan, Astypalaia was announced as the up-and-coming first “smart” island in the Mediterranean which runs almost entirely on green energy.