The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation understands the importance of scientific and technological progress. To this end, the foundation began funding one-year scientific research projects in 2008. The idea behind this is to advance research in a range of fields including social sciences, life sciences and physical sciences both in Greece and abroad. These projects aim to promote collaborations between Greek and foreign universities, as well as other research foundations, a notion that board members such as Dr Spiro Latsis find important.
In its inaugural year, the Latsis Foundation funded 10 projects. Seven of these projects were in the social sciences field while the remaining three were in the physical and engineering fields. In 2009, 15 projects were funded in various areas while 21 projects were funded the following year. In subsequent years, more and more scientific research projects were funded after the Foundation made public calls for research proposals. During the public call for 2014, 946 research proposals were submitted, 19 of which were funded. Seven projects are in the social sciences and range from dialect studies to agricultural studies, six projects are in the physical and engineering scientific fields ranging from tissue engineering to ocean acidification studies, while the remaining six projects are in life science fields and range from genetic studies to cellular structure studies. The submission of proposals by the researchers is performed through an online submission system, on designated dates.
While these research projects encourage the advancement of the scientific fields, the Latsis Foundation also wants to encourage scientific contributions abroad. In 1975, founder John S. Latsis began the International Latsis Foundation. This foundation was created to award prizes (the Latsis Prize) for important contributions in the fields of science and technology. The International Latsis Foundation operates out of Geneva and gives out national and international prizes. Dr Spiro Latsis actively encourages its progress and participates significantly in its processes.