The EU's directorate for Regional Policy assessed the competitiveness of EU regions using 11 factors (or 'pillars') that included infrastrucure, health&education, labour efficiency, techonological readiness, business sophistication and INNOVATION and unfortunately the south Aegean was ranked 263rd among 271 regions (just above Guyane in south America and Melila in northern Africa). You want to hear the good news? We beat the Ionian islands and northern Aegean (that came 266th and 269th respectively)! Go South Aegean!!
See http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/studies/study_en.htm (under studies/EU regional competitiveness index)
and http://www.enet.gr/?i=news.el.article&id=220975 (article appearing in Κυριακάτικη Ελευθεροτυπία).