A fruitful and constructive discussion on research, innovation, and entrepreneurship took place on the 22nd of July 2020, between the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (KIOS CoE) at the University of Cyprus, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), and the National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation. Their visit to the KIOS CoE was in the framework of their official visits to the Centers of Excellence in Cyprus.
The visit included a presentation of the research activities undertaken at the University of Cyprus and the development and progress of the KIOS Center of Excellence. Discussion topics included the reinforcement of the ecosystem which links universities, industry, government, and technology companies, the commercial exploitation of new knowledge into added-value products, services and processes, as well as the modification of the legal and institutional framework in Cyprus to better support innovation and entrepreneurship activities.
A visit at the KIOS’ Laboratory also took place, where researchers had the opportunity to present the groundbreaking research activities undertaken at the KIOS CoE, related to intelligent systems and networks. Particular emphasis was placed on the KIOS CoE Critical Infrastructure Systems (CIS) Testbeds, which are being developed in collaboration with Imperial College London. These include: intelligent power systems that can facilitate high penetration of renewables into the electricity distribution network; intelligent transportation networks aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions; smart water distribution networks to minimize water loss; and state-of-the art emergency response and management systems.
In her welcome address, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Cyprus, Professor Irini-Anna Diakidou, emphasized that the University of Cyprus currently participates in 127 externally funded projects and employs more than 500 researchers. The establishment of the new Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, she added, is of utmost importance, since it will pave the way for the production of new knowledge and will further strengthen Cyprus’ position on the international scientific map.
The Director of the KIOS CoE, Prof. Marios Polycarpou referred to the multilateral collaboration between KIOS and Imperial College London, the research and innovation excellence conducted at the Center, and the creation of the KIOS Innovation Hub which aims at undertaking research and innovation actions with the industry and governmental organizations. The ultimate goal of these actions is the transfer of new knowledge and know-how for the benefit of the society and economy of Cyprus. Prof. Polycarpou also underlined the fact that the Center currently employs more than 150 young researchers from Cyprus, Europe, the Middle East, and other countries in Asia and South America.
The Acting Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Dr. Stelios Himonas, mentioned that the creation of the Deputy Ministry will contribute to the formation and promotion of the legal framework related to research, innovation and digital policy, which in turn will bring multiple benefits to Cyprus. The Deputy Ministry, he added, is looking forward to collaborating with all Centers of Excellence in Cyprus, as these will support the commercial exploitation of research and the digital transformation of Cyprus.
Finally, the National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation, Dr. Nicholas Mastroyiannopoulos, and the Director General of the Research and Innovation Foundation of Cyprus, Mr. Theodoros Loukaidis congratulated the KIOS CoE for conducting cutting–edge multidisciplinary research and innovation and for the transfer of its expertise and know-how to the industry and public organizations for the benefit of Cyprus.