The European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation Jean-Eric Paquet visited the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, as well as the Learning Resource Center – Library “Stelios Ioannou” at the University of Cyprus on May 22nd 2019. His visit to KIOS CoE was in the framework of his official visit to Cyprus, which consisted of a series of meetings and visits with members of the academic, research, and business communities.
Mr. Paquet was accompanied by the Head of European Commission Representation in Cyprus Mr. Ierotheos Papadopoulos, the National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation Mr. Kyriakos Kokkinos, the Director of Research, Innovation and Lifelong Planning Mrs. Ioanna Kleanthous, the Director General of the Research and Innovation Foundation Dr. Vasilis Tsakalos, officers from Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development as well as representatives from RISE, EXCELSIOR, EMME-CARE, Maritec-X and CY-Biobank Centers of Excellence.
In his welcome address, the Rector of the University of Cyprus, Professor Tasos Christofides, emphasized that the University of Cyprus has the privilege of coordinating and participating in three of the Teaming Centers of Excellence, which have been selected for funding by the European Commission as part Horizon 2020 – WIDESPREAD Teaming Programme. The Rector referred also to the value of this funding by the European Commission and the Republic of Cyprus, pointing out that the development of these Centers of Excellence will contribute to the creation of an ecosystem that will link universities, technology companies, government agencies, end users as well as enterprise support companies. More importantly, he added, they will create new employment opportunities for young people, and bring new ideas for economic growth in Cyprus.
The Deputy Director of the KIOS Center of Excellence at the University of Cyprus, Professor Christos Panayiotou, briefly presented the overall mission and vision of the Center, which currently employs over 100 researchers, while it envisions to increase the number to 150-200 by the year 2020. Particular emphasis was given to the strategic partnership between the University of Cyprus and Imperial College London and the opportunities for research and study that arise from this collaboration. Further, Professor Panayiotou referred to the research collaborations between the KIOS Innovation Hub and the industry. In conclusion, he highlighted the importance of the KIOS’ testbeds, which will enhance the research undertaken at KIOS and future collaborations with governmental organizations and the industry.
Following the meeting, Mr. Paquet along with the other guests visited the KIOS’ laboratory, where researchers had the opportunity to present the research activities and funded projects undertaken at the KIOS CoE, related to power systems, water distribution networks, intelligent transportation systems, and emergency response management systems. Particular reference was also made on the industry collaborations, through the KIOS Innovation Hub as well as on the new MSc program in Intelligent Critical Infrastructure Systems, which will be offered by the University of Cyprus, in collaboration with the KIOS Center of Excellence and Imperial College London. The research and educational activities, the collaborations with the industry, as well as the Center‘s infrastructure made an excellent impression upon the Director-General.
Following the KIOS CoE visit, Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet as well as the other guests had also the opportunity to tour the newly established Learning Resource Center – Library “Stelios Ioannou” at the University of Cyprus.