The official event marking the launch of the flagship initiative for the advancement of the KIOS Research Center of the University of Cyprus, into a Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, took place on Thursday, in the presence of President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, EU officials and academics.
The day was characterized as historic day, not only for the University of Cyprus, but for the whole country, Europe and the region.
In his address at the event, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, congratulated the University of Cyprus for its success, saying that it can contribute to the economic growth of our country.
“The European Commissions support and the support of the Imperial College London, in this effort, is valuable because it provides us with both the necessary financial support and the necessary scientific background and for that I warmly congratulate you “he said.
The President said that the Center that is launched today will receive from the European Commission a 15 million euro funding as a starting amount, while, through the European program Teaming, the research center “KIOS” will receive total funding of over 40 mil. euros from the European Commission, as well as a substantial co-financing from national resources in fifteen years time.
“This prestigious selection of KIOS for funding is the result of a highly competitive process at the European Commission, which aims to bridge the gap between the highly developed countries in research and innovation issues and countries such as Cyprus, which, as we must admit, falls behind the relevant international index”,he said.
The President praised the commitment of the University to excellence, saying that this is confirmed by the fact that for the second consecutive year it is among the 400 top universities in the world, among the thousands that exist.
“This is a real success, he said, given that the University of Cyprus competes with much older institutions with much higher financial resources.
In his address, Rector of the University of Cyprus Constantinos Christofides thanked everyone who contributed to this success, saying that KIOS is important not only for Cyprus and Europe but for the whole region as well.
One day the wars around us will cease and we will have to build with our neighbors the next day he stressed.
Through the program, he said, KIOS becomes a center for research and innovation for state organisations and this constitutes a synergy that will cut costs of dozens of millions of euro.
In his address, Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, Robert-Jan Smits, said that if you are selected as a teaming project on the Horizon 2020 by the European Commission you belong to the very best in the field of science and innovation.
It is a recognition of excellence in which we, at the EC, are willing to invest, he stressed, adding that Horizon 2020 is the biggest program for science and innovation in the world.
KIOS, he pointed out, “is a first class example of a first class European partnership with one of the very best European leaders in research and innovation Imperial College. Today it is a good reason to celebrate, it is a great day not only for Cyprus but for Europe as a whole”.
In his speech, Director of the KIOS Center of Excellence, Professor Marios Polykarpou, said that
this is a very special and historic day not only for KIOS Center and the University but also for Cyprus in general.
He said that the objective of the teaming program is to bridge the gap between European countries in terms of research and innovation capabilities by establishing world class centers of excellence which can be drivers for innovation and economic development.
It will be a center of excellence, he said, that the Commission can use as an example for others to follow of how a highly dedicated team from a small country without tradition in research and innovation can build a Center of Excellence that can compete at an international level.
The technical focus of the Center is in the area of information and communication technologies and more specifically on the development of intelligent systems and networks, he said.
Professor Nick Jennings, Vice – Provost (Research) Imperial College London, Member, Advisory Board of the KIOS Center of Excellence, said that this teaming partnership is the first of its kind for Imperial, it shows Imperial at its best, working with partners to tackle major challenges like cypersecurity and smart control systems, contributing actively to the areas of economic growth.
The University of Cyprus and the Imperial have high ambitions but also very achievable, we want to create the leading research center for the monitoring, control and security of critical infrastructure in the region.
In his address, Professor Jan van Schuppen of the Delft University of Technology, Chair of the Advisory Body of the KIOS Center of Excellence, said that companies and government agencies in Cyprus and other European countries are expected to benefit substantially from the expertise and knowledge of KIOS.
The University of Cyprus announced recently that the KIOS Research Center has been selected to receive funding from the European Union to advance into a Center of Excellence and Innovation.
“This success is the result of a lengthy and extremely competitive proposal process coordinated by the European Commission as part of the EU’s strategic programme “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation – Teaming”. This is the largest and most competitive funding to be secured for research and innovation in Cyprus” the University said.
It added that the aim of the funding programme is to bridge the gap between countries in terms of research and innovation capabilities, by establishing world-class Centers of Excellence which can facilitate access to new scientific networks and unlock new opportunities for economic development.
The programme involves the teaming of EU countries with advanced research and innovation capabilities with member states aspiring to reach research and innovation excellence.
Source: Cyprus News Agency