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CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE

Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - RISE (Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies)

Período documentado: 2021-08-01 hasta 2023-01-31

According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2020, Cyprus is a “moderate innovator”. To move towards becoming the “innovation leader” to which it aspires, Cyprus must translate strengths in international scientific co-publications and high tertiary education rates into employment in fast-growing enterprises and other critical linkages that will boost economic growth and ensure long-term prosperity. This is where RISE positions its contribution. RISE instigates research and innovation to improve overall competitiveness and, ultimately, people’s lives.

In the heart of the historic city of an island at the geographic crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, RISE’s unparalleled team strives to harness the power of cutting-edge research for wider advancement, beyond the confines of academia or any single workstation or laboratory. Led by the Municipality of Nicosia, RISE links Cyprus’ three public universities (the University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology and the Open University of Cyprus) with two of Europe’s leading science and innovation centers, University College London and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.RISE is part of the capital city’s wider strategy of promoting inclusive innovation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem—both key aspects of economic competitiveness and sustainability on the island and in today’s world.

RISE is working to be catalytic, complementing other infrastructures and services while mobilizing significant knowledge networks, engaging underutilized social capital and reversing brain drain. Further, it will provide a solid scientific base and an enabling environment in which start-ups and other innovators can experiment and ultimately flourish. Within Nicosia’s designated Quarter of Creative Industries, RISE will cultivate activities that bridge the unproductive gaps between mindsets, sectors, communities and regions.
During the reporting period 3 (RP3), and while the pandemic and lockdown measures continued to disrupt various aspects of activity on the island, CYENS’ adjusted accordingly and was able to bring almost all its functions under one roof in the STOA building (HUB of Innovation and Entrepreneurship), in late January 2021. The STOA building, is one of the two premises of CYENS CoE, and was acquired by the Municipality so that the Centre has additional permanent premises to grow. Researchers are now co-located and able to engage collaboratively with each other, the innovation team and software developers’ team. The Thinker Maker Space and co-working space also inaugurated their workshop and exhibition areas at the STOA building, which now house cutting-edge digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, and design development equipment.
With mentorship from the Consortium and key partners during the period, CYENS continued to lay critical foundations, putting into place both the performance architecture and the performance culture on which success will be built. The Board, governance structures and management teams met regularly for effective review and decision making. Two new independent members (female) have joined the Board of Directors (BoD), and both come from the industry. The representative of Max Planck was also invited at the Board Meeting but still participates as an observer BoD Meetings. The key positions of the Research Director and Chief Innovation Officer were filled. Other positions were also filled in all departments according to appropriate terms of reference and transparent processes. During the reporting period the Advisory Board (AB) was formed with the mandate to advise the Centre on high- level issues related to science, innovation and technology transfer. The Advisory Board completed the first external review of the Centre in February 2021. The three departments collaborated to complete the Centre’s second internal audit exercise which provided the basis to identify areas of potential improvement.

Despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic CYENS made consistent progress against its research and innovation objectives. Situated in the centre of the capital, it promotes research and entrepreneurial culture. In terms of research, CYENS eenriched the local scientific community, hosting in RP3, 16 MRG Leaders, 47 Research Associates and 1 Senior Visiting Researcher. CYENS researchers published 69 articles/conference papers/books chapters..

In terms of innovation, the Makerspace (Thinker Maker Space) became fully operational as a multifunctional creative space in RP3. The Thinker Makerspace first artists in residence joined the Centre in RP3.

Throughout the period, CYENS CoE has worked to establish its reputation as a Centre of Excellence and Innovation at multiple levels.. The CovTracer-EN application became Cyprus’ part of the European-wide initiative to secure seamless cross-border interoperability of tracing applications developed at the national level by all EU Member States

In terms of public engagement, during the COVID19 period, CYENS was able to immediately move its public outreach online and hosted a series of webinars on topics of wide interest attracting participants from across the island and in the region.
CYENS also continued to cultivate a new generation of forward-looking and tech-aware researchers, through its established CYENS Doctoral Training program, Year-Round and Summer internship programs for students and early career individuals. During RP3 CYENS organized a Gaming and Artificial Intelligence Summer Programme to introduce teenagers to coding and entrepreneurship and a Curiosity Tech Camp 2021 aiming to equip the students with a basic understanding of a range of technologies including digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, 3D printing and robotics.
Despite the pandemic, CYENS’ reputation as a hub is growing and with it is Cyprus’ profile. The research teams, as well as the innovation department including the Thinker Maker Space, have all created valuable opportunities for many Cypriot researchers, creators and professionals.
RISE aspires to become a self-sustainable and fully independent research organization that inspires and empowers its multiple and varied stakeholders to improve life by embracing interactive media, smart systems and emerging technologies. As a center of excellence and innovation, RISE endeavors to have lasting impact across science and society by harnessing ideas, improving systems and mainstreaming inventiveness. It anticipates employing a critical mass of over 130 researchers and innovators to solve problems and collaboratively create in state-of-the-art but accessible facilities strategically positioned in the city centre of Nicosia, the European capital of geographically significant Cyprus.

RISE will (a) bridge the gap between academia and industry, (b) fuel an innovation-driven cultural shift for academics and industry, (c) establish a knowledge-/tech-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem, and (d) provide attractive employment opportunities for researchers and creators.