Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


KIOS Report Summary

Project ID: 664639
Funded under: H2020-EU.4.a.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KIOS (KIOS Research Center of Excellence for Intelligent Systems and Networks)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

This project is a joint venture between the KIOS Research Centre at the University of Cyprus (UCY) and Imperial College London (Imperial), funded to help bridge the research excellence gap between Member States and strengthen competitiveness and growth across Europe. The project is funded by the Teaming topic of the WIDESPREAD call under the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation work programme of Horizon 2020 and is intended to help improve research performance and increase investment in countries with lower research excellence rankings.
The long term vision of the Teaming project is to build a Centre of Excellence in Cyprus, a small country without a long and strong tradition in research and innovation that can compete at an international level and have high impact on the local knowledge-based economy. The academic and innovation excellence, complementarity and long-term commitment of Imperial (one of the leading academic and research institutions in the world - ranked no. 2 worldwide according to the QS World University Rankings for 2014-15) are key components in helping to create and sustain the proposed KIOS CoE.
The aim of this one year project was to pursue excellence through the development of an operation plan (business plan) for the KIOS Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the area of Intelligent Systems and Networks and specifically in the area of monitoring, control, management and security of critical infrastructure systems. The vision for the KIOS CoE is to house multidisciplinary research teams that will develop smart tools to make Critical Infrastructure Systems (CIS) more reliable and efficient, resulting in improved performance and safety of the crucial services society and the economy depend upon.
Research and technology developed at KIOS result in tangible benefits to society, the environment and the economy - achieving, for example, big reductions in operational costs, energy, natural resources consumed, and greenhouse gases emitted.
The principal objective and outcome of this Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded project, was to prepare the KIOS CoE Business Plan. The Business Plan is intended to serves as a strategic guide for various research and innovation activities, and establishes the vision and orientation for the KIOS Research Centre to transform itself into a Centre of Excellence. It also cements a long-term and sustainable partnership between the advanced institution, Imperial College London, and the University of Cyprus.
Towards the development of a robust and comprehensive Business Plan for the KIOS CoE, several complementary activities have been undertaken to support the development of innovative ideas, processes, and implementation of best practices. These activities included: (a) communicating and establishing numerous collaboration agreements with different stakeholders, (b) the strengthening of the long-term partnership with Imperial, (c) raising the visibility of the KIOS Research Centre, (d) performing multiple detailed studies on aspects of the business plan such as market analysis, technology road maps, and sustainability analysis.
The direct impacts from the development of the KIOS CoE Business Plan are both scientific and economic and positively affect both KIOS and Imperial, as well as the research and technological performance of Cyprus. In the long-term, the foreseen impacts are to strengthen KIOS’s scientific and innovation abilities, and enable KIOS to improve its chances to seek and secure further research funding, through international and EU programs, or direct investment by government organisations and industry in research and technology, as well as innovation.
The project has provided a unique opportunity for establishing a sustainable research and innovation centre of excellence —the first such Centre of Excellence in Cyprus― which will stimulate the creation and growth of a regional industrial ecosystem with major economic and societal benefits. The p

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed in this one year action includes the following:
• Development of a comprehensive Business Plan which was prepared and submitted as a deliverable. The business plan helped guide the submission of a proposal for the second Phase of the project, which involves the implementation of the plan.
• Implementation of a plan for long-term collaboration between the KIOS and the Imperial Teams including the development of formal mechanisms for this collaboration. There are now measures in place to facilitate long–term sustainable collaboration.
• Establishment of formal collaboration agreements between the KIOS/Imperial teams, the industry, and other organisations across Europe and the Middle East. Several agreements, MoUs, and projects have been established. The ultimate goal of these collaborations is to produce products and services that can bring about significant societal, environmental, and economic benefits for Cyprus.
• Carried out a market/competitor analysis to determine the possibilities available and the viable paths towards establishing a sustainable upgrade into the KIOS CoE. The outcome is a focus in an area of high-growth potential and addresses the key technological challenges of monitoring, control, management, and security of Critical Infrastructure Systems. Moreover, the exercise has resulted in a focus on responding to significant global challenges affecting the Critical Infrastructures which are vital to people’s quality of life, safety, and economic growth.
• Organised consortium meetings to initiate collaboration activities between the two teams, to discuss the key features of the KIOS CoE, and to ensure that the preparation of the comprehensive Business Plan was progressing smoothly and timely. The meetings also helped to leverage Imperial’s expertise as one of the leading universities worldwide in successfully combining research excellence and innovation, with many years of expertise in all aspects of industry partnering, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship.
• Created an International Experts Committee tasked to advise and steer the scientific, innovation, and administrative progress of the project and ultimately leveraged world renowned experts for the development of the Center and the facilitation of tangible socio-economic benefits for Cyprus and the EU.
• Visited, met, and established links with research centres and industry to identify mutually beneficial collaboration and leverage industrial know-how.
• Performed the first KIOS IP Audit and organised an IP training workshop in collaboration with the IPR Helpdesk.
• Prepared a Data Management Plan (DMP), ensuring a commitment to implementing best practices in data management.
• Submitted five ethics deliverables and established an Ethics Advisory Committee to consider the project’s ethics requirements, ensuring a commitment to implementing best practices in ethics in future activities of the KIOS CoE.
• New skills and competences on IP protection, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, capacity building, etc., were developed by the KIOS staff as a result of working on the project and on the development of the business plan.
Efforts to achieve the project’s objectives have also resulted in additional outcomes not foreseen in the DoA, which added value to the project and introduced new best practice features. These included:
• The development of an open access framework for KIOS, which aims to promote open access within the wider research communities and the public, thus contributing to better and more efficient science, and helping to drive innovation in the public and private sectors.
• The design of a framework for the development and implementation of testbeds within the CoE, helping to raise the TRL levels of activities by providing the means of testing and validating new solutions and methodologies in realistic settings and significantly improving the scientific skills of the KIOS pers

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During the course of the Business Plan development, there was significant progress beyond the state of the art in a number of areas, enabling the KIOS Research Center in its current form to significantly enhance its status and capabilities and gain increased visibility. The approaches adopted and the outcomes of the work undertaken in this project can significantly contribute towards the development of a strategic growth path for the KIOS CoE, pointing to long-term opportunities for economic development for Cyprus and the EU.
In addition to the short-term impacts delivered through the implementation of Teaming Phase 1, a number of medium-to-long term impacts are also expected to be delivered through the implementation of Teaming Phase 2 (including dimensions such as e.g., Human resources, Open excellent research systems, etc.). Specifically the progress beyond the state of the art and the impacts of this project are as follows:
• The outcome of the business plan is a focus in an area of high-growth potential and addresses the key technological challenges of monitoring, control, management, and security of Critical Infrastructure Systems. Moreover, the exercise has resulted in a focus on responding to significant global challenges affecting the Critical Infrastructures, which are vital to people’s quality of life, safety, and economic growth. Further, through the market/competitor analysis, several niche research areas have been identified and technology roadmaps have been developed for different application areas where the Centre can have significant scientific contributions. These areas can also achieve big reductions in operational costs, energy, natural resources consumed, and greenhouse gases emitted. Thus, research and technology developed at KIOS results in tangible benefits to society, the environment, and the economy.
• An expected result from the collaboration agreements obtained from a number of national and international stakeholders is that KIOS' research and technology translation capabilities will be boosted. Moreover, these mutually beneficial partnerships will help develop a culture of research and innovation in Cyprus. The ultimate long-term result will be the development of products and services that can bring about significant societal, environmental, and economic benefits for Cyprus. The scale of this outcome and the approaches adopted are novel to Cyprus and will contribute significantly to the promotion and the development of regional innovative clusters and hubs that serve as local innovation ecosystems, and which are also capable of connecting to global value chains. Taking into account that Cyprus, at the time of this report, is still in the early stages of the creation of such ecosystems, these collaborations can bring added value to a number of new initiatives currently being pursued by the Cyprus Government.
• A number of agreements were established with innovation and entrepreneurial organizations to boost the innovation and entrepreneurship culture of KIOS and Cyprus in general. As a result, the innovation and entrepreneurship culture of the KIOS personnel was improved, helping to bridge the gap between research and innovation, and enabling the development of SME’s, products, and services. Supporting activity that is new to the research culture in KIOS was also the first IP Audit conducted and a comprehensive IP policy that was created, enhancing KIOS’ innovation and entrepreneurship culture.
• A framework was developed for the creation and implementation of testbeds related to CIS that can help boost excellence, advance the state-of-the-art in CIS technologies, and allow researchers and other collaborators to address specific challenges such as CIS control, management and security, CIS interdependencies, CIS cyber-security, etc. No facility of this kind currently exists and will therefore be a unique facility available to the KIOS CoE and its collaborators. This framework is expe

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