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The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades helped launch a 15 million euro project between Imperial College London (ICL) and the University of Cyprus.
The EU-funded teaming project, KIOS, brings together the two universities, aiming to make critical infrastructure more efficient, resilient and economical. The KIOS Centre of Excellence, directed by the University of Cyprus’ Professor Marios Polycarpou with Professor Thomas Parisini of Imperial’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, will focus on major societal challenges to critical infrastructure like cybersecurity and smart control systems. They will improve the way critical infrastructure is monitored, increasing automation and efficiency, while heightening security.
Representing Imperial at the launch event at the University of Cyprus, Professor Parisini was joined by Professor David Gann, Vice President (Innovation), and Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Provost (Research). Other speakers included the European Commission’s Director-General for Research & Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and Professor Constantinos Christofides, Rector of the University of Cyprus.
Speaking at the event, Professor Jennings said: “This teaming partnership is the first of its kind for Imperial. It shows Imperial at its best: working with partners to tackle major societal challenges like cybersecurity and smart control systems – while contributing to economic growth. The University of Cyprus and Imperial are natural collaborators. We will build this cluster into a critical mass of knowledge, innovation and application. Our ambitions are high – but also achievable. We want to create the leading research centre for the monitoring, control and security of critical infrastructure in the region… There is a sense of excitement in both universities about how much more we can do together.”
Prof Gann said: “There is urgent need to improve the resilience, security and efficiency of what we call ‘critical infrastructure’ – the transport, energy and communications networks, healthcare, water and waste systems that support everything we do at work and in our leisure.
“Imperial is the UK’s most international university and we are very pleased to deepen our partnership with this special relationship with the University of Cyprus. We plan to unleash a wave of innovation in the region. Cyprus is fertile ground for new thinking on cybersecurity, control systems and infrastructure. Together we will create a research and innovation capability and the talent to develop new ideas for infrastructure industries, resulting in new jobs and safer, better ways of living.”
The project is funded through the Horizon 2020 Widespread-2016-2017 programme. When in-kind support from the College and co-funding from the Cypriot Government, the University of Cyprus and local and international industries is taken into account the project’s budget rises to over 40 million euros.