Leading through research and innovation

In the latest edition of Cyprus 4.0, Paul Lambis discusses research and innovation with Dr Panayiotis Philimis, President of the Cyprus Association of Research and Innovation Companies (CARIE), and Founder and CEO of CyRIC and of the Gravity Ventures incubator

CARIE: Cypriot Association of Research and Innovation Companies

The Cypriot Association of Research and Innovation Enterprises (CARIE) represents the interests of all Cypriot enterprises engaged in scientific and technological research and the development of innovative products and services and promotes actions aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of its members . Founded in 2010, CARIE is affiliated with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and actively participates in European Executive Committee organizations such as the European Association of Research and Technology Organizations (EARTO).

What are the founding engines of this unique association?

“The main objectives of CARIE are to promote the common interests of Cypriot companies in the research and innovation sector, in collaboration with the government and other institutions for the development and promotion of research and scientific and technological innovation, cooperation with relevant bodies in formulating a national strategy for the promotion of research and innovation in enterprises, and planning support programs designed to promote research and innovation in companies, specifically tailored to the needs of Cypriot SMEs to increase their competitiveness in Cyprus and in international markets. “

CARIE plays a key role in promoting industrial R&D and innovation in Cyprus. How has the platform contributed to the development and transfer of science and technology for the benefit of the economy and society?

“CARIE has played a decisive role in the evolution of the research and innovation ecosystem on the island and cooperates with the competent national authorities for the formulation of national strategic priorities in research and innovation, and measures providing financial and other support to research and innovation enterprises, which has led to the development of infrastructure and the increase in the number of jobs of researchers in enterprises for the development of technologically advanced products. Many of our members successfully export technology products to global markets. Our members are the most active SMEs in European competitive research and innovation funding programs, ranked first in the EU with a 40% share of SMEs in the country’s R&I budget.

Today, Europe’s innovation ecosystems are challenged by extreme circumstances. What are the current challenges and how have companies acted as a result?

“National and global lockdowns imposed during the pandemic have had a negative impact on businesses and the economy. The transition to remote working took place at the start of the pandemic; companies had to find creative solutions to maintain a cohesive culture in order to overcome key challenges such as working remotely. Additionally, disruptions in production and supply chains, retaining existing customers, and accessing start-up and growth finance are some of the current challenges.
Several technologies have emerged during the pandemic that will have a lasting impact on the way we live and work, while new technologies developed by innovative companies have proven to be essential in the fight against COVID-19. Biotechnology, for example, has been used to identify the virus and test for infection, and thanks to broadband technologies, employees have been able to connect while being physically isolated, thus facilitating business continuity. “

Dr. Panayiotis Philimis, President of the Cyprus Association of Research and Innovation Companies (CARIE), and Founder and CEO of CyRIC and the Gravity Ventures Incubator

CyRIC: Develop disruptive products for global markets

CyRIC is an internationally award-winning, Cyprus-based high-tech company that develops breakthrough products for local and international clients specializing in IoT biotechnology, robotics, wearable devices and AI / ML.

What are some of the unique and high quality products that you have supplied to the industry?

“CyRIC’s R&D center has raised more than 5 million euros in recent years, which has led to the production of new products currently on the market such as end-to-end IoT solutions, from the design, implementation and operation of communication networks to customer / end user solutions. In addition, we have developed and produced our own product portfolio of new unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAVs and UGVs) for the defense and security markets.
CYRIC was recently a finalist for Europe’s Most Disruptive Solution with its patented wearable technology Insofeet, a pioneering IoT-connected smart insole powered by AI artificial intelligence that aims to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. workers.

CyRIC is the EU-BIC Business Innovation Center in Cyprus certified by EBN (European BIC Network). How does CyRIC, as a European BIC, help the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cyprus and what kind of services does it offer?

“CyRIC is the first and only fully accredited member in Cyprus to hold the EU | BIC quality mark since 2016. EU | BIC are high quality business support organizations certified by EBN (European BIC Network), which dedicate their efforts and resources to help entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, turn those ideas into viable, successful and sustainable businesses. The EU | BIC quality mark is the only officially recognized international standard for incubation and acceleration based on innovation. The EU | BIC mark certifies that an organization is seriously committed to providing resources and services to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and / or consolidated SMEs that need to innovate products or processes or both.
CyRIC is considered to be a pioneer and a major catalyst in providing a wide range of entrepreneurial and innovation support to the Cypriot ecosystem through its GRAVITY incubator supporting and investing in several start-ups from idea to production and marketing in world markets. We help more than 100 entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to raise more than 3 million euros of investments per year.

GRAVITY is a cutting-edge venture capital incubator that fosters and drives innovation. How to give the founders the means to have a real impact and to shape the entrepreneurial community of tomorrow?

“GRAVITY Ventures is a key step for the ecosystem and the link between EU | BIC CyRIC and start-ups in Cyprus. Through constant interaction, we empower founders to have real impact and shape the entrepreneurial community of tomorrow. Our approach focuses on the creation of start-ups, from the early stages to mature companies, assisting them in all the necessary steps and supporting them throughout their journey. The GRAVITY incubation process covers a wide range of services and offerings according to the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of the applicant by offering tailor-made solutions and contracts according to their current needs. Our philosophy is to empower and support founders driven by purpose and passion, which is why we invest primarily in people and the potential of their ideas.

CyRIC has been very active in organizing hackathons and participating in global competitions for space and Earth observation. Do you think that Cyprus has the potential to develop an ecosystem and an industry in space technologies and Earth observation?

“We strongly believe that Cyprus has the potential to build a successful ecosystem around space and Earth observation. Nowadays, several countries are working on teaching Earth observation techniques on a global scale covering many methods and techniques on space technologies. CyRIC is motivated to deploy and allocate efforts and resources to generate momentum around the space sector. Cyprus, having placed the space industry sector at the top of its priorities, recently joined ESA as a cooperating European state as part of its national strategy to develop a framework for applications related to the observation of Earth, satellite communications and space navigation. This step is the first to bring together public authorities, private sectors and Cypriot society in the field of space applications.

CyRIC supports the high-tech space community in industry and academia on Earth observation (Copernicus and EGNSS services) and remote sensing techniques. For this, we work closely with ERATOSTHENES – the new Center of Excellence (CoE) in Space and Earth Observation. We implemented together a European Space Agency (ESA) PEC project called “SOFIA”, focused on encouraging schools in education and dissemination of Earth monitoring and remote sensing. Another successful example of our efforts is the recent implementation of the Cassini Hackathon #DigitizingGreenSpaces where the local CyRIC team was the organizer and ERATOSTHENES CoE the co-organizer. We obtained the 1st application among 16 other EU countries as well as the highest participation of teams. Created by the European Union, the CASSINI Hackathons and Mentoring events challenge participants to use Copernicus Earth observation data and positioning technologies from Galileo and EGNOS to develop their solutions.

The electronics manufacturing industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and has brought about changes in both business and personal life. What do you think are the trends that will take the industry to the next level in 2022?

“The electronics manufacturing industry is currently going through an unprecedented crisis, due to the impact of the pandemic on the electronics supply chain. Although the effect is not immediately obvious to the consumer, the tendency is to move production closer to home – in the case of Cyprus, to EU soil. We are seeing several electronics giants moving their production facilities to the EU from China and abroad. Smoothing out supply shortages will allow the electronics manufacturing industry to accelerate trends around Internet-connected objects and processes, realizing the true potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet. ‘Industrial IoT (IIoT). The IIoT and the electronics manufacturing industry will spearhead the industry’s digital transformation towards Industry 4.0, bringing better production efficiency and hopefully lower costs to the end consumer.

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