Cyprus University of Technology was established by law in December 2003, and enrolled its first students in September 2007. It is a new, public, and independent University with high values concerning its academic character, legal status, organizational and administrative structure; it’s characterized by its high level procedure for staff selection, and its relationship with the state. The University aspires to develop itself into a modern, pioneering University able to offer education and high level research in leading branches of science and technology which have high impact on the economic, technical, and scientific sectors. CUT has been ranked in 2016 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as in the top 401-500 universities of the world, and the youngest among the top European Universities, a very prestigious achievement considering it has less than 10 years of operation.
|List of equipment|
- Mobile robotic team (4 turtlebots, two with manipulator arms)
- Aerial robotic team (2 quadrotors (AscTech & Helikas)
- Underwater robotic team (2 ROVs (Videoray))
- Hybrid gantry-delta robot for underwater manipulation (in-house custom built)
- 3D sensors (Vision based 3D localization for the mobile and aerial platforms (in-house custom built), magnetic localization e.g. Fastrak, Kinect, Hokuyo sensors, IMU e.g. vectornav)
|List of services|
- Enhancing research, development and innovations in the field of robotics
- Supporting pre-commercial development research of robotic systems for specific applications
- Development of prototypes
- Facilitating and accelerating commercialization of production prototypes developed at Competence Centre
- Providing technical and business support to technology startup companies
- Business and strategic consulting in high-tech and emerging innovation trends in robotics
- Support in participation in national and international research and development projects in the field of advanced robotic systems in cooperation with businesses and research institutions
The Cyprus Smart Specialization Strategy (S3Cy) focuses on the following thematic areas - tourism, energy, agriculture, construction, transport, and health – all supported by ICT and KET innovations. Accordingly, the national funds from the RESTART 2016-2020 program are foreseen:
- Smart growth (74 mil €)
- Sustainable R&I system (50 mil €)
- Support R&I System (139 mil €) including 5 mil € for Competence Centers
Funding will also be sought from the Horizon 2020 programme. Among these funds the CUT CC will create its business portfolio based on open public-private partnership investments.
Activities of the CUT CC will strongly affect the overall regional economic development. Other research and development institutions and SMEs will have the opportunity to collaborate with CUT's CC on a joint, national and international research and development projects. Industry, SMEs, and in particular start-ups will be able to use new and improved services of CC in the development process of new products and services in the field of robotics. The authorities will be able to use the expertise of CC to improve the policy and preparation of technological platforms for manufacturing and service sectors. Engineering students will be motivated to pursue PhDs in the field of robotics and continue with postdoctoral activities on research projects which are carried out at the CC.
|Regional ecosystem and business plan|
The Robotics Control and Decision Systems laboratory of CUT that will support the CUT Centre of Competence is the oldest Robotics laboratory in Cyprus with a record of National and EU research projects. The research focus of the laboratory is on multi-robot motion task planning with applications to mobile, aerial, underwater and underground robots. CUT's CC will also be supported by the Innovation & Technology Transfer Office (INTENT) of CUT. INTENT was established in 2015. Its mission is to promote the policy of the Cyprus University of Technology on the Ownership, Transfer and Commercial Exploitation of Intellectual Property and help maintain an entrepreneurial cultural among staff and students. During the first year since its inception in 2016, INTENT managed to publish 4 PCT patent applications, 3 provisional patents and submit 4 more for evaluation. INTENT will collaborate with CUT's CC in supporting and delivering open innovation, aiming at maximizing the impact and outreach of the intellectual output produced not only in Cyprus, but also in the wider Middle-East, North-Africa (MENA) region. INTENT has a track record in promoting the integration of the three sides of the knowledge triangle i.e education, research and innovation. It is the lead partner of E.I.T Climate-KIC Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS). Through RIS, it supports start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs with activities such as ideation seminars, master classes, three stages business acceleration, demonstration activities and access to EITs Innovation Fund. INTENT will support the scope and activities of the CUT CC in order to strengthen synergies and complementarities by linking scientific research to entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer. Specifically, it will assist in identifying business opportunities, technology validation, IP due diligence, valuation and protection and the creation of spin-offs or license technologies for commercial exploitation. L4MS activities fit perfectly with the Urban Transitions theme of EIT Climate-KIC and will be a valuable addition to the growing innovation ecosystem of the region.
The Cypriot economy is dominated by SMEs (there are approximately 64000 registered SMES). These contribute the majority of the national GDP. A significant number are internationally oriented (above the EU average) but in many cases lag behind in the introduction of novel processes and innovation. Robots are, in general, not widely utilized with the exception of the pharmaceutical sector. Pharmaceutical companies export 90% of their production and in terms of employee number are mostly SMEs.
Most robotics research and development efforts (and infrastructure) in Cyprus are primarily (but not exclusively) of an academic interest and not directly associated with the needs of enterprises in Cyprus. Companies which use robots or are interested in robotics obtain their equipment and support from overseas. R&D activities are primarily based at the Cyprus University of Technology. The establishment of the Competence Centre and its activities will have manifold implications for Cyprus.
The activities of the CUT CC will strongly affect the overall regional economic development. Other research and development institutions and SMEs will have the opportunity to collaborate with CUT's CC on a joint, national and international research and development projects (e.g. projects funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation of Horizon 2020). Industry, SMEs, and in particular start-ups will be able to use new and improved services of the CC in the development process of new products and services in the field of robotics and, in particular, logistics in manufacturing. In the RESTART 2016-2020 national program, €139 million are allocated to support the Research and Innovation System including €5 million for Competence Centres. These funding opportunities will enable the CUT Competence Centre to create its business portfolio.