CYENS (previously known as RISE) is the first Research centre in Cyprus focusing on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies aiming to become a centre of excellence empowering knowledge and technology transfer in the region. It is a joint venture between the three public universities of Cyprus (University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology, Open University of Cyprus), the Municipality of Nicosia, and two renowned international partners, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPI) from Germany and University College London (UCL) from the UK.

CYENS is designed to act as an integrator of academic research and industrial innovation, towards the sustainable fuelling of scientific, technological and economic growth of Cyprus and Europe.  It sets out to meet the challenge with a total potential funding of more than 30 million Euros for the first 7 years, from a Horizon 2020 Teaming Action and multiple other sources, and a business plan for long-term sustainability and growth.

CYENS will operate by embracing the motto: Inspired by Humans and designed for Humans, producing technologies to work “in the wild”. Such a focus, geared towards applications and going beyond traditional academic confines, will bring direct tangible benefits to local society while ensuring an economically viable operation of the Centre.

Hosting CYENS in the heart of Nicosia is part of the strategy of the city to foster the development of an inclusive innovation and creativity ecosystem. CYENS will be catalytic in this respect by complementing other infrastructures and services in this area while mobilising significant knowledge networks and social capital.  Further, CYENS will provide a solid scientific base that will encourage the development and application of new technologies and innovative entrepreneurship and will also offer support to the start up community and established innovation companies. Multiple synergies are achieved through the establishment and operation of CYENS at the heart of the designated Quarter of Creative Industries in the historic centre of Nicosia, while giving a breath of fresh air by turning the island’s (and Europe’s last) divided capital into an innovation hub.

The inclusion of labs equipped with key emerging technologies will be a first for the country, enabling the incorporation of scientific methodologies and state-of-the-art techniques into the research and product development pipelines of entities in Cyprus while minimising their risks and costs.

Many key indicators of success, found in similar research centres, are all met in Cyprus. The pool of high calibre science, engineering and business talent with multinational experience that exists locally, coupled with the outreach offered by the leading European partners, MPI and UCL, will ensure a constant supply of experts and innovators that will be empowered by CYENS as a resource to succeed. The geographic location of Cyprus at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa as well as its membership in the EU and Eurozone and direct access to a large pool of RTD funding will add to the opportunities for international entities to collaborate with Cyprus utilising the resources of CYENS.