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EXCELSIOR: Placing Cyprus on the map of space technologies

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EXCELSIOR organized successfully its first Stakeholder Meeting entitled “Space technologies and Earth observation’s benefits for Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean” in Nicosia on November 23rd.

More than 100 National Stakeholders attended the event which was under the auspices of the Honorable Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr Marios Demetriades

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excelsior audience

The objective of the meeting was to inform National Stakeholders from the Private and Public sector, the Industry and Academia regarding the benefits arising from collaboration with EXCELSIOR and its impact in Cyprus and the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean. It also aimed in fostering partnerships and collaborations as well as common actions between the National Stakeholders and the ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence.

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The EXCELSIOR program envisions the creation of a Center for Excellence for conducting a high level of basic and applied research in the fields related to Earth observation and space technologies. The Center is calculated to create around 200 new jobs and place Cyprus in the International Environmental Study Map through space technologies.

EXCELSIOR is based on the existing research and innovation infrastructure that has been developed over the last 10 years in space and earth observation, the Eratosthenes Research Center at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the Cyprus University of Technology. The Center for Excellence will be based in Limassol with supportive infrastructure in the coastal municipalities of Cyprus.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform the National Stakeholders about the opportunities and benefits that the implementation of the EXCELSIOR project will offer to Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Within the framework of the meeting, contacts were made to explore the possibility of developing collaborations and joint actions of the Private and Public sector as well as Academia with the ERATOSTHENES Excellence Center resulting from the implementation of the EXCELSIOR program.

During the meeting, the Honorable Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr. Marios Dimitriadis, was welcomed by Mrs. Aphrodite Kofterou, who spoke about the Ministry's full support to the EXCELSIOR program.

All project partners - the Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the National Observatory of Athens and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) – had the opportunity to present the EXCELSIOR action plan.

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Representatives of Cyprus industry and entrepreneurs also presented the benefits that will come from their collaboration with EXCELSIOR, placing the Center of Excellence through the existing potential of the ERATOSTHENES Research Center as a strategic partner in their planning in the coming years.

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The EXCELSIOR (ERATOSTHENES: "Excellence Research Center for Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of Environment") aims to conduct a high level of basic and applied research in Earth Observation-related fields through the combination of space technologies and remote sensing for systematic, integrated and in-depth monitoring of the environment and processes in it. The Environment sector was recognized by the Smart Specialization Strategy for Cyprus (S3Cy) as the first horizontal priority for the future development of the island. The project is fully aligned with the Cyprus Intelligent Specialization Strategy in many areas, significantly enhancing the impact of targeted regional and national investments, ie the environment and ICT.

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The EXCELSIOR proposal scored the highest score in Europe with a score of 15 out of 15 ("Excellent"), winning the top European ranking, among a total of 208 submissions. The first phase of the EXCELSIOR project is supported by 25 state agencies, including Ministries and Municipalities, from organizations and networks at local (eg Technical Chamber of Cyprus) and international level (eg NASA, ISPRS, NEREUS, DLR, GEO, ACTRIS) as well as companies active in the field of Research and Technology.

The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works strongly supports EXCELSIOR and shares a common vision for the creation of the Center of Excellence.