Exploring research support and learning at Cyprus teaming centers and the University of Cyprus

Embarking on a journey of collaboration and knowledge exchange, a team from ISSP UL delved into Cyprus’s vibrant scientific landscape from February 4th to 8th, 2024. Led by Andris Šternbergs, Director of Science, the group, including esteemed colleagues such as Jānis Latvels, Head of the Development Department; Andris Ozoliņš, Project Manager from Legal Department; Ausma Grīnfelde, Deputy Director for Administration; Timurs Safiuļins, International projects acquisition specialist from Development Department; Sergejs Fomins, Head of the Laboratory of Visual Perception, and Edīte Kalniņa, Coach from the Development Department, aimed to get insights into best practices in Research Support and Learning & Development while fostering closer ties with Cyprus’s Teaming Centers and the University of Cyprus.

Their first stop was CYENS, where they uncovered a shared passion for project funding amidst Cyprus’s modest national science budget. Discussions flourished around recent initiatives like the Metacities Excellence Hub project, sparking interest from ISSP UL scientists in potential collaborations, particularly in 4D imaging. They explored diverse topics within visual sciences, from virtual and augmented reality to artificial intelligence, laying the groundwork for interdisciplinary ventures.

CYENS’s innovative facilities, such as the Thinker Maker Space and Film Studio, showcased the convergence of art and science, offering unique avenues for exploration. Peer-to-peer consultations and in-house mentoring emerged as key pillars of CYENS’s training approach, fostering a culture of collaboration and skill development among its 130-strong team.

Transitioning to the University of Cyprus, the team engaged with Prof. Stavros Iezekiel and his colleagues, immersing themselves in the university’s rich expertise in European Space Agency’s projects and cutting-edge research areas like adaptive optics and quantum dots. Collaborative opportunities in circuits, photonics, and next-generation photonic devices emerged, laying the groundwork for future partnerships.

At the Department of Physics, University of Cyprus, discussions with Prof. Andreas Othonos and Prof. Grigorios Itskos further deepened the exploration of photonics and optical characterization, highlighting Cyprus’s prowess in these domains.

The journey culminated at the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, where the team marveled at the intersection of science and innovation in ICT. From mission-focused endeavors to impactful training initiatives, KIOS exemplified a commitment to excellence and sustainability, poised to shape the future of critical infrastructure systems.

As the visit drew to a close, the team departed Cyprus inspired by the collaborative spirit and innovative ethos permeating its research institutions. Armed with newfound knowledge and connections, they returned to ISSP UL, energized to embark on a new chapter of cross-border collaboration and discovery.