LIFE SIRIUS aims to improve governance in urban air quality planning and management, considering a holistic environmental approach through advancing knowledge, skills and competences of the responsible authorities, by providing a tangible pathway in order to scale-up and accelerate solutions aiming at tackling air quality issues, giving emphasis on health impacts and compound effects, and a robust framework for increasing awareness of environmental issues associated with poor air quality.
The project brings together 7 partners of excellence from 3 EU Member States (Greece, Cyprus, Italy) with a representative geographical coverage concerning the targeted environmental problem (air quality), cross-cutting complementary competences and excellent track records in European projects.
LIFE SIRIUS will improve the quality of public authorities of the three targeted areas (Thessaloniki/Greece, Rome/Italy, Nicosia/Cyprus) at all levels in relation to preparatory, mitigation and adaptation actions foreseen in respective AQPs with two main goals: 1. To increase the capacity and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration of the three regions involved in the project to upgrade the performance of AQPs in each city. 2. To develop common evaluation system regarding health effects of air pollution and future scenarios that will assess the evolution of the situation in selected future periods.
The project will also develop an Environmental Management System as a vital decision support tool that will enhance AQPs and accommodate multidimensional elements for efficient and operational information flow, facilitate management decisions for corrective actions and enhance cooperation between decision-making bodies in the scope of AQP implementation.
Funding: € 715,636.00
The project Α System for Integrated EnviRonmental Information in Urban areaS – LIFE SIRIUS is co-funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union.
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region faces rapid population growth (currently about 400 million inhabitants) as well as political and socio-economic instabilities. These challenges, experienced by a part of the world that is already hot and arid, are exacerbated by droughts and the extreme weather conditions associated with rapid climate change. Extremes of temperature, in combination with increasing air pollution and windblown desert dust, could in the near future lead to intolerable conditions, ultimately compromising human habitability and promoting migration. Since climate change and air quality share many common sources, it appears logical to focus on the development of amelioration strategies that combine the goals of limiting climate change and reducing air pollution. It has been estimated that mankind may have a relatively small-time window – up to the middle of the century – in which to implement solutions to these challenges, particularly as far as climate change is concerned. Edu4ClimAte will engage Advanced Partners (from France, Austria, Germany, Finland) to strengthen the scientific excellence of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from twin islands of widening countries (Greece, Cyprus) with a view to establish a “regional hub of knowledge” in air pollution and climate change research and innovative solutions, engaging their respective surrounding ecosystems from the quadruple helix in addressing these societal challenges over the wider EMME. Edu4ClimAte will enhance local, regional, and international clusters led by its consortium with a view to build the foundation of an inclusive European Universities Alliance made of Advanced and Widening HEIs in Climate & Atmospheric Sciences to optimally support the current EU Green Deal ambition and its regional challenges, train and educate the next generation of researchers and innovators to achieve the EU long-term 2050 climate-neutrality objectives.
Exploitation of the numerous breakthroughs in the field of nanotechnology over the past decades is limited by the lack of reliable, cost-effective, and versatile tools for synthesizing nanomaterials at the industrial scale. To address these limitations, DIVINE aims to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of a versatile platform for synthesising custom-made nanomaterials. The platform will employ a novel aerosol-based method for generating nanoparticles, followed by a nanoparticle deposition stage. The processes taking place at the nanoparticle generation and deposition stages will be monitored by an online diagnosis system, providing high-quality control of the resulting nanomaterials.
The technical objectives of the project will therefore be to develop (i) a versatile cost-effective system for generating well-defined aerosol nanoparticles, and integrate it with (ii) well-established methods for depositing them on substrates to build nanomaterials, and (iii) a monitoring system of the size and concentration of the particles, providing an online diagnosis system. A deep-tech start-up company will be established and act as the project’s Host Organisation, which will further develop the DIVINE nanomaterial synthesis platform to a commercial product in the long run. To ensure the successful commercial exploitation of the product, we will also carry out a thorough market analysis and finalize all the steps for protecting the associated Intellectual Property Rights. The start-up will make its first steps in the framework of the spin-off development plan of the Cyprus Institute (CyI), which is a partner organization in the project. Once the MVP is built and validated, the start-up will move on to the seed-funding raising phase, and initiate the implementation of the beach-headed commercialisation strategy.
The project PRE-SEED/0719(B)/0298 (DIVINE) is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation.
The self-healing ability of coatings has become a treasured attribute of corrosion inhibitor formulations in recent times, and peculiar to the “smart” category of protective coatings, due to considerable delay in corrosion when they are in use, and a subsequent reduction upon final occurrence. Self-healing strategies based on encapsulation of liquid healing agents is one of the most successful and versatile approaches. The objective of OASIS is to develop the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of a self-healing capsule-based system utilising nature-inspired design strategies and eco-friendly raw materials embedded into coating formulations to attribute auto-responsive characteristics.
The project is coordinated by ReCover Ltd. which is a new green-tech spin-in company at the Cyprus Institute (CyI), orientated towards the development of environment-friendly self-healing systems for custom coating solutions. Via novel encapsulation techniques, and by utilizing nature-inspired design strategies and biofriendly renewable resources, OASIS will engineer core-shell particle structures specifically designed to protect the external metallic surface of large constructions and high volume industrial products from corrosion. Applications of the resulting products include, but are not limited to, nuclear reactors, underwater piping, turbine blades, offshore/coastal energy installations, and Agricultural, Construction and Earthmoving (ACE) equipment.
OASIS is a project that is carried out in collaboration between ReCover Ltd and the CyI. Also, HB BODY S.A. (GR), a producer and distributor of technologically advanced products for the automotive refinishing industry and yacht coatings, contributes to this project as a primary stakeholder via cooperative developments.
The project PRE-SEED/0719(B)/0046 (OASIS) is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation.
ATMO-ACCESS is the organized response of distributed atmospheric research facilities for developing a pilot for a new model of Integrating Activities. The project will deliver a series of recommendations for establishing a comprehensive and sustainable framework for access to distributed atmospheric Research Infrastructures (RI), ensuring integrated access to and optimised use of the services they provide. ATMO-ACCESS mobilizes extensive resources in the atmospheric RIs communities to engage into harmonizing access procedures in relation to policies, financial regulations and conditions for access. It will develop and test innovative modalities of access to facilities and complementary and more advanced services, including digital services, developed as part of cross-RI efforts. ATMO-ACCESS will open physical and remote access to 43 operational European atmospheric research facilities, including ground-based observation stations, simulation chambers, but also mobile facilities and central laboratories that are fundamental elements in distributed RIs. Innovative cross-RI cloud services, addressing the management of data produced via access and the use of new, integrated data products, but also virtual tools for training, are offered through virtual access to RI data centres. All work in ATMO-ACCESS integrates experiences from past access programs, thus, synergistically streamlining the work and avoiding duplication of efforts.
ATMO-ACCESS will continuously engage with users and with national and international stakeholders to propose optimal conditions for a coherent and effective framework of access that has been sufficiently tested and is supported by the relevant user and stakeholder groups to establish and ensure the long-term sustainability of access with the European RI landscape.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 101008004
The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated how vulnerable our modern society is albeit its technological advancement. Although the effectiveness of different transmission routes has not been fully assessed yet, some first results suggest that the viability of the virus in the atmospheric environment is long enough (in the order of a few hours) to allow transmission through the air, which is hard to control. This is more so considering that asymptomatic cases have the ability to spread the virus in this way, therefore having serious implications for outbreak control strategies.
The main objective of this project is to develop and test a novel monitor that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air. This novel detection system will consist of two parts combining state-of-the-art technologies developed by the two members of the consortium and a low-cost aerosol-to-liquid (AtL) bio sampler that can be used as the first part of the integrated monitoring system for detecting and measuring the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in the air. Combining such an AtL sampler with a suitable detection system/protocol will yield a system for monitoring SARSCoV- 2 in the air.
The project INNOVATE-COVID/0420/0009 (ART-SARS) is co-funded by the by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Innovation Foundation
In the “Antibodies to MisInformation” project we design, develop and apply to pilot schools a model experiential program for media education against MisInformation. The main goal is to develop the metacognitive attitude and skill of adolescent students of critically coping with information in digital media. We use climate change as an exemplary case study for digital misinformation, since it is a (literally and figuratively) hot subject on which a lot of both information and misinformation is available. The educational program is being designed and applied by the participating students themselves, members of the CyberSafety Youth Panel in cooperation and guidance by journalists, educators and policy makers.
This project is funded by through the Cyprus University of Technology under the “Combating Misinformation through Media Literacy” grants, by the Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Cyprus. The “Combating Misinformation through Media Literacy” grant is also supported by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, and the Horizon 2020 Co-Inform project (#770302). Open University of Cyprus (and other partners)
The website https://misinfoantibodies.cyi.ac.cy/ is on air…
Open University of Cyprus (Project Coordinator)
The Cyprus Institute
Advanced Media Institute
Pancyprian Parents’ Association
Cyprus CyberSafety Yourth Panel
Antibodies project Facebook page
COST MEDCYCLONES aims at establishing a European network for the study of Mediterranean cyclones, relating which a number of scientific challenges are still unaddressed, requiring a coordinated approach. The need for this action stems from the fact that there are still significant gaps in understanding how cyclones can modulate the Mediterranean region in view of a changing climate. The Project is funded by the EU COST Association, under the Cost Action CA19109.
The overall objective of ACCEPT is to provide new scientific knowledge on air pollution in Cyprus, with the expected positive impact of implementing efficient abatement strategies, improving air quality, and reducing human exposure; as well as to provide a new database of air pollution over Cyprus, with the expected positive impact of recording concentration maps, composition, contribution per sector, and local versus regional origin, with the aim to connect it with regional Climate Change. ACCEPT is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants.
Services for Copernicus. Development of a C3S demo case of a prognostic climate-driven vector-borne-disease risk assessment online platform, by exploiting the potential of the C3S infrastructure, including the diverse set of datasets in the CDS catalogue and the CDS toolbox. The underlying objectives are to:
The VeCTOR demo case will be provided as a service to scientific experts, decision- and policy-makers, and to the public through identified citizen-scientist initiatives.
To support EU countries in assessing their progress for reaching their targets agreed in the Paris Agreement, the European Commission has clearly stated that a way to monitor anthropogenic CO2 emissions is needed. Such a capacity would deliver consistent and reliable information to support policy- and decision-making processes. To maintain Europe’s independence in this domain, it is imperative that the EU establishes an observation-based operational anthropogenic CO2 emissions Monitoring and Verification Support (MVS) capacity as part of its Copernicus programme. The CoCO2 Coordination and Support Action is intended as a continuation of the CO2 Human Emissions (CHE) project, led by ECMWF. In the Work Programme, ECMWF is identified as the predefined beneficiary tasked to further develop the prototype system for the foreseen MVS capacity together with partners principally based on the CHE consortium. In addition, ECMWF will continue some of the work initiated in the VERIFY project as well. The main objective of CoCO2 is to perform R&D activities identified as a need in the CHE project and strongly recommended by the European Commission’s CO2 monitoring Task Force. The activities shall sustain the development of a European capacity for monitoring anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The activities will address all components of the system, such as atmospheric transport models, re-analysis, data assimilation techniques, bottom-up estimation, in-situ networks and ancillary measurements needed to address the attribution of CO2 emissions. The aim is to have prototype systems at the required spatial scales ready by the end of the project as input for the foreseen Copernicus CO2 service element.
AIR-COVID-NETWORK aims to develop and evaluate the benefits of implementing an easy-to-operate Bioaerosol Network, aiming at detecting in only one sample the presence of SARS-CoV-2 within an indoor atmospheric environment that has integrated exhaled aerosols from tens to hundreds of individuals within few hours. The added value of the Network is to operate either in a passive mode (to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the air) or in a more active one (each individual blowing directly on the air sampler alike the alcohol test).
Because individual screening of the entire population is impossible to achieve, this approach offers a simple and cost-effective alternative compared to the time consuming and expensive random Covid-19 screening tests of large subsets of the population.
In close collaboration with public departments of the Government, field tests (to be performed within SARS-CoV-2 contaminated indoor environment of the Nicosia General Hospital) will allow for the rapid development of an optimal “SARS-CoV-2 filtration unit” and its deployment within a network of 10 monitoring points. This Bioaerosol Network will operate in various indoor environments within the agglomeration of Nicosia for a period of 1 month, at a time when the lockdown measures taken by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus will become less restrictive, thus perhaps allowing the virus to spread even more vigorously within the population. Ultimately, the knowhow gained in operating this network will be transferred to a strategic industrial partner for further exploitation and provision of competitive services.
The Project CONCEPT-COVID/0420/0014 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation
Different atmospheric processes are considered responsible for many challenges having societal and environmental impacts. Air pollution, public health, sustainability and climate change represent key issues for a wide range of institutions in the public and private sectors. The EU-funded project ACTRIS IMP promotes a pan-European research infrastructure, the Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS), that produces high-quality data and information on temporary atmospheric components and the processes provoking the variability of these constituents in both natural and controlled atmospheres. Established more than 20 years ago, ACTRIS provides significant information for understanding atmospheric procedures and bio-geochemical relations between atmosphere and environments. ACTRIS IMP aims at a new knowledge that will create the structures for actions on national and EU levels. ACTRIS IMP (2020 – 2023) is funded by has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 871115.
The CELSIUS project aims to provide new climate change projections for Middle East/North Africa (MENA), including the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, at improved spatial precision and emphasis on temperature extremes and the warming over urban areas. The WRF model is used as a regional climate model (RCM) to dynamically downscale, first, meteorological re-analyses in a series of multi-physics simulations over the MENA region. An optimal for this region WRF model configuration will be obtained, by selecting the best performing (in comparison to observations) physical parametrisations set-up. CELSIUS (2019 – 2021) has received funding from the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), Republic of Cyprus
One of the major uncertainties in climate-change is the contribution of airborne particles. A major source of these particles is nucleation from gaseous pollutants. In order to implement the particle effects to existing models the process of particle formation by nucleation in the atmosphere needs to be well understood. This requires to employ a dense network of monitoring stations measuring particle formation processes.
Currently, only a limited number of stations have the necessary equipment for measuring small particles produced by nucleation in the atmosphere. Monitoring for Aerosol Particle Growth and Chemical Composition During New Particle Formation Events Using Minaturized Lightweight Instruments (MAGNUM) aims to produce low-cost, lightweight, yet fast-response aerosol size spectrometers that can measure the size distribution of particles in less than a second. These instruments will allow ground observations of high spatial density as well as observations with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). MAGNUM is an RIF Excellence Project that has been officially launched on January 2nd 2019 and will end after 30 months on 30th of June 2021. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Helsinki in Finland. MAGNUM (2019 – 2021) has received funding from the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), Republic of Cyprus.
The mission of the Cooperation to Unravel the role of atmospheric aerosol over the Amazonian basin (CURE-3AB) is to provide high quality vertical profiles of key atmospheric pollutants relevant to air quality and climate change at the heart of the Amazonian basin. Located within the Amazon forest is the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO), a facility taller than the Eiffel tower, dedicated for the observation of atmospheric pollutants. However, the entire vertical distribution of the troposphere cannot be fully accounted for using ATTO alone. This project pursues to complete the missing gap in the vertical distribution of atmospheric pollutants in that climatic sensitive area using both unmanned and manned aerial vehicles provided by The Cyprus Institute and Max Planck Institute, respectively.
CURE-3AB (2019 – 2021) is funded by the Research Promotion Foundation under the RESTART 2016—2020 programme International Collaborations—Dual Targeting and by the H2020 WIDESPREAD 2018-2020 program EMME-CARE.
METASat project develops and applies methodologies to utilize satellite data and provide the mathematical tools needed for studying the air quality in the region, and offer the data on the basis of which mitigation and adaptation strategies are developed. The work provides the atmospheric scientists at the Cyprus Institute (CyI) advanced theoretical and technical knowledge to utilize satellite data in air quality modelling. The use of current and next generation satellite information can open a new area in operational forecasting through i) updating emissions with up-to-date information from space, ii) providing initial conditions for the concentrations of the monitored pollutants for regional and local air quality forecasting and iii) identify and investigate significant atmospheric and chemical processes, both of continuous and episodic nature, with spatially and temporally consistent space monitoring. This supports national and regional authorities to improve awareness, preparedness, and implement control strategies. META-Sat (2018 – 2021) has received funding from the European Space Agency (ESA).
PRECEPT is materialized by a collaboration between Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions & Services (ADITESS) Ltd, a scientific, consulting, and research SME and The Cyprus Institute (CyI), a non-profit research and education institution with a scientific and technological orientation. The project involves, highly skilled scientific personnel with different disciplines (e.g. atmospheric scientists, engineers) from both partners, making use of state of the art scientific equipment in order to reach its goals. The Project POST-DOC/0916/0287 (PRECEPT) is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation.
Launched in December 2018, the AQ-SERVE project will provide the first-ever risk assessment and evaluation of the health impact of air pollution in Cyprus. AQ-SERVE aims to utilize best-in-class scientific and technological resources to identify the most efficient pollution abatement measures for improving air quality in Cyprus, and enable tangible benefits for public health, the environment, and the economy of Cyprus through the creation and updating of a National Air Quality Action Plan for Clean Air in Cyprus. AQ-SERVE (2018 – 2021) has received funding from the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), Republic of Cyprus.
Funding: € 1M
Launched in 2018, the overall objective of this project is to develop an infrastructure for synthesizing and characterizing nanoparticles (NPs) and nanomaterials (NMs) for applications in a wide range of areas, including sensing and catalysis. Nano2Lab (2018 – 2022) has received funding from the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), Republic of Cyprus.