The Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) is a recently established public university founded in 2003, and one of the three state universities in Cyprus. CUT is a dynamic university with six leading schools/faculties and 10 academic departments, able to offer education and high level research, in primary branches of science and applied technology both in Undergraduate and Postgraduate (MA, MSc, PhD) levels. CUT’s strategic target is the design and development of research activities both within the University and in cooperation with other research Institutes in Cyprus and abroad. CUT aims at transferring knowledge (education) and producing new knowledge through basic and applied research in all academic fields of the University’s six Faculties.
University research activities are normally accomplished through funding secured from two major sources: from the University’s state funded budget and from different organizations, entities or private sources at national, European and international level. Strengthening of the research management support and infrastructure, aiming at securing externally funded projects, is another major objective of the University. Moreover, the University has adopted principles in relation to research which conform with the European Union’s declarations relating to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA).
Recently CUT was ranked by Times Higher Education among the world’s best small universities in 2017. CUT has been also included among the world’s best 500 universities and among the 200 best universities of Europe. Finally, CUT has been ranked as the first among the youngest universities in pan-European scale.
The vision of the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics (CEG) is to develop a dynamic, stimulating and challenging environment for teaching and research of the highest international standard offering students the opportunity to develop a strong technical background, a clear appreciation of the practical significance of their subject area, as well as strong personal and professional attributes that will enable them to make a significant contribution within their profession. In addition, the Department aims to establish strong interactions with industry and government to provide students the opportunity to participate in current engineering and technology developments and work alongside with professionals through individual and team project work and professional training. One of the Department’s main objectives is to establish strong links with other academic institutions from around the world and encourage the exchange of students and visits of distinguished academics, so as to bring expertise to the department’s undergraduate and postgraduate educational and research experience.
The University of Cyprus (UCY), which was established in 1989, aims to become a leading educational and research institution that will distinguish itself internationally through the promotion of scholarship and that will be recognized as a centre of excellence in the Mediterranean region. The University sets high standards for all branches of scholarship. Research is promoted and funded in all departments for its contribution to scholarship in general and for its local and international applications.
UCY has a significant involvement in the implementation of European grants. The University participated in 145 such programmes securing more than 10 million euros in 2015. The European programmes in which the University participates include: Horizon 2020, EU Seventh Framework Programme and the ERASMUS+ and Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, ERC frontier research programmes, COST programmes, JIP and Teaming as well as Interreg programmes. Since the beginning of ERC grants in 2007, UCY has received 10 ERC projects. A major portion of the University’s external funding comes from the Research Promotion Foundation, since a significant number of research programmes are supported financially by the RPF. In 2015, the University secured €5.153.576.82 for 55 research programmes from the RPF.
UCY was recently ranked 55th young University by the World University Ranking, 187th of the Top 200 Best Universities in Europe 2016 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and according to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, UCY is ranked in the 351-400 group of the top universities in the world in 2015.
The first research unit to be established within the UCY is the Archaeological Research Unit (ARU) which was founded in 1991. The ARU forms part of the Faculty of Letters and functions within the Department of History and Archaeology. Over the past 25 years the members of the ARU, have contributed immensely to the study and promotion of Cypriot cultural heritage through their research, their teaching and the practical training they have been providing to students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Through their teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, all members of the ARU academic staff have been contributing to the formation of a new generation of Cypriot archaeologists, equipped with all the necessary knowledge and practical experience needed to excel in this scientific field. The ARU possesses perhaps the richest archaeological library on Cyprus and a set of advanced technical equipment not only for the recording of monuments and artefacts that come to light in the course of systematic excavations (on land and underwater), but also for the microscopic and chemical analysis of ancient material culture. Moreover, the ARU houses highly important reference collections which include animal bones, rocks and minerals, seeds and charcoal.
The Department of Antiquities is the governmental department responsible for the control, management, protection, preservation, research and promotion of the archaeological heritage of Cyprus. According to the Antiquities Law, Cap. 31, any activities of archaeological nature, including permission for research, analysis, development, acquisition, excavation, conservation, publication, etc., must be authorized by the Director of the Department of Antiquities. As a result, the objectives of this proposal are tightly affiliated with the scope of the DoA. For the function and sustainability of such a significant Centre of Excellence, it is of utmost importance to establish a concrete cooperation, through partnership. As the responsible authority for archaeology and culture, the DoA holds and controls all associated procedures and has the means to assess the aspects that need to be further developed in order to further improve the current state of cultural and archaeological heritage on the island.
The DoA also shares synergies and direct relationships, also through partnership in international organisations, with state authorities responsible for archaeology and culture in other eastern Mediterranean regions, and can thus promote collaboration for the overall benefit of culture in the broader region. In sum, it has the mechanisms required for constituting the Republic of Cyprus and the DoA in the centre of cultural developments in the eastern Mediterranean basin.
The Strategic Plan of the DoA stresses its determination for achieving the utmost knowledge, management and promotion of all material remains of the cultural heritage of Cyprus, as a means to promote the island’s sustainable development. As the management of archaeological heritage is key for touristic and consequently economic development on Cyprus (due to the direct and indirect revenues it creates), the role of the Strategic Plan is to secure the means that will allow preservation and recognition on behalf of decision-makers. However, considering the role of culture in modern society, the DoA’s strategic objectives cannot be calculated solely based on an economic basis.
There are over 1500 declared Ancient Monuments of Schedule A and B on the island, controlled by the DoA, which are expanding due to more declarations and expropriations. The DoA’s objective is to apply law to all Ancient Monuments, as well as to all movable and immovable ancient artifacts, so as to safeguard them from illegal development activities, looting and illegal trafficking of cultural objects. A very large number of antiquities is stored and exhibited at the Cyprus Museum and at the District and local Archaeological or Ethnographic Museums of the DoA, throughout the island.
In brief, the DoA’s activities include: a) Management and protection of Monuments and Archaeological Sites, b) Organisation and operation of archaeological and ethnographic museums, c) Archaeological excavations, surveys and research, d) Presentation and promotion of cultural heritage. A number of tasks related to each activity, resulting in an active and vibrant management system.
To secure the management of archaeological heritage, and the development of related infrastructures, it is necessary to further develop certain aspects and ultimately achieve its preservation, research, and promotion, with obvious benefits to the development of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) was established and operates according to the provisions of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Law of 1969–2005 and the related Regulation on Structure and Terms of Employment and Administration and Finance. The Organisation’s objective according to the law is to organise and promote Tourism within the Republic by using all possibilities and resources available.
CTO implemented the Strategic Plan for Tourism 2011 – 2015, which followed and enhanced the previous Plan which ran from 2003 to 2010. The updated Strategy was prepared in compliance with the general directions and the nine principles of the “Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism” (COM (2007) 621) which was approved by the European Commission.
The main objective of the updated Strategic Plan was to define and promote the comparative advantages and the specificities of Cyprus, that would allow it to be successfully repositioned on the tourist map, to lengthen the tourist season and to offer a great diversity of tourist experiences, based on a client-centric approach which took into consideration the needs and wishes of the customer. To attain this goal, numerous actions were required, including; the upgrade and enrichment of the product targeting the “Sun and Sea Plus” clientele; the creation of improved products for attracting special sections of the tourist market; and the inclusion of a series of coordinated actions aimed at improving the travel experience of visitors at the street level. The strategy also sought to maximize the use of marketing tools and new technologies for improving the image as well as the brand awareness of Cyprus in the markets, and for opening up new markets and new channels of communication and infiltration.
A new National Tourism Strategy Plan is currently being drafted. It will provide for a holistic and integrated approach catering for long term planning by incorporating sustainable actions involving all stakeholders at all stages.
The Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), established in 1983, is one of the largest research centers in Greece with state-of-the-art research facilities, highly qualified academic personnel and a reputation as a top-level research foundation worldwide. It is ranked 1st in the Greek Research Centers both for the quality of researcher evaluated by international expert committees under the General Secretariat of Research & Technology in Greece and for the successful participation in various European and International projects. FORTH reports to the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. The Foundation, with headquarters in Heraklion, includes six Research Institutes in different parts of the country: Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL); Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB); Institute of Computer Science (ICS); Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics (IACM); Institute for Mediterranean Studies (IMS); Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT).
FORTH’s activities are complemented by Crete University Press (CUP), the Skinakas Observatory, the Science and Technology Park of Crete (STEP-C) and PRAXI/HELP- FORWARD Network. The research and technological directions of FORTH focus on areas of major scientific, social, and economic interest, such as: Microelectronics, Lasers, Materials, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biotechnology, Computer Sciences, Bioinformatics, Robotics, Telecommunications, Computational Mathematics, Chemical Engineering, Human and Social Sciences, Cultural Studies.
Since 1996, the Laboratory of Geophysical – Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeo-environment of IMS-F.O.R.T.H. is active in basic and applied research in the fields of geophysical prospection, satellite remote sensing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), 3D reconstructions and VR and archaeo-environment and has been widely and internationally recognized due to the quality of the services provided, the results of the research projects carried out and the training of students and professional archaeologists.
University College London (UCL) is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the world. With more than 5,000 academic and research staff dedicated to research and teaching of the highest standard and world-leading quality, UCL is continuously ranked as one of the best research universities in Europe. 46% of the nearly 29,000-strong student community (from 150 countries) is engaged in graduate studies, with more than a third of these graduate students pursuing research degrees. UCL is also one of the most successful UK universities at attracting funding, and one of the largest recipients of European Research Council grants. UCL academics are working at the forefront of their disciplines, partnering with world-renowned organisations and universities, and contributing to influential reports for the UN, EU and UK governments. UCL brings together world-renowned experts, from across the academic spectrum, to tackle complex problems presented by an increasingly interconnected world. It enables different departments to undertake truly interdisciplinary research with involvement of external partners. UCL aims to be ‘London’s Global University’ in addressing issues of universal concern through its four Grand Challenges – sustainable cities, global health, intercultural interaction, and human well-being. Complementing its leading research and innovation portfolio, UCL is also internationally regarded as a centre of excellence for science communication. This has been recognised through UCL’s selection as one of six national Beacons for Public Engagement in the UK, funded by the UK government to deliver a step change in science outreach and impact activities. Last but not least, in line with Horizon 2020’s policy on Open Access, UCL’s Publications Policy continues to ensure that the standard ‘Gold’ and ‘Green’ model is made common practice across the organisation.
UCL’s Institute of Archaeology is the largest and one of the most highly regarded centres for archaeology, archaeological science, cultural heritage and museum studies worldwide. With more than 60 research active staff and projects on six continents and Oceania, the UCL Institute of Archaeology is a long-established international leader in the discipline, unique in the scale and diversity of its research and the global scope of its expertise and collaborative links. Its core strategic research aims are to be internationally pre-eminent in the study, and comparative analysis, of world archaeology, archaeological sciences, and study and management of cultural heritage. The Institute has an excellent track record of training doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, who have progressed in academia or obtained senior positions in museums/heritage and related organisations. In the 2008 UK RAE, 90% of Institute research activity was rated as internationally recognised, with 30% considered world-leading. Postdoctoral research has also been developed in recent years, to an unprecedented extent, through external research funding success. The Institute hosts events on many different aspects of archaeology and is linked to heritage organisations, museums and archaeological societies, providing an outstanding research environment for staff, students and visitors. Following overall UCL philosophy, the Institute of Archaeology also works to address modern and pressing societal challenges of the present day, through advanced and practical research. It The brings specific expertise in computational archaeology, archaeological GIS, remote sensing and data science with a traditional stretching back decades in these sub-fields, and a wealth of published outputs, both in traditional academic forms and modern online forms. It is known for its work on agent-based simulation, point process modelling, uncertainty modelling, crowd-sourcing, landscape scale visibility and movement studies, evolutionary analysis and data-mining. It is unique, to our knowledge, in having four permanent members of staff focused on computational and remote sensing teaching and research, as well as a dedicated IT officer and many other interested faculty, not to mention a wealth of expertise in related departments.