The University of Cyprus secured the highest ranking in the evaluation of the European Commission (EC) for the creation of the “PHAETHON Research and Innovation Center of Excellence for Intelligent, Efficient and Sustainable Energy Solutions”, in the context of the Call of Proposals “Teaming for Excellence” of the “Horizon Europe” Program.
“PHAETHON” secured funding of €15 million from the EU, with an equal amount of national funding, as well as significant funding of €5 million from the University of Cyprus, subject to approval by the Ministry of Finance, and €10 million from the EuroAsia Interconnector PLC, for upgrading the existing FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy into an autonomous Center of Excellence (CoE) in the field of green and sustainable energy. The coordinators of the project are Professors George E. Georghiou and Constantinos Christofides, with partners the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cyprus Seeds, the Technological University of Denmark and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
PHAETHON CoE aims to develop the Research and Innovation (R&l) capabilities in the timely and multifaceted cutting-edge research topics of energy that encompasses technological, socio-economic, political and environmental aspects, placing it at the heart of the energy ecosystem in Cyprus, the EMMENA region and worldwide. “PHAETHON” will be housed in state-of-the-art campus facilities, with an exemplary net-zero green energy building, the first of its kind in Cyprus, donated by EuroAsia Interconnector PLC.
PHAETHON CoE will have a significant impact and benefit for the UCY in numerous ways, such as: (a) attracting high-calibre academic staff, researchers and students, (b) improving the R&l culture through research intensity and innovation performance with an increase, among others, in the number of international publications in high-quality journals, citations, registered patents, thus improving UCY’s performance indicators and ranking positions and reinforcing its recognition and reliability, (c) enhancing internationalization, strategic partnerships and networking, (d) accelerating infrastructure development and contributing to shifting into a Green and “Smart” University, (d) generating revenue through external competitive funding, and (e) strengthening the role of the University in the society, environment and economy.
FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy is one of the most successful research centers of the University and has secured over €20 million in the last eight years through externally funded activities. This success proofs that “PHAETHON” CoE is fully capable to foster a robust R&l ecosystem in Cyprus and becoming a role model driving the climate-neutral green and digital energy transition. PHAETHON CoE fully complies with UCY’s vision and Strategic Plan 2021 – 2025 and addresses the R&l priorities of Cyprus and Europe.
Congratulating the coordinators and participating organizations of the project on their success, the Rector of the University of Cyprus, Professor Tasos Christofides, noted that this is indeed a great achievement for Cyprus, the University of Cyprus and its academic and research community. The establishment of new Centres of Excellence creates new prospects and a new dynamic for the country. To date, the impact of the existing Centres of Excellence has been enormous, contributing to the modernization and transformation of functions of the society. We anticipate many great positive outcomes from the new center, in times when geopolitics and energy policy play a leading role in the future of economies worldwide. I warmly applaud my fellow colleagues and their team. The University of Cyprus will support the Centre by providing, with the approval by the Council of Ministers, the land for the housing of its facility.