The 4th Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2019 - IEF2019: 4th Industrial Revolution: Technology and Society took place on April 19th 2019 at the University of Cyprus. The forum was organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) with the invaluable support of PwC Cyprus and in cooperation with the following research centers and organizations: KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, RISE | Research Centre on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies, FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, Nireas International Water Research Center EMPHASIS Research Centre - Enterprise Europe Network, Oceanography Centre, European Office of Cyprus, Enterprise Europe Network.
The Forum started with the opening of the research results exhibition – The Innovation Track, featuring 20 research projects with a potential for market exploitation and/or societal impact in the fields of Information Technology, Communications and Microelectronics, Intelligent Infrastructure, Renewable Energy Sources and Health Sciences. European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), Climate-KIC Cyprus, European Office of Cyprus and Enterprise Europe Network were also represented in the Innovation Track.
Opening remarks and greetings to the event were addressed by the director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Professor Marios Dikaiakos and the Rector of the University of Cyprus professor Tasos Christofides. The PwC Distinguished Lecture ‘The Future of Automation and Its Implications for Educational Systems’ was given by Dr Harry Anthony Patrinos, World Bank executive and expert in all areas of education, especially school-based management, demand-side financing and public-private partnerships. Introduction to the lecture was given by Evgenios C Evgeniou - CEO PwC Cyprus. Harry Patrinos talked over the future of automation and its effects on the economy, work and society. He noted that technology holds the key into shaping the future of work, adding that automation will directly or indirectly affect several occupations in the coming years. Particular reference was been made to the need for radical transformation of the education systems so that young people can meet the challenges of the future labor market. He also underlined that investment in education has the highest performance over time over any other form of investment.
After the Forum's keynote speech, two parallel events followed:
(1) The Final of the second Student Innovators Competition (SINN2019), where students from the University of Cyprus present creative ideas and innovative solutions (early stage) in a 5-minute “pitch” presentation to a panel of judges and the audience. The competition was organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) and the Department of Business and Public Administration of the University of Cyprus. 24 applications were submitted generally by teams that developed their ideas during the Entrepreneurship courses of the Department of Business and Public Administration and the elective courses offered by the Centre for Entrepreneurship. 10 of the projects were selected to present at the pitching competition on April 19. The panel of judges was consisted by key people from the Cypriot business ecosystem and entrepreneurs: Andreas Papadopoulos, Strategic Development Director of the Hellenic Bank, Angela Panayiotou Manager IDEA Cy, Xenia Papandreou Youth Mentor, Phanos Demetriou CMO & Director of Services Digital Tree and Odysseas Economides Founder of startups Robo και Teembly and 2019 SINN winner.
The first prize involved two scholarships to the European Innovation Academy (EIA) including the Rector’s award scholarship and a tablet from Hellenic Bank. Second prize included one scholarship to the European Innovation academy and one participation to the IDEA Field Trip in Israel at the DLD Innovation Festival and several Innovation Centers in Tel Aviv. The third prize was one EIA scholarship. The First prize went to the ‘Anonymous Social Network for Students’ with Rafail Andreou, Giorgos Longinos and Chrysovalantis Christodoulou, a team from the Computer Science Department. The ‘Shelvino’ team received the Second Prize, comprised by Katia Kyriakoudes from the French and European Studies department, Irene Appiou and Loizos Prodromou from the Business Administration Department, Styliana Baghdhadie from the department of Architecture and Yiannis Mavros from the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Third Prize went to ‘HealthGum’ by Andreas Georgiou, Maria Kazamia , Elina Panteli , Andreas Kapetanios and Pantelis Hadjihambis all from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The Digital Tree Award which included promotional digital activities through the Digital Tree platforms: interviews, audiovisual and editorial content, communication of their idea/project was awarded to the ‘Anonymous Social Network for Students’ team.
(2) The Business Pitch Session, a pilot session carried out for the very first time pointing towards creative cooperation between the research community and the business world and to the resolution of current problems by researchers, research teams and students of the University of Cyprus. Initiator of the session was Ms Elena Tanou – member of the Entrepreneurship Council of the University of Cyprus and Vice President of the Top Kinisis Travel Group. During the Business Pitch Session, industries, businesses and organizations have been invited to present problems/questions for which they seek technical expertise, innovative solutions, and partnerships within the research community. The IEF 2019 session was comprised by the ‘Pitches’ of Blue Island Plc on the subject of ‘Improving Environmental Indicators’ presented by Marianna Papadopoulou, Assistant to the Director and Elias Nikolaou, Head of Quality, Food Safety and Hygiene. Theodoros Kringou, Managing Director of The Infocredit Group Ltd discussed about ‘Creating a credit rating model for Cypriot companies’ and Antonis Kountouris Head of Research and Development Department of Nicolaides & Kountouris Metal Company Ltd focused on ‘The need of Production Monitoring and Control in a heavy duty Industry΄. OCL Oceanic Catering Ltd was represented by Marinos Markides, Systems Manager who presented the issue of ‘Control Stock and reporting, in the middle of the ocean’. The 5th ‘Pitch’ was delivered by Panayiotis Kyprianou, Director of Business Development of Thanos Hotels & Resorts on the timely subject of ‘Technology and Online Presence and their effects on businesses in a rapidly changing social, economic and technological environment’. The first Business Pitch was well attended by researchers, academics, postgraduate and doctoral students, business executives and other stakeholders. The Centre for Entrepreneurship together with the support of the Entrepreneurship Council of the University of Cyprus seeks to develop this activity further and create a practical framework of collaboration that can create and deliver substantial value for all contributors.
IEF 2019 was concluded with the Award’s Ceremony. The ‘UCY Entrepreneur Award’ was presented by the President of the Entrepreneurship Council, Professor Yiorgos Chrysanthou and awarded to Giorgos Larkou, Giorgos Matthaiou and Giorgos Nicolaides, founders of Impact Tech Ltd, and Dimitris Eliadis, founder of Phoebe Research and Innovation Ltd. Through this Award, C4E aspires to present and celebrate the achievements of recent or present affiliates of the University (alumni, researchers, students, faculty, employees), who created value for the economy and society through entrepreneurial activities characterized by traits like novelty, risk-taking, scientific or technical excellence, social responsibility, and an international outlook.
Awards were also given for best poster/demo in the research results exhibition - The Innovation Track. The first prize was given to the project "Real-time monitoring of reservoirs during EOR operations", which is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Physics, EMPHASIS Research Center, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University and Cambridge Biomagnetics Ltd. Members of the group are Assistant Professor Theodosis Trypieniotis, Angeliki Agorou, Konstantinos Nikolaidis from the University of Cyprus and Thanos Mitrellas from Cambridge University. The first prize was given also due to a tie-up in the project "Lightweight Intrusion Detection System for Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things" by the Department of Computer Science of the University of Cyprus, assistant professor Vassos Vassiliou and Dr. Christiana Ioannou. The second prize was given to the project 'CUREX: SeCure and pRivate hEalth data eXchange' and to Christos Laoudia, Dr. Nikos Nikolaou and Professor Christos Panayiotou from KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence. The People’s Award was given to the project "StreamSight: A Query-Driven Framework for Streaming Analytics in Edge Computing" by the Department of Computer Science and to the team of postgraduate students Zacharia Georgiou, Moses Symeonidis, research associate Dr. Dimitris Trichinas and Professors Marios Dikaiakos and Giorgos Pallis.
All the awarded projects will be a part of the second series of videos 'Shaping the future: Featuring selected University of Cyprus Innovations' - featuring narrative of selected University of Cyprus innovations and the University’s efforts towards bringing its inventions to the market and to society.
The forum was attended by distinguished businessmen, representatives of investment Forum participants included distinguished people from the business community, investment funds representatives from Europe and Cyprus, executives from organizations, businesses in the area of innovation, from policy institutions, representatives of ministries, the National Guard, bankers students, researchers and academics
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum is organized every year and seeks to provide knowledge, expertise, training, support and networking opportunities to the academic community, young researchers, students and the Cyprus society, about ideas, practices, perspectives, but also the challenges and opportunities that exist in order to contribute to the creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem in Cyprus.
It is organized and hosted each year by the Center for Entrepreneurship of the University of Cyprus.