In an interview with the Cyprus Weekly, CyRIC managing director Panayiotis Philimis explained the company’s activities.
The company, which was established in 2012, offers research and innovation services in the fields of engineering design and prototyping, electronics, communications and software solutions. One recent example is a ‘geothermal simulation model’ that supports solar water heating systems, while the Wi-Shoe project promotes healthcare and rehabilitation for the wearer.
“We managed from the very beginning of our operation to win a number of European projects under the FP7 programme,” said Philimis.
The Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) was the EU’s previous funding programme for hi-tech and innovative research that lasted from 2007 to 2013. It has now been replaced by Horizon 2020 (H2020).
Philimis explained that they initially took over the research and innovation activities of another company, CNE Technology Ltd. This allowed it to win and run European and nationally-funded research and innovation projects.
“The company carried over huge experience and know-how in research and development activities,” he said.
CyRIC is currently actively participating in several EU and national projects as coordinator and research partner.
“We have in total 10 active research and innovation projects. Nine of them are EU (six FP7 and three H2020) and one a national project.”
These projects incorporate technical research and development activities (basic and applied research, engineering design, electronics, software development, prototype development, testing) and coordination and management activities. Out of the nine EU projects, CyRIC is coordinating four of them.
CyRIC’s strategic aim is to become an important regional centre for developing what the industry called ‘disruptive products’ and providing high quality research, innovation and entrepreneurial services.
The large volume of projects means that the company has expanded quickly since it first began operations.
The number of staff has grown rapidly from three to 15 people in the last three years, with most of those joining in during the past year.
Naturally, the move has required a major restructuring of the internal processes and structure of the company.
The company’s expansion has allowed it to pass on knowledge to others — something that has come to be expected to companies in the innovative arena.
CyRIC now offers a number of specialised consultancy and entrepreneurship services to startups and SMEs.
The main activities for startups involve support for fundraising, accelerating prototype development, technical support, business and marketing support.
Philimis says that this kind of support will be stepped up in future, “continuing and strengthening our involvement in the local startup ecosystem by providing professional support to young entrepreneurs, helping them to shape their products and create sustainable and profitable business”.
Asked what the plans were for the future, Philimis said the company will continue expanding the creative team and continuing the success of winning EU and nationally-funded research and innovation projects.
It also aims to commercialise some of the innovations. Next year, it plans the commercial release of some of the products and technologies the team has been working on in the past two to three years under its research and innovation programmes.