The Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), established by law in 2003, is one of three state universities in Cyprus. The University consists of six leading schools/faculties and 10 academic departments that offer high quality Undergraduate and Postgraduate education and research in science and applied technology. The CUT was ranked by Times Higher Education as one of the World’s best small Universities in 2017. The University has been also included among the world’s best 500 universities and among the 200 best Universities of Europe, as well as ranking first among the youngest Universities on a pan-European scale.
The ‘Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Group’ (www.cyprusremotesensing.com) was established in 2007 within the Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics of the School of the Engineering and Technology of the Cyprus University of Technology. The Group has secured funding from various European competitive calls from sources such as Horizon 2020, ESA, JPI, FP7, FP6, Interreg, MED, Life +, ECHO, Erasmus+, COST, etc. in addition to local funds from the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and Structural Funds. The Group has participated in over 60 research projects, over 25 industrial projects and has coordinated more than 20 research projects. Over the past 10 years, the Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Group has been the most productive group within the University in securing funding and creating jobs. As well, it is the only research group in Cyprus focused on space-based and Earth observation, as is a member of several networks for Earth observation, including EARSEL, ACTRIS, AERONET and EARLINET.
Currently, the Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Group participates as a partner in several projects, including the ‘SEO-DWARF’ HORIZON 2020 MSCA-RISE project, which uses satellite images from the Copernicus programs for marine applications, the ‘GEO-CRADLE’ HORIZON 2020 project that coordinates and integrating state-of-the-art Earth Observation activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans and developing links with GEO related initiatives towards GEOSS and the ‘BACCHUS’ FP-7 project that aims to quantify the key processes and feedbacks controlling aerosol-cloud interaction (ACI), by combining advanced measurements of clouds and aerosol properties with state-of-the-art numerical modeling. In addition, the Group participates in two JPI projects focused on cultural heritage research using Earth Observation, which are the ‘CLIMA’ and ‘PROTHEGO’ as well as the ‘CASCADE’ FP7 project for investigating dryland ecosystems in southern Europe, so as to obtain a better understanding of sudden shifts in drylands that may lead to major losses in biodiversity and concomitant ecosystem services. Currently, the group participates in an Interreg bilateral cooperation program Greece – Cyprus which deals with the digital mapping and surveying of historical churches in Cyprus.
The Group coordinates the ‘ATHENA’ Twinning H2020 project that aims to establish a Centre of Excellence in the field of Remote Sensing for Cultural Heritage in the areas of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage through the development of an enhanced knowledge base and innovative methods. The Group also coordinates the ‘DECAT’ ECHO project that focuses on strengthening early warning systems in Europe using geospatial technologies for the better protection of citizens against disaster risks. Finally, the Group coordinates the ERASMUS+ project ‘INTRAPRISE‘ which aims to develop an intrapreneurial training program to assist managers and employees of the ICT sector to effectively adopt an intrapreneurial culture within the organisation of ICT companies.
The ‘Remote Sensing and Geo-Environment Research Group’ activities are under the umbrella of the ‘ERATOSTHENES’ Research Centre, one of the first established Centres within the Cyprus University of Technology. Recently, the ERATOTSHENES Centre has been accepted as a COPERNICUS Academy member. Professor Diofantos Hadjimitsis is the PI of CUT for the EXCELSIOR project.