STELIOS ACHNIOTIS, President of Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK)
Interview to Dr Georgia Kouta, Post-Doctoral Researcher, ERC
How do you perceive the impact of the establishment of an Earth Observation Centre of Excellence in Cyprus, on both the domestic and international level?
I believe this is a very innovative endeavor, as such a Centre is much needed in Cyprus. The establishment of an Earth Observation Centre of Excellence in Cyprus will have tremendous impact not only in Cyprus but also in Europe, the Middle East and globally. The Centre of Excellence will be ideally suited to encourage innovation in both research and industry through the use of Earth Observation. This is an excellent opportunity to create more jobs in which Earth Observation techniques can be applied to resolve issues. The integration of different Earth Observation techniques for a better understanding, monitoring and consequently better exploitation and protection of the physical, built and human environment provide critical information through end user products that are crucial for more informed decision making oriented towards protection and management of environment and resources.
The Government of Cyprus and many semi government agencies, as well as industry and our members, will definitely benefit from the establishment of the Centre of Excellence, as it will provide them with resources to ensure public health and safety.
It is my opinion that such a Centre can also prove invaluable to engineers and other professionals, as it will provide them with new data that they can incorporate into their practices. This will also have a positive impact on the economy, as it will provide new jobs and opportunities to young professionals in the fields of engineering.
Considering that the ERATOSTHENES CoE objectives fully comply with the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus, which would you consider to be the economic benefits from the establishment of this CoE for Cyprus in the forthcoming years?
The economic benefits of the Centre of Excellence are quite substantial, considering that the Centre is in full compliance with the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus, which includes Tourism, Energy, Agriculture & Food Industry, Built Environment & Construction Industry, Transportation & Maritime Industry and Health.
As engineers, we are primarily focused on the Built Environment/Construction industry and the Transportation/ Maritime industry, which in turn affect the Tourism industry, which is the main industry in Cyprus.
Earth Observation applications that can be developed for the Built Environment & Construction industry and the Transportation & Maritime industry will significantly affect the productivity of engineers in a positive way, by providing them with the necessary information and tools to do their jobs more efficiently and ensure public safety.