“for the first time in history, the youth is directly involved in bringing about sweeping changes and on such a massive scale” President Shri Ram Nath Kovind of India. Address to the University of Cyprus, 4th September 2018.
Welcome to the second issue of the C4E Bulletin!
- The “Entrepreneurs in Residence” program,
- the “Certificate in Entrepreneurship” program for undergraduate students, and
- the opening of our Makerspace!
We finalised the planning of our Fall 2018 series of Lectures on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” with an exciting program of over 14 scheduled seminars and workshops. Our speakers come from Greece, the UK, the USA, China, and Cyprus. Topics range from practical business-related training, offered by experience trainers from PwC Cyprus, to innovative entrepreneurial opportunities in genetics, blue entrepreneurship, renewable energy and e-Health, presented by our Entrepreneurs in Residence.
We started the production of short videos featuring UCY research results with a commercialisation potential, selected from participations to the 3rd Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum of November 2017. Filming and production will be completed by the end of October. These videos will help raise awareness of potential investors and industrial partners on the innovation potential of and intellectual property produced by the University.
We continued expanding our international networking and outreach. In particular, we agreed with the Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark) the continuation of our collaboration agreement signed two years ago. In July, we received the news of the approval of Erasmus+ International mobility exchanges with Alexandria University, the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, in Egypt, and with Birzeit University in Palestine. Also in July, we presented our activities to the high-level delegation visiting our University from IDC Herzliya and agreed on exploring Erasmus exchanges with their School of Entrepreneurship. In early September we presented our programs and activities to representatives of several Tunisian Universities who came to campus as part of the TUNED project.
We supported our three 2018 C4E Young Scholars (Elena Kelliri from the Department of Chemistry, Odysseus Economides from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Elena Kouttoukou from the Department of Computer Science), who were selected at the Student Innovators 2018 competition. The Scholars received fellowships from UCY to participate to the European Innovation Academy’s summer school in Cascais, Portugal, where they gained valuable experiences and exposure to the European and American start-up ecosystems. Their traveling to Portugal was sponsored by Aegean Airlines. A summary of their experience has been posted on the C4E YouTube channel.
I wish you a great academic year,
Prof. Marios D. Dikaiakos Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship
Launching Entrepreneurs in Residence program (EiRs) - Fall Semester 2018
The “Entrepreneurs in Residence” (EIR) program was launched in mid-September 2018 by welcoming the first EiR, Dr Philippos Patsalis. The program aspires to bring to the University of Cyprus (UCY), eminent entrepreneurs and innovators who work in domains with a strong innovation potential. The aim of the program is to provide students, researchers, faculty, and staff access to mentorship, valuable experiences, connections, and networking opportunities that will help them pursue entrepreneurial endeavours. During the fall semester 2018, four EiRs from Cyprus and abroad will be hosted on UCY premises: Philippos Patsalis, in the areas of Genetics, Biotechnology, and Diagnostics; Harry Hatzakis, in ICT, Cloud Computing, and Big Data in Health; Xenia Loizidou in the fields of Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Development and Blue Entrepreneurship; and Jin Yang in the areas of Clean Energy, Energy Finance, Energy Technology Services and Micro-grids.
Each EiR will spend a couple of days on campus, give an informal open talk and meet with members of the UCY community. Each EiR will provide free consulting and overall support to UCY's innovators who wish to move their ideas and inventions towards exploitation through commercialisation, intrapreneurship or not-for-profit initiatives. The program is expected to actively contribute to C4E’s efforts to foster entrepreneurship within the UCY by initiating new and/or contributing to the following indicative list of activities:
- training on developing ideas, fine-tuning value propositions, creating start-ups and securing funding;
- mentoring on entrepreneurship-related matters;
- counseling C4E and the University’s Innovation Management Unit on the commercialization potential of technologies and intellectual property;
- boosting the impact of C4E within the University community and beyond.
More information and details on the schedule of EiRs are available online.
C4E Elective Courses ΚΕΠ101 and ΚΕΠ102
We are extremely happy to welcome our new C4E students registered in the two free elective courses ΚΕΠ 101 and ΚΕΠ 102. More than twenty students are attending these courses this semester from various UCY Departments namely, the Departments of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Architecture, Business and Public Administration, Finance and Accounting, and French and European Studies. Students will have the opportunity to attend the series of Lectures on Innovation and Entrepreneurship organized by C4E, which will cover a wide range of topics given by well-known and experienced individuals. Το give but a flavor of the content of these lectures, beyond the topics covered by our Entrepreneurs in Residence, we name a few that have already taken place such as “Google on Campus”, “What’s next for the Net” and “The ABCD on Transformational Technologies in business: spotlight on blockchain”. More lectures and workshops are coming up such as “Sharing Your Vision: Communicating Convincingly,” “Introduction to Negotiation,” and “3D Printing”. Half of C4E students will also work on an entrepreneurship-related project, the outcomes of which will be presented in the next newsletter. Read more about C4E free elective courses here.
Certificate in Entrepreneurship – Fall Semester 2018
Dr Philippos Patsalis, Founder and CEO NIPD Genetics, Distinguished Professor of The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics kicked-off the EiR initiative of the Centre for Entrepreneurship with a lecture on “Real life example of going from research, innovation, development and commercialization to a start-up company in Cyprus”. Dr Patsalis gave an overview of his bio-tech company which offers services in the field of bio genetics, and it's competitive advantage that allows it to compete worldwide while based in a small island. He emphasized the dynamic nature of a start-up company, the continuous need for restructuration and reorganization, the immense importance of the group of people working for the company, the challenges faced, and above all the patience and methodical steps one should follow to become successful. On his second day at the University of Cyprus, Dr Patsalis had one-to-one meetings with researchers, students and faculty who are at different stages of their entrepreneurial activity. The goal of these meetings, part of each EiR's visit, is to enable the UCY community to have access to counseling and mentorship by successful entrepreneurs. You can see more details and pictures of the event here.
On the 13th July 2018, the amendments to the University of Cyprus’ Law for the participation of academic staff in companies and the creation of spin-offs by public universities were published in the Cyprus official government gazette. Approval of these amendments was the result of a long-term discussion between public universities and the State. According to these amendments the University of Cyprus can set up or/and participate in companies with a maximum share of up to 49% (including shares of members of University staff). Additionally, the University can protect the intellectual property of it's research-related results in a number of ways, such as by issuing patents. The amendments to the regulations concerning academic staff regulate intellectual property rights and permission-related issues in cases where UCY academic staff engages in consultation activities in the industry and/or participates in companies. Information on the content of the amendments can be found at the following links: Amendments to the University’s Law and Amendments to regulations concerning academic staff.
UCY team winning the MITEF Greece Startup Competition
AJM Medi-caps with Julio Georgiou Associate Professor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering won the 1st Prize in MITEF Greece Startup Competition 2018! AJM Medi-caps concerns the invention of a smart-pill solution that screens both the small and large intestine in an easy, safe and highly accurate way for colorectal cancer and polyps. This innovative method was the result of a European cooperation research project involving the University of Cyprus. AJM Medi-caps was given access to the three-month business skills accelerator program offered by MITEF Greece in Athens, after winning the 2nd prize at the IEF2017 competition in November 2017. The team attended the intensive three-month accelerator program, was successfully qualified among the 10 finalists and won the final that took place in July 2018, in Greece.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship of the University of Cyprus in collaboration with the Innovation Management Unit of the Research Support Service are in the process of developing a promotional video that will outline UCY's research results with the a commercialisation potential. This is a follow-up activity of IEF2017 Research Capacity Track Exhibition (RCT). An email invitation was sent to all participants in the RCT, to express their interest in taking part in this effort which aims to:
- highlight UCY's cutting-edge research with a commercialisation potential;
- attract collaborators and partners, stimulate partnerships for research and innovation, and research commercialization;
- get in the correct spectrum of awareness of potential sponsors and investors;
- demonstrate the contribution of UCY's research activity to social improvement and economic growth.
The promotional video will focus on research areas such as Information and Communication Technologies, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, Renewable Energy, Clean, Bio- and Nano Technologies among others. Stay tuned for the video that will be published in our next newsletter.
Cyprus National Report 2017/2018 - Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
The second Cyprus' National Report on Entrepreneurship for 2017/2018 is published for the second consecutive year by the Centre for Entrepreneurship. C4E has taken up the lead and coordinating role of Cyprus’ participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor since 2016. Taking an extract from the report’s executive summary on the most important results from the 2017/2018 survey, we are noting the following: “On the positive side, we observe that there is a constantly positive perception about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial opportunities in Cyprus, and that an encouraging percentage of the population expresses entrepreneurial intention. Physical, commercial and legal infrastructures are considered to be on par with the European average, while government policies regarding taxes and bureaucracy are considered to be more favorable to entrepreneurship if compared against the EU average. In comparison to 2016/2017, it seems that an improved awareness on the nature of entrepreneurial activity has led to a more pragmatic view of entrepreneurship and its challenges. However, this is combined with a more pronounced fear of failure and a weaker access to finance in comparison to the respective EU averages. Moreover, the risk-reward balance offered in Cyprus appears rather limited, due to the small size of the country, the lack of highly specialized talent, and the sparsity of networks that connect local entrepreneurs and innovators to global finance and big markets. These factors can deter the pursuit of high-risk or unconventional entrepreneurial activities. The GEM surveys for Cyprus of the last two years depict a country in transition from the financial crisis of 2012-2013 into a future that has yet to be determined. Totally Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) seems weaker compared to last year (7.3% in 2017/2018, 12% in 2016/2017), probably due to a decrease of necessity-driven entrepreneurship, following the improvement of economic conditions and a drop in unemployment. Currently, most of the TEA entrepreneurs in Cyprus are opportunity-driven rather than necessity-driven. A notable gender gap between female and male TEA entrepreneurs exists, as the ratio between females and males involved in TEA is 0.6”. To read the full report that will be available from mid-October follow this link.
C4E Young Scholars are students of the University of Cyprus, who are selected on a yearly basis. They receive a scholarship for participation to the European Innovation Academy an extreme entrepreneurship accelerator program jointly developed by professionals of world class partner universities and companies: UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Google, Amadeus, CA and many others. The three C4E Young Scholars for 2018 were selected by a panel of judges at the first pitching competition (SINN 2018) organized by the Centre for Entrepreneurship (C4E) and the Department of Business and Public Administration of the University of Cyprus. Elena Kelliri from the Department of Chemistry, Odysseus Economides from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Elena Kouttoukou from the Department of Computer Science represented the University of Cyprus for the third consecutive year in EIA summer school in Portugal. The scholarships were funded by C4E’s budget and the generous support of the Aegean Airlines. Upon their return to UCY, the Young Scholars created a video presenting their experiences at the EIA, and becoming “ambassadors” of C4E to the student community. Click to find more about C4E Young Scholars.
Makerspace and 3D printing workshop by EELLAK and FabLabAthens
C4E makerspace is expected to be fully operational in October 2018 and will be launched with a workshop by EELLAK and FabLabAthens in mid-November. The workshop will have both a theoretical part on design methods and a practical one. C4E's makerspace is equipped with a 3D printer, a drone, VR glasses, photo studio and camera, raspberry pi and arduino kits as well as laboratory equipment and hard tools, to a name few, accessible to all the UCY community. There is an online system for booking makerspace equipment whereas reservations for the room will take place through an online platform. C4E’s makerspace is located in room 105, XOD 02, University Campus. To see more about makerspace's equipment click here.