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Research Matters Newsletter Issue 07 | October 2017

Research Matters is a newsletter developed by the University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office that aims at highlighting important news and developments relating to research and other academic matters that faculty of the University of Nicosia engage in, as well as activities and initiatives that the Office is involved with.

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UNIC Faculty Engaged in Five New Projects Including Horizon2020 Programmes

  • Advanced Personalised, Multi-Scale Computer Models Preventing Osteoarthritis (OACTIVE)

Professor Kyriacos Felekkis & Dr. Christoforos Giannaki / School of Sciences and Engineering, Department of Life & Health Sciences / Coordinator / Horizon2020 / Research Innovation Action / November 2017 (36 months) / REA Grant: 4,984,033 EUR
SummaryOsteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of the articular cartilage and the most common form of arthritis that causes joint pain, mobility limitation and, thus, reduces independence and overall quality of life. Whilst the available data have implicated the role of the various modifiable or non-modifiable risk factors in the development and progression of OA, no study has conclusively explored the interaction and integration of other information sets in a patient-specific manner. The current OACTIVE project intends to make a significant leap forward by adopting a multi-scale holistic approach, where patient-specific information from various levels will be integrated and combined with information from other sources, such as biochemical/inflammatory biomarkers, behaviour modeling and social/environmental risk factors, to generate robust predictors for new personalised interventions for delaying onset and slowing down the progression of OA. OACTIVE’s mission is to improve healthcare by transforming and accelerating the OA diagnosis and prediction based on a more comprehensive understanding of disease pathophysiology, dynamics, and patient outcomes.

  • Centre for STEAM Education Research, Science Communication And Innovation (CSRS)

Professor Catherine Demoliou / School of Sciences and Engineering, Department of Life & Health Sciences / Partner / Horizon2020 / Coordination and Support Action (CSA) / 2017 (12 months) / EC Grant: 400,000 EUR
Summary The project aims to establish a Science Center in Cyprus with the vision to promote scientific literacy, responsible citizenship and innovation.  The Centers mission will be: (a) to inspire citizens, academics and the industry to engage with science and to embrace ICT innovations in STEAM Education and Science Communication, and (b) to contribute towards policy-making, increase Cyprus science workforce capacity, and support a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) culture. This is a Phase I “Teaming” project, to be executed in collaboration with all the Universities of Cyprus (private and public) and Expert collaborators from abroad: Two renown Science Centres and four Universities.

  • Supporting the Professionalisation of Health Engineering Studies and Related Areas in Asia (SPHERA)

Professor Philippos Pouyioutas / School of Sciences and Engineering, Department of Computer Science / Partner / ERASMUS+ / Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices / October 2016 (36 months) / EC Grant: 890,822 EUR
SummaryThe aim of the SPHERA proposal is to facilitate interdisciplinary studies in health engineering and related areas with a focus on improving existing conditions and in-depth knowledge of how to use medical equipment, deliver effective modern sanitation and other public health interventions in urban and rural areas in low-income and transitional economies. The project will build as well capacities that may reduce disaster risks and contribute to better and more targeted public health based relief following disasters. Through the creation of multidisciplinary postgraduate programmes in Nepal and Uzbekistan, following the Bologna model (competence-based approach, learning outcomes and compatible with ECTS), the structure of the programmes will lead to comparable degrees that will allow mutual recognition and increased students and teaching staff mobility. The ultimate goal of the project is to prepare a new generation of specialist engineers and technicians who will have major positive effects in both the health technology industry sector and the public health system through the appropriate management of emergency situations and safe use of medical technology.

  • A European Sector Skills Alliance for Sport (SASPORT) 

Professor Nicos Kartakoullis / School of Business, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management / Partner / ERASMUS+ / Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices / November 2016 (36 months) / EC Grant: 499,286 EUR / Website:
SummarySASPORT is led by the recognised EU social partners in the Sector (EASE & UNI-Europa) and coordinated by EOSE – a not-for-profit EU Association specialising in the development of VET and employment research. It will deliver the first EU wide Employment and Skills map of the sport and physical activity sector – a sector of economic and social significance where new jobs are being created and new skills needed to match the labour market. Project Leaders are supported by national organisations acting as researchers and coordinators who will work with stakeholders in member states to carry out research activities and produce national reports analysing the employment situation, skill needs and priorities. SASPORT will aim to bring the sport sector together for the first time at EU and national level to focus on skills issues at a time when expectations are rising with Governments aiming for improved levels of health through physical activity, for sport to be at the heart of social integration and to improve the employability of youths through education and personal development.

  • Piloting ECVET to the National Vet System of Russia and Uzbekistan

Ms. Louiza Papaloizou / Research & Innovation Office / Coordinator / ERASMUS+ / Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices / October 2016 (36 months) / EC Grant: 749,340 EUR
SummaryThe project aims to pilot the implementation of the European Credit Transfer System for VET (ECVET) in the national HE&VET system of Russia and Uzbekistan by creating a long-term platform for collaboration between leading HEIs engaged in the training of VET teachers for post-secondary non-tertiary education level. The key idea of the project is to focus on the transfer and adaptation of the ECVET technical framework by utilizing the expertise of three HEIs from Programme Countries, in order to explore the applicability of ECVET in Russia and Uzbekistan for creating a compatible and comparable VET system that serves both horizontally (within VET) and vertically (from VET to HE) at national and transnational level. The piloting of ECVET is considered a key measure for facilitating the flexibility and internationalisation of VET in Russia and Uzbekistan - while at the same time contributing to the development of a common educational area encompassing both the HE& VET field between Europe and neighbouring countries.



Professor Angelika Kokkinaki joined the University of Nicosia in 2003 and is currently the Director of the MBA Office and a Professor at the School of Business of the University of Nicosia. In conversing with her, her enthusiasm and dedication to academia and research become immediately evident and one cannot help but appreciate her can-do attitude and generous spirit, which, no doubt, have propelled her in her career. ​ Read More →



UNIC Faculty Engaged in New Projects Awarded under the University of Nicosia Research Foundation

  • Massive Open Online Course for Basketball Injury Prevention Strategies (C4BIPS)

Professor Efthymis Kioumourtzoglou / School of Sciences and Engineering, Department of Life & Health Sciences / Partner / Erasmus+ / Sport: Support to Collaborative Partnership / January 2017 (18 months) / EC Grant: 59,620 EUR
Summary - C4BIPS is a Small Collaborative Partnership project focused on the area of “protecting athletes, especially the youngest, from health and safety hazards by improving training and competition conditions”. The main goal of the C4BIPS project is to create a Massive Open Online Course for Basketball Injury Prevention Strategies (BIPS). In particular, C4BIPS will identify and collect BIPS. It will also create multimedia material to present these strategies to support athletes and coaches, as well as to guide them as to how to integrate these strategies into their everyday training processes. C4BIPS innovates by introducing multimedia based training content created by an interdisciplinary team of experts for the development of personal knowledge and understanding related with BIPS.

  • Gamified and Online Activities for Learning to Support Dual Career of Athletes (GOAL)

Professor Efthymis Kioumourtzoglou / School of Sciences and Engineering, Department of Life & Health Sciences / Partner / Erasmus+ / Sport: Support to Collaborative Partnership / January 2017 (36 months) / EC Grant: 399,923 EUR
Summary - GOAL aims to support active and non-active athletes in the development of their professional endeavours, after the end of their athletic career. The project attempts to create awareness of dual careers by providing an enabling environment for addressing athletes’ dual career incommensurable goals whilst leveraging athletes’ skills and competencies (e.g. problem-solving, decision-making, communicating, teamwork and leadership) as means to help their integration in education, training and the open labour market. A set of interactive ICT-based tools will be offered to active and non-active athletes for acquiring skills and competencies necessary to consciously discover, plan and determine their future career goals once they complete their competitive sports career. Psychological support through e-mentoring and e-coaching as part of supporting services will be provided, aimed at helping athletes to overcome transitions in their careers inside and outside of sports. The project’s outcomes will be implemented and evaluated in Greece, UK, Cyprus, Poland and Belgium.

  • Catalysing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unlocking the Potential of Emerging Production and Business Models (PHYGITAL)

Assistant Professor Evanthia Tselika / School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Design and Multimedia/ Partner / Interreg Balkan-Mediterranean / Entrepreneurship and Innovation / Competitive Territories / 2017 / Budget: 923.300,75 EUR  

Summary - PHYGITAL aims to pilot, evaluate and promote an emerging production and business model, based on the conjunction of a global digital commons of knowledge, stemming from various open source projects, with distributed manufacturing technologies, such as three-dimensional (3D) printers and Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) machines. Seeds of this model, codified as “design global, manufacture local” (DGML), have been exemplified by numerous successful commons-oriented projects on a global level, introducing innovative organisational and business patterns. The project is expected to increase local capacities for innovation, by harnessing global knowledge to address local challenges. At the same time, strong transnational cooperation linkages will be created, in support of innovative entrepreneurial ventures, including social enterprises. The PHYGITAL target groups include restless entrepreneurs and freelancers; local SMEs and micro-enterprises from different sectors, as well as activists, hobbyists and communities contributing to open source and social innovation projects and the wider public.



New Appointments: Professor Constantinos Phellas

Professor Constantinos Phellas, Vice Rector for Faculty & Research has been elected Chair of the European Office Cyprus (EOC) Board for the period 1 December 2018 to 30 May 2020. The EOC is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Nicosia, with a representation office in Brussels. It was co-founded in 2007 by 18 organisations from a wide spectrum of sectors and interests. Τοday, it numbers 27 members. The EOC aims to offer support to its members, so they can best utilise the funding and development opportunities offered by the European Union. Elections took place on 1 June 2017. Professor Phellas has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Hellenic Observatory (London School of Economics) for the period 1 January to 31 December 2017. As part of this appointment, he will be serving as the Principal Investigator in a comparative study between Cyprus and the UK that aims at exploring the social & psychological needs of people aged 50 or over living with HIV/AIDS. Moreover, he has been appointed as the Gender Equality Rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Bioethics Committee for the period 2017-2020.


Five University Faculty Members Receive Research Seed Grants through the University of Nicosia Research Foundation

The seed grants were awarded following a two-stage call for proposals during which independent, external individuals in Cyprus and abroad evaluated the full proposals. The five proposals that received the highest average scores were awarded the seed grants, worth 20,000 Euros each.

  • Bovine XenomiRs as a novel potential mechanism for colorectal Cancer initiation and progression

Assistant Professor Myrtani Pieri, Department of Life & Health Sciences, School of Sciences and Engineering

  • Novel Protective effects of Estradiol Metabolites in Alzheimer’s disease

Assistant Professor Lefteris Zacharia, Department of Life & Health Sciences, School of Sciences and Engineering

  • Measuring, Mapping and Mitigating the Effects of Plastic Debris in the Mediterranean

Assistant Professor Constantinos Hadjistassou, Department of Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering

  • The effects of 12 months supplementation of a formula containing a mixture of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins on functional capacity, cognitive function and quality of life in the elderly

Lecturer Christoforos Giannaki, Department of Life & Health Sciences, School of Sciences and Engineering

  • Sentencing in Criminal Justice System. Towards a common European perspective. [A comparative Approach in Common and Continental Law Systems.]

Assistant Professor Demetra Sorvatzioti, Department of Law, School of Law



UNIC Faculty and Students Participate in Annual Researchers' Night

Faculty and students took part in the annual European Researchers’ Night 2017 on Friday, 29 September. The European Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun, interactive learning, which takes place each year on the last Friday in September. Currently, more than 30 countries and over 300 cities are involved in the initiative which aims to showcase what researchers really do for society, in interactive and engaging ways; thus, promoting research careers to young people and their parents. The event was organised by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. The actions organised by our faculty included the following: 

Robotics Workshop
Professor Catherine Demoliou, Department of Life & Health Sciences

The Fate of Plastic in the Sea
Dr. Constantinos Hadjistassou, Department of Engineering  

Effective Way of Conveying the Concepts and Techniques of Management
Mr. Harry Kogetsidis & Dr. Epaminondas Epaminonda, Department of Management & MIS

Our Body: A Natural History Museum
Dr. Myrtani Pieri, Department of Life & Health Sciences


Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People (PROVYP)

Reducing youth unemployment is a big challenge for all Member States in Europe. In line with the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Agenda for Adult Learning, the Professional Orientation of Vulnerable Young People project seeks to promote re-skilling and up-skilling across 8 Member States providing vulnerable young people with e-career guidance and improving the orientation measures offered. The PROVYP project consortium brings together 10 organisations, each of them with special expertise. The project reflects on the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches in professional orientation applied in the partner countries, producing a consolidated European report and policy recommendations for improvement of the career guidance regulations. The whole project duration is 24 months, calculated in order to implement correctly the planned activities and achieve the project objectives. A total of 252 direct beneficiaries will be involved in the multiplier events + 80 participants with fewer opportunities. A more detailed article has been prepared by the University of Nicosia research team, led by Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Programme Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (in Greek) Read More →


8th Annual ‘Research by Students' Competition Attracts 250 Students  

For the eighth consecutive year, the University of Nicosia successfully carried out the ‘Research by Students’ Competition, where students from high schools, lyceums and technical schools were invited to submit research projects that focused on a variety of topics ranging from socioeconomic issues to engineering and environmental projects. The projects were, in turn, evaluated by University faculty selected based on the subject of the proposals. This year, 70 projects were submitted and included 250 students from 27 different schools all over the island. The top-scoring students were awarded scholarships, while two teachers were presented with the ‘Outstanding Teacher Award’ and scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies at the University. The competition was supported by the Bank of Cyprus and culminated in an awards ceremony hosted at its premises.


Diplomatic Academy at the University of Nicosia Co-organises Cyprus Model United Nations 

A three-day Cyprus Model United Nations conference took place between 3 and 5 March 2017. The event was co-organised by the Cyprus United Nations Youth and Student Association and the Diplomatic Academy at the University of Nicosia. About 70 participants were asked to represent a number of countries in different committees (General Assembly, United Nations Security Council, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), undertaking specific positions on current affairs. Aiming to enhance discussion around the ongoing situation in the Middle East, the conference was conducted under the title “Building the New Middle East: A Regional and European Dimension”.  The opening ceremony of the event took place at the Presidential Palace and was attended by various distinguished guests. For further information visit  


European Citizens for Solidarity (EUROSOL)

The EuroSol project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, attempts to bring together citizens from different countries who may have different perceptions about asylum and migration and encourage them to renegotiate these terms. Specifically, citizens from 8 Member States will reflect on and propose concrete solutions that can be found through EU cooperation in support of the initiatives carried out by EU institutions in the field. Debates, cultural events and constructive dialogue among various stakeholders will strive for commonly accepted solutions at both the local and national level and opinions will be exchanged at the European level in an attempt to influence politicians and policy makers on promoting intercultural dialogue, combating stigmatisation of immigrants and fostering tolerance and empathy. The University of Nicosia Research Foundation (UNRF), under the coordination of the Altius Francisco de Vitoria Foundation (Spain), and in partnership with organisations in Spain, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania and the UK, will engage 750 direct and 16.000 indirect beneficiaries through a number of different events. Read More →


The University of Nicosia Presents Best Report Award at the JA Cyprus Company of the Year Competition 

On 28 April 2017, Junior Achievement Cyprus hosted the 2017 Company of the Year Competition Finale and Award Ceremony, which took place at Royal Hall, Nicosia. The Finale and Award Ceremony, attended by over 350 guests, represented the culmination of the efforts of over 380 students, aged 15-18, who created and ran their own student company over the past seven months. This is the fourth consecutive year that the programme has been running. The University of Nicosia is a supporter of JA Cyprus and presented ‘GrowGreen’, a student-company from the English School Nicosia, with the ‘Best Report’ Award. The prize included scholarships to the University. Read More →

Copyright © 2016 University of Nicosia Research & Innovation Office 

Editor: Elisa Bosio, Senior Research Officer

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