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The Inauguration of The Cyprus Institute's Solar Research Facility “PROTEAS”

The Inauguration of The Cyprus Institute's Platform for Research, Observation and Technological Applications in Solar energy "PROTEAS"

The Inauguration of The Cyprus Institute's Platform for Research, Observation and Technological Applications in Solar energy "PROTEAS" in Pentakomo, by the President of the Republic, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades took place on Saturday, October 3rd, in the presence of the European Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas.

In his address, the Presidentof the Republic Mr. Nicos Anastasiades said, “This day marks a major step in the further development of the Institute with the official operation of its state-of-the-art and innovative laboratory for solar applications. This is an infrastructure of European and regional interest. "PROTEAS" will contribute greatly to the further implementation of the vision and objectives of the Institute: to become an international center of excellence in the field of solar thermal energy and desalination.

In this way, we utilize a great nature’s gift to Cyprus, the sun, in order to contribute to the alleviation of the huge problem that Cyprus has been facing over time with our limited water resources.

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The Cyprus Institute in the eight years of its operation, has succeeded with its focused on cutting-edge research topics and its strategic collaborations with leading institutions abroad, to gain international recognition and establish itself as a regional scientific center of excellence.

It is structured to take advantage of the privileged geopolitical position of Cyprus as a gateway between Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. I have observed that this is reflected in its innovative research programs that are focused on major problems facing both Cyprus and the wider region.

Research and innovation are key factors for growth and prosperity at both on a state and a regional level. It is an integral and vital component of the growth strategy of all developed countries.

It is universally recognized that investment in research and technological development, the stimulation of innovation and knowledge transfer, are key factors for increased competitiveness in today’s globalized economy.”

European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas, in his address, said that for Cyprus, science and technology are more than just national pursuits; they are open to the world. He added that the challenges we face are many, and they are global. “Our resources, our responses, will be put under increasing strain in the years to come. There is more and more demand for safe drinking water, for food, healthcare and energy,” he said, noting that for European science, research and innovation, openness is more important than it ever has been before.The European Commissioner said that this new Solar Energy and Desalination Field Laboratory is the latest of Cyprus' many contributions to European research in water management and solar energy.

He also expressed the belief that the Cyprus Institute PROTEAS platform, will do its part to keep Europe at the forefront of solar energy and low carbon technologies for a very long time to come, conducting state-of-the-art experiments and bringing together the brightest minds in solar electricity production and desalination.

“It’s a beautiful example of the kind of infrastructure and scientific exploration that can be achieved when European and national funds combine to invest in our common future,” he concluded.

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Prof. Dan-Olof Riska, Chairman, Board of Trustees of The Cyprus Institute, mentioned in his speech that the construction of ”PROTEAS” has been a visible and tangible example of collaboration between Cypriot scientists, engineers and technicians with colleagues from many other countries in Europe and the world. To achieve this the support of the European Union has been of crucial importance.

According to Prof. Dan-Olof Riska this facility is a beautiful example of combining the results of modern materials science and technology with the use the power of the sun to produce clean water and electricity from seawater in a new way, with the potential to be of great value in the future to the Republic of Cyprus.

Dr. Andreas Pittas, pointed that “PROTEAS” belongs to CyI’s vision, to contribute namely to the knowledge economy in Cyprus and at the same time to benefit the industrial and entrepreneurial development of our Country and the region.

Proteas will enhance our ability to conduct innovative energy related research: One of our strategic priorities and surely enhance our efforts to belong in the ranks of the leaders in this emerging field of solar thermal energy.

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As a country, Dr A. Pittas also said, “we need to invest in Research and Innovation there is no other way forward. At the same time all our efforts must abide to environmental rules a target totally covered by Proteas nature and character. Proteas will enhance our ability to conduct innovative energy related research: One of our strategic priorities and surely enhance our efforts to belong in the ranks of the leaders in this emerging field of solar thermal energy”.

 In this sense, as Dr. Pittas mentioned, reffered to the scheme to “Adopt a heliostat” – at present CyI has only 50 pieces but only 35 are waiting for sponsors:  The sponsorship is a meaningful way to contribute towards corporate social responsibility goals and will help advance research in renewable energy sources and their environmental impact.

 Mr. George Georghiou, Permanent Secretary, Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination & Development, Republic of Cyprus, also addressed the ceremony on behalf of the government’s competent authority for the land here in Pentakomo that PROTEAS is being developed.

Prof. Costas Papanicolas, President of The Cyprus Institute presented the technical specifications of the "PROTEAS" and of the research projects already underway, with emphasis on the  cogeneration project of electricity and desalinated water with solar energy. He stressed that the PROTEAS  facilities are unique and include Cyprus in the select group of countries with similar research facilities (France, Italy, Spain, Israel, USA, Australia). He concluded by stressing that the challenge for the Institute is now to steer its pioneering research in solar energy towards innovation for the benefit of the Cypriot economy.

The Inauguration Ceremony was attended by the former President of the Republic, Mr. George Vassiliou, the former EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, the Minister of Education, Prof. Costas Kadis, Ambassadors and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, members of the parliament, and representatives of political parties, government and civic officials, members of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Institute and distinguished personalities from the scientific and business world.

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