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CyI Launches H2020 TEAMING Strategic Project for the Creation of a Centre of Excellence on Climate Change

CyI Launches H2020 TEAMING Strategic Project for the Creation of a Centre of Excellence on Climate Change

On Thursday, November 30th, the official launching of The Cyprus Institute’s Horizon 2020 “TEAMING” strategic project “EMME-CARE: Eastern Mediterranean Middle East – Climate & Atmosphere Research Centre”, for the creation of a Centre of Excellence on Climate Change and Air Pollution Research, took place at a ceremony held at The Cyprus Institute’s premises.

The event was under the Auspices of the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Nicos Kouyialis. A number of distinguished guests honored the event, including the Ambassador of Finland in Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Timo Heino, and the Director of the Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Dora Chimonidou, as well as the Heads and High-ranking Officers from various Departments and Units of the Government, such as: the Directorate for Research, Innovation and Lifelong Learning of the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development; the Air Quality Section of the Department of Labour Inspection; the Department of Environment; the Department of Meteorology; the Green Procurements Office of the Ministry of Defence; the Division of International and European Cooperation of the Civil Defence Force; the H2020-Teaming National Contact Point from the Research Promotion Foundation. On behalf of the Honorable Minister, the Event was addressed by Dr. Theodoulos Mesimeris, ‎Head of the Climate Action and Energy Unit at the Department of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

The strategic project “EMME-CARE” aims at the creation of a Centre of Excellence that will explore the opportunities arising from the impacts of air pollution and climate change. The Mediterranean and the Middle East constitute an air pollution hot spot with very high aerosol loading that is responsible for large direct radiative forcing, and is also a region with high photochemistry, responsible for very high levels of ozone and secondary pollutants. It is also a region at the confluence of two CO2 hot spots and a major climate change hot spot. As a result, Cyprus is ideally situated to monitor and study these issues, as an island in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and at the crossroads of long-range transported atmospheric pollution from three continents. Furthermore, geostrategically and fully in line with the national Smart Specialization Strategy, Cyprus is ideally placed for establishing a Centre of Excellence to address air pollution and Climate Change impacts due to its geopolitical location as a European Union Member State with a business-friendly environment, and as a country with long-standing tradition of good relations and exchanges with the countries of the Middle East.

The Centre will be highly interdisciplinary and will operate within a collaborative framework with the scientific community, industry and Government, in order to integrate, structure and capitalize the existing activities and research infrastructure in Climate and Atmospheric Environmental research at The Cyprus Institute towards establishing a world-class Center of Excellence.

EMME-CARE has already received first-stage one-year funding from the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and is preparing to propose for a 30-million-Euro seven-year second stage. EMME-CARE is coordinated by CyI’s Prof. Jean Sciare (EEWRC Director), and is supported by a Team of distinguished Partners, world renowned Scientists in Climate Change, such as Prof. Markku Kulmala, Prof. Jos Lelieveld and Prof. Philippe Ciais; respectively from the University of Helsinki in Finland, the “Max Planck” Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Laboratory for Climate Sciences and Environment of the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission in France.

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