A tribute to excellence - two Cypriot ERC grantees meet EU research ministers
19.07.2012 Tomorrow, 20 July 2012, two Cypriot researchers funded by the European Research Council (ERC) will give a talk at the informal Competitiveness Council in Nicosia, under the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union. ERC Starting grantee Dr. Marios Avraamides and ERC Advanced grantee Prof. Marios Polycarpou - both from the University of Cyprus - will highlight the benefits of ERC funding and present their projects during this lunch event with the 27 EU research ministers. They will demonstrate the dynamism, excellence and creativity of science in Cyprus.
Cyprus has been highly successful in the ERC schemes, in spite of the relatively small size of its research system. With a total of five ERC grantees receiving funding of €6.7 million, it has nearly three times more ERC grants than would be expected given its share of public sector researchers in the EU (only the Netherlands performs better out of the EU Member States on this measure).
At tomorrow's meeting, ERC grantees will underline the importance of investing in excellent researchers. At this Council meeting, EU ministers will discuss the simplification of the funding models in research programmes. They will also debate the best methods of promoting Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and innovation.
Cyprus holds the Presidency of the EU Council from 1 July to 31 December 2012. The Cyprus Presidency fully and enthusiastically endorses the ERC's activities and will work towards strengthening the ERC's mission.
During the Cyprus Presidency, one of the plenary meetings of the ERC's Scientific Council will take place in Limassol, on 4 and 5 October 2012.
Cognitive psychology and spatial representations
The goal of this project is to examine the way we form, maintain and use spatial memories, in our immediate environment - for example, remembering whilst at home where we left our keys - but also memories of more distant places and objects such as the route in a city we are about to revisit. This research could have implications for navigation systems for blind people and human-machine communication.
Improving critical infrastructures
This project will contribute to the development of a framework which can be applied to critical infrastructure systems (e.g., power, water, telecommunications and transportation systems). This will allow real-time local information to be integrated into a large-scale “picture” of the health of the infrastructure. The research has the potential to open up new horizons in fault diagnosis research and to instigate methods leading to a new generation of smarter critical infrastructures.