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Cyprus, an island country situated in the Mediterranean Sea, to the south of Turkey, covers a total area of 9,251 km2. As of July 2012, it had a population of 1,138,071.
The Republic of Cyprus government is dominated by the service sector, such as financial services, tourism, and shipping. The service sector contributes nearly 80% of the country’s GDP. The country became a part of the EU in 2004 and adopted the Euro as its currency in 2008. The 2012 GDP of Cyprus was $23.57 billion.
There are very few organizations and networks in Cyprus that support nanoscience and explore the challenges and future of nanotechnology. A short introduction to the main nanotechnology-related organizations in Cyprus is provided below.
European Office of Cyprus—It is involved in a project to support nanotechnology in Cyprus via the 2013 Cooperation work program of the 7th EC Framework Programme.
Helix Business Incubator (HBI)—The main mission of HBI is to nurture the development and growth of young companies by offering entrepreneurs and inventors with the business infrastructure and expertise. They also provide the essential mentoring, training, and business networking to guarantee the realization of their developmental and business goals. Helix’s secondary, yet equally significant goal is to help the resident companies harness international and local talent. This will help them implement business plans and encourage the growth of the local economy.
Nanotechnology is used in several different fields including medicine, information technology, water treatment, and space research. The key nanotechnology companies in Cyprus are listed below together with a short introduction to each of them.
Nanogen—It is mainly a hair research organization employing professional biochemists, cosmetic scientists, and pharmacologists.
Rosseter Holdings Limited—It is a company that focuses on large-scale production of carbon nanotubes and related materials. Research and development activities are aimed at techniques and innovative production processes, as well as the development of the product for use in specific applications like hydrogen absorption, electron emission, etc.
Nanotechnology Education and Research
Cyprus has a few universities that provide research and educational opportunities in nanotechnology. Listed below are academic institutions and universities in Cyprus and the research opportunities or academic courses offered by them in numerous aspects of nanotechnology:
Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)
- Department of Physics—Provides a graduate-level course in Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Semiconductors and Semiconductor Nanostructures (PHY654)
- Department of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Informatics—Provides an Electrical Engineering program of studies, where the goal of the curriculum is to make students skilled in science, mathematics, and applied engineering. This offers them with a chance to focus on a range of fields such as renewable energy, power systems, nanotechnology, and biological systems.
University of Cyprus (UCY)
- Offers M.Sc. level program in Electrical Engineering, where one of the areas of focus is nanotechnology
- The Holistic Electronics Research Lab—Performs research into electronic circuits and systems using an approach that highlights the significance of a whole solution. They apply their philosophy using advanced and forthcoming technologies in microsystems, microelectronics, and nanosystems.
- Electronic Design, Test, and Reliability Laboratory—Performs nano-based research.
- Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering—Focuses much of its research and education resources on the investigation of micro and nanotechnology. The department has the required laboratory and the techno-scientific know-how for fabricating, designing, and characterizing manmade and physical micro-nano-structures and systems.
Cyprus International University
- The Department of Bioengineering offers a variety of elective courses including one on nanotechnology (BIOE 458)
Frederick University—It is a private university including:
- Materials Preparation and Treatment Research Group—The Group has varied research interests in the development and use of novel materials for a range of applications.
- Photonics Group—It was formed in 2004 as a result of several successful research grants in the area of photonics. It is closely connected with the Nanophotonics Research Laboratory (NPRL) (based at the Technical University of Cyprus).
On April 13th, 2012, the Canadian environmental technology and manufacturer Green Earth Nano Science, Inc. (GENS) struck a distribution licensing agreement with Gens Trading Ltd based in Northern Cyprus and with U.V. Nano Gens Ltd based in the Republic of Cyprus to support and supply nano-based products like SolarStucco and Gens Nano, which are self-cleaning, self-sanitizing, and air purification coatings. This agreement will also help the Canadian company to look at other Mediterranean nations.
In July 2012, Cyprus became the fifth Eurozone to appeal for a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank after its economy went into recession in 2009 following the GFC. The country got a €10 billion ($12.9 billion) package in March 2013.
Regardless of the latest bailout package for the Cypriot economy, it will still require several years for it to recover. This will undoubtedly have an impact on the funding of scientific research, and as a result, the development of nanotechnology will suffer, with the government and industry rerouting funds to more immediate necessities rather than to government and privately funded universities.