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Mission: CONNECT – CyI's Impactful Presence at Researchers’ Night 2023



The Cyprus Institute had a significant impact at the 18th Researcher’s Night 2023 event, which was held on Friday, September 29th, at the Cyprus State Fair. The annual event, taking place simultaneously in 350 cities across Europe and beyond, serves as a powerful platform to advocate for research, technology, and innovation. It draws in excess of 1.5 million participants each year, transforming the last Friday of September into a celebration of science and research. Organized in Cyprus by the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) since 2006, the European Researchers' Night celebrates research, innovation, and science. It is an initiative of the European Commission, funded through the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) of the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The core mission of the Researchers’ Night event is to cultivate a culture of research and innovation while heightening awareness of the research initiatives undertaken by universities, research institutions, and pioneering companies. Throughout the event, visitors of all ages have the opportunity to interact with research teams, engage in experiments and interactive games, participate in live discussions, and witness award ceremonies, among other enriching experiences.
With a diverse array of over 60 activities, this year’s event featured an exhibition hall, where interactive experiments were showcased through technology, multimedia displays, quizzes, simulations, and engaging games tailored for both children and parents. These included a captivating Treasure Hunt, hands-on interactive educational activities with Nutty Scientists Cyprus, the “Women in Mathematics” Portrait Exhibition, as well as the “Science-Unfold” student competition.
This year's Researchers’ Night carried the theme “Mission: CONNECT”, revolving around the five EU Missions adopted by the European Commission. These missions featured bold research and innovation actions with ambitious yet attainable objectives, aimed at addressing some of society's most pressing challenges. The defined Missions encompass areas such as Adaptation to Climate Change, Cancer, Ocean Seas and Waters, Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, and Soil Health and Food.
The public had a unique opportunity to engage with a wide range of activities offered by CyI's Research Centers (in alphabetical order):
  • “Adaptation to Climate Change: A Bioarchaeological Journey through Time & Zoo-Archaeology: Exploring the Human-Animal Relationship”: Human societies have always had to adapt to environmental changes. This adaptation took many forms: changes in the diet and economic practices, human mobility, warfare etc. Bioarchaeology examines organic remains (seeds, human and animal bones) from archaeological contexts. Through this activity, we will see how we identify on organic remains evidence of adaptation to different environments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, almost wherever we dig, we find animal bones. Why are there so many in the soil? What happened to the animals they once belonged to? What can they tell us about the life of humans in the past? Zooarchaeology is the key with which we can unlock the knowledge hidden in the ancient animal remains, answer these questions and many more.
  • “How Does Water Flow? Hydrology in Action!”: When water flows from the mountains to the plains, it converges or diverges based on the shape of landforms. The distribution of water leads to watersheds which play an important role in our agroecosystems and determine the availability of water resources. The dynamic behaviour of watersheds demonstrated with an interactive augmented reality sandbox, where participants are able to change landforms and explore in real time the importance of water relative to the study of hydrology and earth sciences.
  • “I Never Thought Trees Were so Important to the City”: The proposed action was a synergy between four projects of Τhe Cyprus Institute: the Erasmus+ CliCCHE, the Horizon 2020 COLLECTiEF, the Horizon 2020 NI4OS-Europe and the Horizon 2020 EMME-CARE projects, as well as the Municipality of Strovolos. The activity related to the role of “nature-based solutions” applied to the city. Participants were able to use interactive data visualisation technologies to stimulate questions on climate change and its possible impacts on human health, and the role of possible urban adaptation interventions. Building-integrated smart technologies were also exhibited, along with mobile applications used to control them.
  • “Using Computers to Model the Real World”: Designing new materials! Understanding how fluids flow! Teaching computers how to learn! What do all of these mean and what do they have in common? Come on a journey with us as we show you how computational modelling can be used to gain insights into all of these fields of research; to better understand the world around us; to solve real world problems!
In addition, CyI’s Dr Nestor Fylaktos advised several students from Pascal English School in Nicosia, Lyceum of Petrou & Pavlou in Limassol and Gymnasium of Ayia Varvara Kato Polemidia in Limassol, who presented a short piece on digital and climate neutral cities for 2030.



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