The Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC) was launched in December 2007 as the first research center of The Cyprus Institute, a non-profit research and educational institution with a scientific and technological focus.
EEWRC works in close collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation, as well as many national institutions and organizations in Cyprus and the region. The work and collaborations focus on societally relevant issues related to Energy and Renewables, Environment, Atmosphere and Climate, Water and Natural Resources. Over the past few years, EEWRC has proven to be a leader in the area of Environmental, Atmospheric and Climate research. The Atmospheric and Climate Research Division in particular, in close co-operation with the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in France, and the University of Helsinki (UHEL) in Finland, have established the CyI's EEWRC as a key player of Atmosphere and Climate Research in the region and beyond. In particular, EEWRC has been instrumental in providing evidence that the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region (EMME) is a climate change “hotspot” and relating this to public health, ecosystem development and water, to name but a few of the impact sectors considered.
This collaboration has elevated to a strategic partnership towards the creation of a Research Centre of Excellence for Eastern Mediterranean Middle East Climate & Atmosphere (EMME-CARE), with European Commission Horizon-2020-TEAMING funding. These studies have attained international recognition, notably for their emphasis on the EMME, as underlined in the highly successful high-profile 2018 International Conference "Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Challenges & Solutions". The research has been nationally embedded through strong collaborations with the competent Departments and Units of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Health.
Over the same period, EEWRC has established a number of unique and cutting edge environmental monitoring facilities that include an Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory with a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for atmospheric and earth surface observations that is unique to Cyprus and the region, an advanced analytical Laboratory for trace gases and aerosol analyses, and an evolving ground-based observatory in the Peristerona watershed in cooperation with a number of government research establishments. In addition, the Center has access to surface-based atmospheric long term monitoring data (Agia Marina Xyliatou Atmospheric supersite) in collaboration with CNRS (France) and the Air Quality Department of the Ministry of Labour.
The Center also offers an accredited PhD program in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Science, as well as an accredited and MSc/MPhil program in Environmental Sciences.
Research activities are carried out within the framework of one or more of EEWRC’s three established Divisions, namely:
- Atmosphere and Climate
- Energy and Renewables
- Water and Marine Resources
Research at EEWRC strives to be interdisciplinary and issue-driven, embracing the physical, chemical, biological and human/socio-economic sciences. Research at EEWRC is related to three major focus areas:
- achieving a low carbon economy via the adoption of measures for energy efficiency and the employment of renewable energies to reduce the dependence on hydrocarbon energy sources;
- understanding environmental integrity and global/climate change through observations, analytical analyses, and numerical modeling to derive effective mitigation and adaptation strategies;
- enabling a sustainable management of water and other natural resources in arid and semi-arid environments.
The research agenda of the Center is realized through a number of flagship- as well as other projects that are largely funded through external, competitive funds and revolve around the following themes: