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Signing of a MoU between The Cyprus Institute and the Cyprus Department of Meteorology

The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Cyprus Department of Meteorology signed a Memorandum of Understanding during an official ceremony on Tuesday, 26th November 2013. The agreement was signed on behalf of The Cyprus Institute by its President Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas and on behalf of the Cyprus Department of Meteorology by its Director, Dr. Silas Michaelides. Ms Egly Pantelakis, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment addressed the ceremony on behalf of the Honourable Minister, Mr. Nicos Kouyialis.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which formalizes the existing collaboration between the two organizations, aims on the mutual use of infrastructure, resources and research data, and in particular the use of CyI’s Cy-Tera Supercomputer by the Department of Meteorology. The two institutions will also develop joint research and educational activities, as well as organize joint events.

The Department of Meteorology provides accurate and reliable weather and climate services for Cyprus to key areas such as civil aviation, marine customers as well as to the general public, the media and many other government and private organizations. The officers of the Department use a range of tools and techniques to predict the weather, including meteorological observations, data from meteorological satellites and radar, and forecasts based on numerical methods. The latter however is limited by the available computing power of the Department.

The use of the Cy-Tera supercomputer lifts this restriction and provides the Department of Meteorology with the ability of a substantially faster and significantly more detailed forecast. At the same time the increased computational power enables meteorologists to predict extreme weather events that may affect the country. The forecasting data which are particularly important for research activities in the areas of weather forecasting, atmospheric and environmental sciences and climatology, will be readily available to both researchers of The Cyprus Institute and the Department of Meteorology.

The Cy-Tera Supercomputer is an innovative infrastructure of the National Supercomputing Center of The Cyprus Institute and is the most powerful computer open to academia in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The supercomputer, which recently completed a year of successful operation, is available to all scientists in Cyprus and the region, establishing our country as an educational leader in computational science and as a research bridge between the Eastern Mediterranean region and the EU.

Prof. Papanicolas noted that the agreement is not a new beginning but comes to formalize and enhance the already very fruitful collaboration of the Institute with the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and in particular with the Department of Meteorology. Today, he said, we celebrate the achievements we had so far and the ones we hope to come in the future.

Dr. Silas Michaelides stated that this collaboration is indeed a natural development, since both organizations share common interests and this is outlined by the two major disciplines in which both institutions are involved, namely the study of atmosphere and water. Through the MoU, he stated, the Department of Meteorology looks forward to strengthening further its ties with CyI for the benefit of both institutions and their respective staff.  

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Ms Egly Pantelakis thanked the leadership of both institutions for promoting the spirit of collaboration. Under the difficult financial circumstances, she said, the exploitation of synergies that exist between various organizations and institutions shows our determination to move forward. The signing of the MoU by The Cyprus Institute and the Department of Meteorology is an excellent example of collaboration between institutions with different missions which share however a common vision. The determination of the two institutions to work jointly in order to successfully complete tasks which require a multidisciplinary approach, a variety of scientific skills, and advanced management of technological resources, is greatly appreciated by our Ministry. The Ministry, she stressed, remains committed to offer every possible support in enhancing the links between the Department of Meteorology and The Cyprus Institute and to encourage further joint projects. Mrs Pantelaki concluded by wishing every success to current and future projects of both institutions.

Following the ceremony, the attendees took at a tour at the Cy-Tera Facility where they had the opportunity to see up-close the supercomputer.

Amongst the distinguished personalities who attended the ceremony were, Mr. Kyriacos Kyrou, Director of the Water Development Department, Dr. Eleni Georgiou-Morisseau, Director of Geological Survey Department, Dr. Petros Kareklas and H.E. Mrs. Edmée Leventi Members of CyI’s Board of Trustees.

The Project Cy-Tera (ΝΕΑ ΥΠΟΔΟΜΗ/ΣΤΡΑΤΗ/0308/31) is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation