STeDI-RC (the Science and Technology Driven Policy and Innovation Research Center) is the fifth Research Center of the Cyprus Institute, which was launched in 2018, following a strategic decision taken by the Institute’s Board of Trustees, and started operations in the academic year 2022-23. It aims at translating results of CyI’s research activities to actionable knowledge that can support public policy and thereby increase CyI’s impact on economy and the society.
In line with the Institute’s mission to conduct pioneering research, innovation, and educational activities to address problems of significance for Cyprus, Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region, STeDI-RC is a cross-disciplinary endeavor to engage in policy research and innovation addressing today’s sustainability challenges. As a knowledge institution organized in four Research Centers that correspond to different thematic research thrusts, CyI is uniquely placed to host STeDI-RC which integrates aspects of research and innovation that are common across its existing research activities. Therefore, most of the Center’s staff is jointly appointed with one of the other CyI Research Centers.
The Center has started operations at a time when policy institutions increasingly recognize the need to support and connect policymaking with scientific research. Implementing the European Green Deal, facing the challenges of digitisation, and understanding the risks to cultural heritage preservation are examples of issues that call for a strong connection between scientists and decision makers.
STeDI-RC interacts with the other Departments of CyI for mutual cross-fertilization. It uses scientific knowledge created in CyI’s four thematic Research Centers and its Innovation Department, to offer support for public policies. At the same time, by understanding the needs of decision makers, it provides feedback to the other Centers to expand their research agenda in order to respond to societal needs.
To realise its mission, STeDI-RC has a twin role as a research center and a policy support unit. At the heart of its work are the development and maintenance of decision-support tools that can provide insights to policymakers, while training researchers and students to be leaders in policy-focused research and provide innovative solutions in topics where science and technology matters. In addition to research, the Center aspires to become the leading think tank in Cyprus and a leader in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region, with a mission to enrich policymaking using science and technology for a sustainable society.Examples of recent areas of work of STeDI-RC are the development of policy recommendations in the frame of the EMME Climate Change Initiative; the scientific support to the Cypriot government for the implementation of the European Green Deal; the integration of Sustainable Development Goals in economic policies; and the support to the city of Limassol in the framework of the EU mission for “100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities’’.