Cyens – Centre of Excellence

About this Organization

The Research and Innovation Centre on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies – CYENS Centre of Excellence (formerly known as RISE), empowers knowledge and technology transfer in the region.

CYENS CoE is supported by the European Commission, the Republic of Cyprus and its founding Partners, the Municipality of Nicosia, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPI), University College London, the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus University of Technology and the Open University of Cyprus.

CYENS, as a Centre of Excellence, cultivates a culture of innovation and creativity in an inspiring environment filled with academics, researchers, creative and onward-looking people, innovators, entrepreneurs, and practitioners.

The Centre operates under the moto “Inspired by Humans Designed for Humans” with the vision to produce world class research that drives innovation towards social and economic benefit while conducting excellent, internationally competitive scientific research in the areas of visual sciences, human factors and design, communication, and artificial intelligence. It sets out to meet the challenge with a total potential funding of more than 30 million Euros for the first 7 years, from a Horizon 2020 Teaming Action and multiple other sources, and a business plan for long-term sustainability and growth.

Team Members

Dr. Panayiotis Charalambous is the team leader of the V-EUPNEA MRG of CYENS Centre of Excellence since June 2019. He was a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus during the academic year 2018-2019. Between 2016-2018, he worked as both an Associate Research Scientist and a Computational Scientist at the CaSToRC centre of the Cyprus Institute; there he worked on the crossroads of Computational Sciences and the Cultural Heritage communities. Between 2014-2016 he was a post-doctoral fellow at INRIA Rennes, France under the supervision of Dr. Julien Pettre where he worked on the development of novel algorithms for the authoring and simulation of human crowds. In 2014 he completed his PhD from the University of Cyprus under the supervision of Prof. Yiorgos Chrysanthou where he worked on the development of novel data-driven algorithms for Virtual Crowds. He got his BSc in Computer Science and Telecommunications from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece in 2002 and his MSc in Advanced Systems Technologies in 2005 from the same university. Dr. Charalambous worked as a researcher and engineer on several projects funded by Horizon 2020, RPF and other agencies.

He is a member of the ACM, the Eurographics association and has served as a reviewer of several prestigious journals and conferences. Reviewer credits include journals such as ACM’s Transactions on Graphics, Computer Graphics Forum, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics and conferences such as Eurographics, Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA), Motion Interaction and Games (MIG) and CASA.

Dr. Neokleous graduated from the University of Cyprus in June 2011, with a Doctorate in Computer Science and has a multi-disciplinary academic background in various fields including Virtual Reality and 3D graphics, Electronic Health (eHealth), Cognitive Psychology, Computational Neuroscience, Machine Learning, Intelligent Diagnostic Systems, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical/Control Engineering and Space Science and Technology.

He has several years of experience in project management and he was involved with the conception, design, preparation, writing and coordination of many National and EU research projects. During and after his PhD, Dr. Neokleous co-founded in parallel two innovative startup companies in Virtual Reality technologies and eHealth applications in line with his academic and research interests.

Since June 2019, Dr. Neokleous is employed at the first Research Centre in Cyprus focusing on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies, CYENS Centre of Excellence as a Multidisciplinary Research Group Leader.

Myrto holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Athens School of Fine Arts (2009) and a master’s degree on Heritage and Interpretation, Department of Museum Studies of the University of Leicester, UK (2013). She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology.

Her research focuses on current museum practices around the exhibition, acquisition and preservation of artworks made with the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies.

Stefanos Papadas has a BA in Audio & Visual Arts from the Ionian University. He has an integrated Master's degree from the same University and a postgraduate scholarship from the Flemish Government in Multimedia Design of Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Ghent. His work focuses on alternative forms of visual storytelling, researching and reconstructing the contemporary aspects of audiovisual expression.

The topics in which he is involved, mainly deal with the redefinition of the artistic space as a medium and the coexistence between digital world and organic matter.

Dr Andreas Papapetrou is a composer, performer, researcher and music teacher. He holds a PhD in Creative Practice - Composition from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London. His compositional output includes works in various genres, ranging from solo to full symphonic orchestra works. He is a classically trained pianist and accordionist, specialised in contemporary music works, cross-arts performance and improvisation.

He is a scientific collaborator of the European University of Cyprus, an affiliated researcher of the BoCCF Research Centre for Cultural Sustainability and he works as a music teacher at the American International School of Cyprus. His research interests focus on exploring music primarily as the social activity of performance. Further information and portfolio:

Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is associate professor at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT).

She is leader of the "Museum Lab" group at CYENS Center of Excellence and the coordinator of "Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab" of CUT. Her research interests include museum studies, visual sociology with an emphasis on photography, and new technologies in museums.

Theopisti has published widely on museums and photography, is the co-editor of "Emerging Technologies and Museums: Mediating Difficult Heritage" (Berghahn Books, forthcoming 2022), co-author of The Political Museum (Routledge, 2016) and the editor of Museums and Visitor Photography (MuseumsEtc, 2016), Museums and Photography: Displaying Death (co-editor, Routledge, 2017), and Photography and Cyprus: Time, Place, Identity (co-editor, I.B.Tauris, 2014). She received her PhD in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester (UK), is the recipient of several scholarships and awards including a Smithsonian Fellowship in Museum Practice (USA), a Fulbright Fellowship (USA) and an Arts and Humanities Research Council Award (UK).

Dr Maria Shehade is a Research Associate at the Museum Lab of the CYENS Centre of Excellence and an Expert Scientist at the Cyprus University of Technology. She obtained her PhD from University College London.

Her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Negotiating cultural property disputes: bridging the gap between theory and practice, a way forward’, focused on the development of a strategic framework for negotiating cultural property disputes. She also holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Management from the Institute of Archaeology of UCL, a Bachelor degree in History, Archaeology and History of Art from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a Certificate in Negotiation from the Institute of Leadership and Management, UK.

She has worked as a Research Associate in a number of research projects in the UK, Greece and Cyprus offering her expertise in heritage management, negotiation, cultural diplomacy and cultural policy. She has also taught courses in several universities including the University of Nicosia, Open University Cyprus and the Cyprus University of Technology. She has received several scholarships and awards for her research from the National Foundation of Scholarships of Greece, the UCL Graduate School and the Leventis Scholarship Foundation, which also funded her doctoral research.