Cypriot scientists changing the world

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Cyprus Seeds, a non-profit organisation working on getting world-changing ideas from Cypriot scientists out of the lab and onto the market, is looking to focus on climate change.

Following two successful rounds of funding innovative ideas and offering solutions to world problems, Cyprus Seeds is ready to run a thematic call for innovative solutions to the Environment and Climate Change.

With the backing of its anchor donors, the organisation has helped various innovative ideas and solutions to health and environmental problems find their way from a lab to the global market.

During its two previous calls in 2019-2021, Cyprus Seeds handed out more than €700,000 in sponsorships for world-changing ideas, said managing director Maria Georgiadou.

Talking to the Financial Mirror, the manager of Cyprus Seeds said it is proud to have helped Cypriot scientists put their ideas to use before they rust away in a lab.

“Cyprus Seeds provides the platform to the most talented researchers in Cyprus universities and centres of excellence to take their innovative ideas from the lab to the market and into companies offering solutions to world problems”, said Georgiadou.

It has provided funding and mentoring to almost 20 ground-breaking projects in Health, Environment, Energy, Computer science and even Art.

Each of the projects had received between €10,000 to 100,000.

Cyprus Seeds does not only fund projects off the ground but also provides mentoring and covers patenting costs.

As Georgiadou said, one of the teams funded involved gene therapy for inherited neuropathies.

Cyprus Seeds supported a team of scientists from the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics to present their innovative treatment to the world.

Inherited demyelinating neuropathies are rare and disabling disorder that remains incurable.

They result from mutations in myelinating cells of peripheral nerves, the Schwann cells. The project aims to develop genetic therapies, either gene silencing or gene replacement.

Another team awarded funding was Ablasonic, an MRI-guided robotic system for non-invasive focused ultrasound surgery for pancreatic cancer.

The project is being developed by a team of scientists from the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK).

Therapy

The is to develop an innovative robotic device to perform non-invasive therapy in the area of oncology by providing access to targets in the abdominal area (liver, kidney, uterus), brain, thyroid and breast.

After four years of operation, Cyprus Seeds has implemented many achievements, which led to the renewal of the support of its anchor donors (Cyprus Government, The Hellenic Initiative, and the Leventis Foundation) and the recent addition of Mohari Hospitality).

“We are now very well positioned to announce our third call.

“For the first time, we will run, in addition to the generic Call, a thematic call for innovative solutions to the Environment and Climate Change,” said Georgiadou.

“As we move away from fossil fuels and become more dependent on solar energy for increasing electricity demand, it is very important to maintain high quality and reliability of solar systems to ensure high-quality supply at affordable cost”.

Georgiadou referred to Solex, a start-up that promises a solution providing early and reliable detection of problems in photovoltaic systems, saving millions in repairs and lost energy.

While Cyprus is blessed with sun all year round, having 340 days of sunshine and a very dry climate can make things difficult when it comes to collecting water in reservoirs.

“This requires special measures and environ friendly treatments to protect the island’s precious and limited water supply”.

It is not a problem for Cyprus, as water resources worldwide are threatened by global warming and increasingly high temperatures.

“Cyprus seeds, together with a young team of scientists from the Cyprus University of Technology, is about to introduce to the market a revolutionary process that will allow the world to clean and restore surface water quality safely”.

CYanOxi is developing emerging efficient and environmentally friendly technology to address new global water contamination challenges, especially in countries with limited water supply.

The team has successfully removed pollutants from the water without using hazardous chemicals, safeguarding the ecosystem of water reservoirs.

“These are just two research projects which Cyprus Seeds have helped to spin out of university labs and make this world better.”