Professor Costas Papanicolas, Founder and President of the Cyprus Institute, received the prestigious decoration of Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy at the hands of the Ambassador of Italy in Cyprus, H.E. Andrea Cavallari, during a special ceremony on 16 December 2019. The high distinction was awarded in consideration of the outstanding results achieved in his career, during which Prof. Papanicolas has fostered deep ties between The Cyprus Institute and Italian Institutions, strongly contributing to the scientific and technological cooperation between Italy and Cyprus.
The event was attended among others by the Chief Scientist of the Republic, Mr. Kyriakos Kokkinos, the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou (who was also bestowed the Star of Italy early this year), Former European Commissioner Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, members of the Cyprus Institute Board of Trustees and various Italian researchers and scientists working in Cyprus.
Prof. Papanicolas is one of the most prominent members of the scientific community in Cyprus and a scientist of international standing. Renowned physicist with a doctorate from MIT, Prof. Papanicolas has taught in prestigious Universities. He has founded and directed the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia which, under his helm, has become a Center for Excellence in various fields, including Climate Change, and developed an important network of international collaborations.
In recalling the motivations that led the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to confer this important recognition, Ambassador Cavallari underlined that the Professor is “a key player and point of reference for scientific and technological ties between Italy and Cyprus”. He noted the strong relations cultivated with CNR (the Italian National Research Center), ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. Under the direction of Prof. Papanicolas, The Cyprus Institute has developed successful collaborations with several Italian universities, including for joint-degrees, Erasmus and research projects. Thanks to his strong personal and professional relations, many Italian scientists have been brought to Cyprus to participate in the “Enrico Fermi Lectures”, organized in collaboration with the Italian Embassy.
In his reply, Professor Costas Papanicolas said that the growing partnerships and collaborative actions in the scientific and technological sector are a testimony to the long historical and cultural ties between Italy and Cyprus. In the face of numerous common challenges, such as climate change, environmental protection and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, many new common projects are currently in the pipeline, concluded Prof. Papanicolas, highlighting the continuing dynamism of IT-CY bilateral relations in the field of science.