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C-SpaRC, COSPAR’s International Space Innovation Centre, inaugurated in Cyprus

The Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) has inaugurated the Cyprus Space Research and Innovation Centre (C-SpaRC), under the auspices of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), the world’s foremost space research organisation.

A CSEO press release says that this landmark location was inaugurated by COSPAR Associate Director Aaron Janofsky, who announced that COSPAR placed C-SpaRC under its auspices, as a COSPAR Centre of Excellence, and designated it as “COSPAR’s International Space Innovation Centre”, which is poised to become a hub for groundbreaking research, technological development, and most importantly international collaboration in space science.

C-SpaRC, a multi-million-euro project co-funded by the European Union, the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), and contributions from NASA, is poised to revolutionise our understanding of space and its impact on humanity. The centre will focus on critical research areas such as space weather, human spaceflight, and the development of advanced space technologies, playing a vital role in supporting NASA's Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the Moon and establish a sustainable presence there.

The press release says that C-SpaRC, aligned with the Cyprus Space Strategy (2022-2027), is poised to become a groundbreaking initiative for the nation.

"Thanks to the strategic vision of the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), Cyprus is investing in strategic infrastructures to unlock its vast potential in the space sector. C-SpaRC, a first-of-its-kind project for Cyprus and a significant investment in this strategic infrastructure, will embark on an ambitious journey to foster innovation, drive economic growth, and position Cyprus as a key player in the global space industry" it adds.

The C-SpaRC project is based on three distinct elements. First element is Infrastructure, the creation of a state-of-the-art space research infrastructure, accessible to both the domestic and regional space ecosystem, fostering research, development, and innovation in space technologies. The second element is Research, conducting cutting-edge research in collaboration with foreign and domestic partners, focusing on space weather, its impact on human health, and the development of advanced space technologies. The third element is Innovation, the promotion of innovation within the domestic space ecosystem and the broader high-tech and startup communities, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and technological advancement.

“The inauguration of C-SpaRC is a dream come true for Cyprus,” George Danos, President of CSEO said, adding that “this is the culmination of years of dedication and collaboration with international partners, and it signifies Cyprus's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration and research.”

“Seeing our centre becoming the world's first international space innovation centre established under the auspices of the world’s foremost space research organisation, COSPAR, to bridge international collaboration in space is a very very proud and moving moment for all of us”, he said.

The inauguration ceremony took place under the auspice of Demetris Skourides, Chief Scientist of the Republic of Cyprus, who said that “the C-SpaRC project funded by the National Research Innovation Centre is a game-changer for Cyprus, creating the conditions for Cyprus to become a global hub for research, innovation and technology. This strategic infrastructure will serve as a platform enabling collaboration between Cyprus based research organisations and global research organisations creating new opportunities for Cypriot researchers, and scientists who will from now on work alongside experts from NASA, ESA, COSPAR and other organisations". 

In addition, he went on to say, "to the research conducted and knowledge sharing, in less than 112 weeks, we expect to have the first Cyprus-built micro-satellite ready to be launched into orbit. A First of its kind for Cyprus”.

The ceremony was attended by many distinguished guests. The three international strategic partners of the centre presented the important research aspects of C-SpaRC.

Moreover, a Protocol of Cooperation was signed between CSEO and the NASA funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH). This collaboration will focus on researching the health challenges of human deep space exploration, ensuring the safety and well-being of astronauts on future NASA missions to the Moon and Mars.

COSPAR announced that the next COSPAR Space Symposium will be hosted in Cyprus by CSEO in November 2025 with the international space community gathering in Cyprus.

(Source: CNA)

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