5 reasons for us to be in Cyprus
Updated: Jun 11, 2019
Currently there are many ingredients for a thriving space sector in Cyprus:
Cyprus is located within Europe in close proximity of Asia and Africa. This strategic location is ideal as a hub for networks that span these large geographies, including directly satellite networks but also users of satellite services such as shipping.
The climate and year-round weather conditions are well suited to the receipt and transmission of data into space in comparison to the majority of Europe. This can be particularly key in relation to future optical communications technologies.
Cyprus is an island, which can also offer potential benefits for access to space activities and a strong customer base for space applications related to off-shore activities (monitoring of busy shipping lanes, identifying illegal fishing / smuggling / trafficking etc., oil and gas platforms etc.).
The population of Cyprus has a high literacy rate, relatively low unemployment rate (less than Italy, Spain and France) and a high average wage for the area. Although the majority of Cypriots speak Greek as a first language, there is high proficiency in English (one of the ESA official languages). There is a high skills workforce and the space sector is a high skills employer.
Cyprus has an open, free-market and service-based economy, which can be attractive for space sector entities to do business. Indeed, the majority of Cyprus trade is international. The economy remains heavily reliant on tourism and therefore there is a desire to diversify.
Cyprus had the highest innovativeness of high-growth enterprises and higher than average knowledge-intensive services providing an attractive environment for the development of downstream applications in the space sector.
5. Existing capability
There are already large global space sector players with operations in Cyprus, such as Avanti, and Cyta is a global player in the space ground segment. The EC and ESA have already placed some critical infrastructure in Cyprus for Galileo. Cyprus University of Technology has established a research centre aiming to utilise Earth Observation (EO) assets for environmental monitoring and applications.
Therefore there is significant opportunity for Cyprus to establish itself as a significant contributor to the global space sector. With spending on R&D as a whole relatively low in Cyprus, at less than 0.5% GDP and business R&D spending the lowest of the EU members at only 0.08%, we see a need for Grey Space to help stimulate this market.