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Cyprus (CY)

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Cyprus University of Technology CUT

Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) is a public university established in 2004 and has five Schools. The Schools are the following: (a) Applied Arts and Communication, (b) Economics and Management, (c) Engineering and Technology, (d) Geotechnical Sciences and Environmental Management, and(e) Health Sciences. Two thousands students are currently registered in all five schools. Promotion of both basic and applied research is among the primary scopes of CUT. To this effect the University has a separate department that manages the research projects funded externally such as from the EU, the Cyprus Government, or other sponsors. This research department has the necessary staff and skills required as well as the internal controls in place to ensure that project management is carried out at a high standard level. The research department of the university coordinates thus far 70 projects funded by FP7, Lifeplus, Interreg MED, Interreg IVC, and Interreg Ellada-Kypros.

The research team currently working on the COGITA project participates also in another two Interreg projects, one of which is on CSR and competitiveness. More specifically the research team is engaged in the following projects:

Interreg Europe, COGITA - Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility Through Public Policy.

Interreg Europe, Packman: Promoting attractiveness, competitiveness and internationalisation of Agro-food Clusters of the Med Area, (expected completion 2013).

Responsible Med: Regional Policies for Responsible Development: Evaluation of CSR and Economic Performance in the MED area,(expected completion December 2012).Three of the partners in this project are also in the COGITA and this will provide the opportunity to capitalise on the experience and the tool developed by ResponsibleMed in the COGITA project).

The lead partner of the research team, Associate Professor Maria Krambia - Kapardis has been researching the field of CSR since 2000 and has published locally and internationally in this area. Associate Professor Andreas Varnavas has also been involved in the previous projects and will concentrate his work on COGITA.

The research team is in close collaboration with stakeholders and following the ResponsibleMed project a consortium has been made up of CUT, Planning Bureau and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in an effort to raise awareness on CSR and build capacities between the public sector and the SMEs in the field of CSR. In the difficult financial times being experienced by many companies many SMEs do not want to consider CSR because they perceive it will add to costs but not to benefits. The CUT, Planning Bureau and CCCI initiative will be providing free of charge services to SMEs and public authorities on CSR and will provide the framework for further development. In addition, the CUT will look into setting up a course on CSR for Business schools. These initiatives which concentrate on CSR awareness and capacity building will provide the necessary tools required by the team to also lead the relevant sub group in the COGITA project.

CUT’s priorities on CSR are centered on the following three pillars: (a) community; (b) workplace, (c) environment. Regarding the Community pillar the priorities put in action are currently two. Firstly the university community over two days (19 and 20 March 2012) collected food to send to families in need and secondly  identified and began a long term support of children in the local area (around the University campus) whose parents are experiencing difficult financial times. As far as the second pillar, the Human Resource and Welfare department supports training of teaching and administrative staff and also is a strong supporter of work life balance. Regarding student support it has a Committee at University level comprising of academic, administrative and student representatives, addressing welfare issues of students. In addition the  University has a Student Welfare Department supporting out of class activities, providing assistance to students with financial, health or psychological problems etc. Regarding the third pillar, Energy and Water saving as well as recycling are embedded in the University’s policy and they are pursued through specific programmes. Finally, CSR is one of the topics covered in the subject Business Ethics taught to all Business students.

 

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