KPMG Science Shop, Cyprus
The KPMG Science Shop is run by KPMG in Cyprus. Its aim is to act as both a facilitator and contributor to community-based participatory research. KPMG utilises a broad network of collaborators as well as its own in-house expertise to support engagement between society and the research community. Through a collaborative approach, KPMG Science Shop brings together universities, research organisations and academics, together with the community, NGOs and industry to initiative new projects to tackle societal challenges.
The KPMG Science Shop is run by KPMG and specifically by its Strategy, Customer & Operations Services. It is coordinated by Board Member, Antonis Bargilly and is run by KPMG staff from within KPMG premises in Nicosia. Once the SciShops project comes to an end, the operational cost of running the Science Shop will be funded by KPMG.
As KPMG is not a research providing organisation, KPMG will mainly act as a facilitator between society and the research community in order to initiate new projects through the creation of synergies and collaborations. In addition, it will utilise its in-house expertise in specific subjects (for example, KPMG’s advisory department has extensive knowledge in areas such as cybersecurity, digital transformation, emerging technologies, data analytics, customer experience) to participate in research activities, develop proof of concepts as well as funding proposals. KPMG Science Shop will work with both civil society organisations as well as industry, where challenges have wider societal relevance and impact.
To support future activity, a number of key partnerships have been developed with Cyprus Institute of Marketing; UCLan Cyprus; the University of Cyprus; and the University of Cardiff. More are planned to be developed.
Activity to date
In December 2018, KPMG was a strategic partner in the 146th European Study Group with Industry/co-creation event with society. In this intensive 5-day workshop teams of researchers, companies and representatives of civil society worked together on three societal challenges (1. “Breaking barriers for women in science”; 2. “Improving filter performance”; 3. Reducing fuel use in tugboats). The workshop was co-organised by SciShops project, the EU Mathematics for Industry Network and Cardiff University and was hosted by the University of Cyprus from 3-7 December, 2018. After the workshop a follow-up meeting took place between the KPMG Science Shop and Cardiff researchers and a follow-up MSc project was set up in collaboration with a Cypriot company, on methodologies for reducing fuel reduction in tugboats through data analytics and optimization. The student successfully completed her dissertation in September 2019, under the supervision of Prof. Owen Jones and Dr Katerina Kaouri (who is supporting the KPMG Science Shop through her affiliation to SciCo Cyprus).
Within the framework of their strategic partnership, KPMG in Cyprus and the Cyprus Institute of Marketing (CIM) organised several two-day entrepreneurship workshops under the auspices of the Nicosia Municipality on 18-19 June 2019 and of the Limassol Municipality on 17-18 September 2019. The workshops were run in the context of the KPMG Science Shop as a means of disseminating knowledge to society. The workshops focused on the tools and skills that founders of new companies need in order to face challenges in a rapidly changing environment. During the Limassol event, the Mayor highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship regardless of age, and that capitalisation of research results reduces the risks of failure. At the end of the two day workshop, participants prepared 10 minute pitches of their concepts and the winners received cash prizes.
KPMG has also sponsored two scholarships in partnership with the Cyprus Institute of Marketing. Following thorough examination of a large number of applications, KPMG and CIM offered two scholarships at a ceremony on 20 September:
- 1 full scholarship worth € 7700 for the postgraduate programme MBA Shipping (14 Months FT/24 Months PT). The programme is available only in Limassol.
- 1 partial scholarship worth € 6500 for the undergraduate programme of the University of West London, BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance. The scholarship covers the first year of the three year programme. The programme is offered in Nicosia and/or in Limassol.
The scholarships form part of a series of actions implemented by the KPMG Science Shop.
In the framework of the KPMG Science Shop, KPMG has joined forces with Larnaca Municipality for the submission of H2020 Twinning project Maritec-X. The project was successful in receiving 30 million euros of funding from the Cyprus Government and the European Commission for the establishment of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute, a Centre of Excellence and Research. The CMMI, which is based in Larnaca, is an independent, international, scientific and business Centre of Excellence for Marine and Maritime activities. It carries out research, technological development, and innovation activities (RTDI) to provide practical solutions to the challenges that the marine and maritime industry, and society, face or will face in the future. The kick-off took place last July in Larnaca. On 10 October 2019, the commencement of activities took place where KPMG is a firm contributor in resources for the implementation of research projects, in particular the preparation of prototypes and proof of concepts for Marine and Maritime studies.
The Science Shop is also involved in a new project for the Interior Ministry of Cyprus and the Asylum Service regarding the use of digital technology for the identification of migrants arriving in Cyprus from Africa and the Middle East and is currently contributing to the co-creation of a research concept together with other partners, including the University of Nicosia.
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