Satellite-based Services for Disaster Risk Management


Nicosia, Cyprus

Keynote Presentations

Annalisa Donati – Eurisy

Annalisa Donati is Eurisy Secretary General, the European association of space agencies striving to bridge the gap between space and society. As Research Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute, she was responsible for the studies on space economy, finance, and innovation’s domains as well as the monthly sector watch. Before joining ESPI she was a Young Graduate Trainee within the Industrial Policy and SMEs Division of the European Space Agency (ESA) where she worked on the design, development, and implementation of innovation programmes to boost European space entrepreneurial ecosystem. Previously she contributed to the activities carried out within the office of the director at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Annalisa is an alumni of the Space Studies Program organised by the International Space University, and she holds a II level MS in Space Institutions and Policies as well as a Master in Diplomatic Studies from SIOI and MS in Multilateral Security from the University of Perugia.

Stelios Tziortzis, Department of Electronic Communications

Stelios Tziortzis is the Electronic Communications Officer at the Department of Electronic Communications, of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy and works at the section of Space Technologies, dealing with space issues, evaluating and introducing new technologies in Cyprus and participating at the European Commission Committees for Galileo, EGNOS, GOVSATCOM, SST and Copernicus. He is also responsible for the relations with Cyprus and the European Space Agency and the implementation of ESA PECS programme that Cyprus is participating as a European Cooperating State.

Peter Spruyt – Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

Peter Spruyt studied Geomatics in Gent and has worked in the geomatics field throughout his professional career. He began his career at the Flemish Land-society in 1987 as a photogrammetrist and in 1997 he joined the European Commission’s in-house science reference, the Joint Research Centre (JRC). His work in the field of geomatics has been applied to key EU policy areas including the Common Agricultural Policy and crisis management. Today, he forms part of the JRC team that is implementing the Copernicus Emergency Management Service on behalf of the European Commission. One of his responsibilities is to examine the enhancement of the Emergency Management Service through the operational use of Unmanned Aircraft System Mapping devices both during emergencies and post-disaster reconstruction activities. He is leading a team that is responsible for implementing the Copernicus Mapping Risk and Recovery component.

Demetrios Pyrros – European Emergency Number Association (EENA)

Demetrios is the Director of Medical Services of the National Centre of Emergency Care (EKAB) in Greece and Past President of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM). He has been repeatedly honoured by several governments for his medical interventions during disasters, such as in Armenia in 1988, Afghanistan in 1990 & Turkey in 1999.

Georgios Synnefakis – European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

Since 20202, Georgios Synnefakis holds the post of GOVSATCOM Programme Manager in the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA). He is responsible for the management of the GOVSATCOM component of the EU Space Programme and the  implementation of the GOVSATCOM parts of the Contribution Agreement of the Agency with the European Commission. He also coordinates the preparation of the GOVSATCOM Hub procurement, the GOVSATCOM service implementation and the preparation of initial services. In addition, he supports the definition of the Secure Connectivity/ IRIS2 Prior to joining EUSPA, Dr. Synnefakis has worked for more than a decade in the Greek public administration in the Ministry of Digital Governance and the Ministry of Defense. Georgios has been the Head of delegation in ESA council, member of the GSA Administrative Board, member of the National Space Policy Committee, head of delegation in ITU WRCs, among other.

Panel Presentations

Kyriacos Themistocleous – ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)

Dr. Kyriacos Themistocleous is the Director of External Affairs and Business Development of the Eratosthenes Center of Excellence and the Project Manager of the H2020 Teaming EXCELSIOR for establishing a Centre of Excellence in Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of the Environment. His expertise and research interest include Earth observation, remote sensing, GIS, disaster risk, cultural and built heritage and environmental applications, among others. He has over 320 publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and conference proceedings with over 2,500 citations. He has been appointed as the national representative for Cyprus for the Copernicus User Forum and the Copernicus Committee.

Chris Danezis – Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)

Dr. Chris Danezis is an Associate Professor of Geodesy at the Cyprus University of Technology Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Geodesy and the Coordinator of the CyCLOPS (Cyprus Continuously Operating Natural Hazards Monitoring and Prevention Systems) strategic research infrastructure unit, the largest integrated research network of permanent GPS/GNSS stations and InSAR Corner Reflectors in Cyprus. He was previously employed as Geodetic Infrastructure Executive by the Hellenic National Cadastre and Mapping Agency SA (NCMA) in the department responsible for the operation of the Hellenic National Permanent GPS/GNSS Reference Station (CORS) network (HEPOS). Furthermore, he was appointed to the Strategic Management Board for the restructuring and modernization of the company. Furthermore, he has an extensive experience of more than a decade as a freelance consulting engineer specializing in positioning, geographic information systems (GIS), and location-based and awareness technologies. Since 2021, he has been the Representative of IAG Commission I (Reference Frames) in the Steering Committee of the Inter-commission Committee on Marine Geodesy (ICCM).


Athos Agapiou –  Cyprus University of Technology (CUT)

Dr Athos Agapiou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geoinformatics of the Cyprus University of Technology, holder of the “Geoinformatics and Earth Observation” chair, while at the same time he is the coordinator of the research activities of the EOCult laboratory (Earth Observation Cultural Heritage Lab). Since 2022, he is the Deputy Director of the UNESCO Chair of “Digital Cultural Heritage”. From 2021 until today he is acting as the National Delegate of Cyprus for the Horizon Europe program. During the period 2018-2021, he was the chairman of the steering committee of the Greek chapter “Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology” (CAA-GR). Since 2019 he is an evaluator in the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP), while he is a reviewer for various European and national funding programs. Starting from 2022, he is the coordinator of the European project “Civil engineering and geomatics innovative research on heritage” with the acronym ENGINEER, which is funded under the Horizon Europe framework.

Skevi Perdikou –  GEOFEM

Skevi has 20 years of experience of applying satellite remote sensing techniques to civil engineering and the urban environment. Her combination of remote sensing and civil engineering expertise and experience enables her to adapt state-of-the-art satellite technology to the needs of the infrastructure, mining and energy sectors. Her work aims at maximising the resilience of infrastructure and the built environment to climate change and heavier use by non-disruptive monitoring of asset condition and susceptibility together with infrastructure asset management tools for the efficient operation and proactive maintenance of vital infrastructure.  Skevi has the role of Technology Manager at Geofem, a company specialising in advanced geotechnical finite element modelling and satellite remote sensing. She has coordinated several innovation projects on satellite remote sensing applications in civil engineering for the European Space Agency and other European funding bodies and has successfully completed many commercial projects for clients in the US, UK, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.

George Milis – PHOEBE Research and Innovation Ltd/EUROCY Innovations Ltd

He holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Cyprus, specializing in intelligent control systems based on semantic reasoning. He also holds an MSc in Advanced Computing with specialization in Artificial Intelligence from the Imperial College London and a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. George has more than 18 years of experience with software project management and cutting-edge research and innovation activities, with expertise in web applications, data modeling and reasoning, machine learning and artificial intelligence, monitoring and control of large-scale systems, Internet of Things.  He is a Board member of the Cyprus Association of Research and Innovation Enterprises ( and also participates in various Committees that promote research and innovation, aiming at the wider socio-economic benefits for Cyprus and Europe overall. 

Iacovos Stylianides– Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center, Republic of Cyprus

Major (AF) Iacovos Stylianides is currently the Head of the Cospas – Sarsat Cyprus Mission Control Center and “Zenon” Coordination Center Director of the National Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. Before joining the National Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Maj. Stylianides served as Officer in the Cypriot Air Defense Squadron between 2001 and 2015.

High Level Policy Panel

Philippos Hadjizacharias – Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy

Philippos Hadjizacharias is the new Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy of Cyprus. He holds an Accounting degree from the University of Birmingham, ΑΑΤ, FCCA, degrees, MA Taxation in European Law from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of London as well as a certificate on Effective Leadership from the University of Oxford.He is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, which he has served from various positions. He is a founding member of PHS & Partners, a Larnaka based company. He has served as non-Executive Director as well as Financial and Tax advisor in multinational companies.

Rodrigo da Costa – European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)

On 16 October 2020, Rodrigo da Costa took up his duties as Executive Director of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), formerly the European GNSS Agency (GSA). Prior to this, he was the Galileo Services Programme Manager from March 2017. Before joining the GSA, Rodrigo da Costa held several senior project management, business development, and institutional key account management positions in the space industry, in the areas of human space flight, exploration, launchers and R&D. Rodrigo da Costa holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the “Instituto Superior Tecnico” in Lisbon, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Delft, and an MBA from the EuroMBA consortium of Business Schools.

Dominique Tilmans – Eurisy

Dominique holds the title of Honorary Senator in Belgium. During her electing mandates in the Belgian parliament, which spanned 27 years, she invested a lot of energy in space matters. She held the position of Chair of the « Belgian Senate Space Group» and she also presided over the «European Interparliamentary Space conference». In 2016, she was elected Chair of Eurisy, a non- profit Association which aims to bridge space and Society. She is also a Member of the Advisory Council of ESPI (European Space Policy Institute) in Vienna and, a Member of the Board of Vitrociset Belgium. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Europlanet 2024 RI. Concerned by the difficulties of the space industry to recruit young graduates, she launched YouSpace in 2014 and in 2018 she launched in 2018 “Switch to Space” an event with 50 speaker’s representing experts in space and more than 500 students. Between 2019 and 2022, Dominique served as Vice-President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). Currently, she is a Special Advisor to the IAF President on Parliamentarian and Ministerial Relations.