Meeting sciencepreneur Alexis Kyriacou

 

alexis kyriacou

Combining an international environment coupled with a data-driven economy and a solid track record of stability, Luxembourg is an appealing destination for ICT engineering startups. The recent launch of high-performance computing (HPC) is a prime example of the country's commitment to providing a high-quality IT infrastructure. Icing on the cake: 65% of the computing capacity of this HPC, named Meluxina, is available to companies, including start-ups.

 

Alexis Kyriacou is one of the international sciencepreneurs who took part in the EURAXESS Startup Hub Tour Luxembourg. With the Cypriot national, we talked about the methodologies he developed to monitor indoor air quality during his PhD, his startup LELANTUS Innovations Ltd and why Luxembourg is on his radar.

 

Tell us more about your research journey?

Alexis Kyriacou: I started my research journey in 2014, when I joined the University of Cyprus as a PhD candidate. It took me seven years to complete my PhD as I explored innovative ways to monitor and control indoor air quality. I developed adaptive learning techniques to monitor indoor quality, which consisted of modelling the air flows between different rooms in a building. Using sensor measurements, I was able to estimate the indoor air quality. The aim was to detect harmful particles emitted by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). What’s really innovative is that the model goes faster than any sensor measurements and identifies the source of contamination.

How did you get into scientific entrepreneurship?

Alexis Kyriacou: I took the entrepreneurial plunge right after my PhD in 2020. I received funding from the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) in Cyprus to start my own company and to test the tech solution on the market. Thanks to their support, I founded LELANTUS Innovations Ltd, which provides innovative solutions for improving the indoor environment to ensure health, safety and productivity. My entrepreneurial journey stems from the fact that we spend almost 90% of our time indoors. Providing a healthier indoor environment is therefore a motivating principle for me.

How mature is LELANTUS Innovations Ltd.?

Alexis Kyriacou: We are still in the development phase. We have set up some pilots at the University of Cyprus and also in some other small buildings where we have tested the basic methodologies. We are currently fine-tuning the methodologies in order to translate them into different types of services and to start the market launch phase.

Why do you think Luxembourg is a good place to launch LELANTUS Innovations Ltd.?

Alexis Kyriacou: The most interesting aspect, I think, is that the government and decision makers are very close to the research and innovation scene. So new technologies can be deployed quickly, tested and brought to market. Together with funding and the international business outlook Luxembourg is a very attractive destination.

Is there a part of the EURAXESS Startup Hub Tour in Luxembourg that you particularly valued?

Alexis Kyriacou: In my opinion, the most interesting parts were the accelerators and incubators. Indeed, they offer a very hands-on approach to business, including how to define your market needs, how to approach your market and how to determine the niche you need to fill in order to make a solid launch.

In this respect, the University of Luxembourg Incubator was impressive. They have broken down all the steps in a structured way so that it is easy to develop your strategy.