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Our Profile

Materia is an experienced end-user partner in EU funded projects. In the following pages our EU project profile is presented. We are open to new collaborations and synergies. If interested to collaborate in a project with us contact:

End-user organization in Cyprus

Materia Group is a private sector, multi-shareholder social enterprise, based in Nicosia, Cyprus (registered SME). Materia’s vision is the improvement of the quality of life of older adults living in Cyprus. The mission is to provide a diverse range of Care, Nursing and Rehabilitation Services to the older population, whether in the clients’ own home, or in Materia’s 24hour care units, either as residents, short-term stay clients, daycare clients or outpatients. Services include physiotherapy, cognitive rehabilitation therapy, art therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology support, nutritional counselling, home-care, psycho-social support and counselling, caregiver training programs, transportation services for people with mobility problems and others. Management and Operations team is based on an interdisciplinary approach, aiming at providing the best value services for end-user and their families.  Materia is also a recognized training centre for health and social sciences students from all universities in Nicosia and has a growing research department specializing in EU funded projects relating to Aging, disability, public health and social inclusion.

Partner Role in EU Projects / Expertise and competencies

Having experience resulting from our participation in Erasmus+, EEA Grants, AAL and Horizon 2020 projects, and being one of the few end-user organizations in Cyprus that are experienced in EU projects, Materia Group can provide a valuable contribution to European projects. More specifically, MATERIA Group has the expertise to undertake the following tasks and packages (as an end-user organization):

  • User requirements and co-design methodologies: knowledge and capacity on collecting data from all stakeholders  (healthcare professionals, older adults, family caregivers, family members, commercial stakeholders) so as to receive their feedback in terms of user acceptability, interface handling, overall experience, perceived benefit, the intention of using in the future and other aspects of user requirements.
  • Ethical and legal issues: Emphasis on ethics is inherent in Materia operations since as an end-user organisation, it is directly in touch with older adults and their families. Materia Group is familiar with the national and European ethical guidelines and issues that need to be taken into consideration during the testing of a product according to the different needs of the target group.
  • Protocol, Planning and Implementation of Trial/Pilot phase: Materia Group has experience in identifying and recruiting eligible participants (according to project criteria) and in planning and implementing the pilot/trial phases in order to collect feedback to adjust and develop the product according to the target groups’ needs and requirements (UCD methodology) and with respect to the deadlines. We particularly enjoy the extensive collaboration with technical partners which is essential for these tasks.
  • Creating and implementing the evaluation framework: Materia Group has the skills and experience in developing and implementing the evaluation process, in order to ensure the acquisition of valid and reliable results and maximize the possibility of commercialization of the final product. Our team has extensive research and academic background to support the design of the evaluation plan, using both qualitative and quantitative, standardized and non-standardized tools and scales, as well as the analysis of results using a wide range of tools and methods such as thematic analysis, statistical analyses through SPSS, etc.
  • Dissemination and Networking: Through its participation in various EU, national and local projects, as well as through the provision of its core business as a service provider, Materia Group has developed a well-established network, through which it can contribute to distributing the aims and results of the project, and contribute in wide-reaching impact within National and European level through various channels.

Key Personnel

Marina Polycarpou holds an M.Sc. in Gerontology from Kings College London (1997) and a B.A. in Gerontology and Psychology with the highest distinction from the University of Kansas (1995). She has worked as a manager and director in non-profit and community services for Older Adults between 1997 and 2000. She co-founded Materia Group in 2000 and was the General Manager of the organization from then until 2010 when she was appointed as CEO and board member with the expansion of Materia Group. She is a board member of Cyprus registered NGOs Gerontology Research Center and Youth Empowerment Foundation. She is also a scientific advisor at Aktios Nursing Units Group in Athens, Greece, a clinical associate of St George’s Medical School at the University of Nicosia, and a certified, experienced trainer by the Cyprus Human Resource Development Authority. She leads the EU projects department since 2016.

Sotiria Moza is currently pursuing her PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology. She holds a bachelor degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is experienced in neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation and is a member of the Hellenic Neuropsychological Society. In addition, she has received training in research methodology and statistical analysis, and her main research work has been focused in the field of neuroscience. She has gained multifaceted experience with older adults for the last five years, offering psychological support and counselling for individuals with dementia and their caregivers and performing one-to-one cognitive assessment and rehabilitation sessions, as well as, group animation activities. In addition, she has received training in research methodology, fMRI ROI and statistical analysis, and has published research papers in the field of neuroscience. She has experience in neuroimaging methods and signal analysis and has received a speciality certification in Web Development from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (HTML5, CSS, Javascript, JSQuery, Ajax, Python and graphic design using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Bootstrap and Dreamweaver). For the last two years she has been working as a project manager, having completed successfully Horizon 2020 and AAL projects, as WP leader and research team manager.

Filios Savvides holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering (King’s College, London University) and is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) with working experience in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Australia. He has over 25 years of experience in the fields of audit, banking, finance, entrepreneurship and business management. He has worked at the Bank of Cyprus between 1993 and 2009 as a Corporate Banking and Risk Assessment manager. Since his career shift in 2010, Filios has been a consultant, director and manager in the sector of services for the ageing population in Cyprus.  Through Materia Group, in which he is now CFO, he has set up a number of new services and projects for older adults and their families. He is also a trainer in Erasmus+ and EEA funded projects in the area of business development and business/professional skills. Filios contributes to EU projects particularly in the dissemination, exploitation and business model development, among other areas.

Andria Hadjicosta has graduated from the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology of Sheffield Hallam University and holds an MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of Cyprus with a focus on Service Management and Customer Service Path. Andria has more than seven years of working experience with older adults through her extensive work experience in the healthcare sector both in the NHS, UK and Cyprus. Andria is skilled in several personnel-related aspects such as Human Resources, Personnel Management and Team Leading. She is a competent user of 3D imaging software and equipment and interpreter of scans obtained from 4D imaging devices. Andria has experience with the development and revision of quality control procedures in healthcare. She currently works in EU funded research projects focused on improving the quality of life for older people using technological advancements.

Stella Nicolaou holds a B.Tech in Nursing and has over 28 years of practical work experience in nursing, and particularly in geriatric nursing. She has worked at Evangelistria Private Hospital, at Nicosia Polyclinic and in several community programs for seniors. She is responsible for the Quality Control of nursing care at Materia Group, and for involving and communicating with the family caregivers of the clients into the caring process. Stella joined Materia Group in 2005 and has gradually developed from the positions of staff caregiver, staff nurse, shift leader, and finally head of the nursing department. Her rich experience in geriatric nursing combined with her warm approach and daily contact with older patients and their families are the reason she is heading many caregiver support groups and family education programs relating to the challenges associated with ageing.

Relevant Publications

  • Moza, S., Polycarpou, M. & Nicolaou, S. (2019). FrailSafe System: An Innovative Approach on Frailty.
  • Dardiotis, E., Siokas, V., Moza, S., Kosmidis, M. H., Vogiatzi, C., Aloizou, A. M., … & Scarmeas, N. (2019). Pesticide exposure and cognitive function: Results from the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD). Environmental research, 177, 108632.
  • Fantie, B. D., Kosmidis, M. H., Giannakou, M., Moza, S., Karavatos, A., & Bozikas, V. P. (2018). What Is Going On? The Process of Generating Questions about Emotion and Social Cognition in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia with Cartoon Situations and Faces. Brain sciences, 8(4), 68.
  • Papagiannaki, E.I. Zacharaki, K. Deltouzos, R. Orselli, A. Freminet, S. Cela, E. Aristodemou, M. Polycarpou, M. Kotsani, A. Benetos, J. Ellul, V. Megalooikonomou, “Meeting challenges of activity recognition for the ageing population in real-life settings”, 20th IEEE International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom), Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Cyprus Alzheimer Association (in collaboration with Materia Group). (2013). Guide for carers of people with dementia
  • Sunday column named “Aging in Society”, Politis newspaper.
  • Batson, C. D., Polycarpou, M. P., Harmon-Jones, E., Imhoff, H. J., Mitchener, E. C., Bednar, L. L., … & Highberger, L. (1997). Empathy and attitudes: Can feeling for a member of a stigmatized group improve feelings toward the group?. Journal of personality and social psychology, 72(1), 105.

Participation In EU Projects

  • EU Project Partner ProfileHorizon 2020 – FRAILSAFE PHC-21-2015-69 PHC690140 – Understanding and Preventing Frailty. (University of Patras, Greece, Coordinator
  • AAL programme – GUIDed aal-2019-6-190-CP – Assisted living and social interaction platform. (Materia Group, Cyprus, Coordinator)
  • AAL programme – ReMember-Me aal-2019-6-188-CP – Smart assistant to prevent and detect cognitive decline, promote cognitive function and social inclusion among older adults (Materia Group, Cyprus, Coordinator)
  • AAL programme – iCan 2019-6-182-CP – ICT-based assistant for everyday life. (GeoImaging Ltd, Nicosia, Cyprus, Coordinator)

Other Projects

  • A large number of local/national intergenerational programs fostering active, healthy ageing for the elderly and volunteerism in children and empowerment of young adults, in collaboration with NGO Youth Empowerment Organisation.
  • Training Center for a number of Universities and departments in Nicosia (St Georges University (Medicine), European University (nursing, physio, speech-language-hearing therapists, business), University of Nicosia (psychology, physio, nursing), Frederick University (social work)
  • Managing an EEA grant in collaboration with Youth Empowerment Foundation, for the Empowerment of unemployed Youth through mentoring by older retired professionals.
  • AAL programme – IOANNA AAL/0217/077- ICT-based solutions for everyday facilitations in shopping management and navigation. (GeoImaging Ltd, Nicosia, Cyprus, coordinator)
  • AAL programme – STAGE ΚΟΙΝΑ/ΑΑL/0215/01– Streaming of Theatre and Arts for old Age Entertainment  (National Research Council, Rome, Italy coordinator)
  • AAL programme – Many-Me ΚΟΙΝΑ/ΑΑL/0216/04 – Social Interactive Care System to support the wellbeing of people living with dementia – (MOB, Rotterdam, The Netherlands coordinator)
  • AAL programme – MEDGUIDE KOINA/AAL/2016/052- ICT Integrated System for Coordinated Polypharmacy Management in Elders with Dementia – (Connected Care Services b.v., The Netherlands coordinator)
  • Erasmus+ – “YOUTH EMPOWERMENT by LEARNING how to truly CARE for OLDER people”- “YELCO”
  • AAL programme – FrAAgile AAL/0218/0008- Platform for detecting and preventing frailty and falls (Ideable solutions, SL, Spain coordinator)

Organizational and technical infrastructure and equipment

Materia Group has two owned and fully-equipped facilities (90 beds and currently at the stage of expansion to 120 beds) providing 24hr nursing care in different areas of the capital city, operating by a multi-disciplinary team (doctors, large nursing/caregiver team, gerontologist, psychologists, physiotherapists, sociologists, speech therapists, music and drama therapists, social workers, finance/economics managers, accountants, the nursing staff of all levels), providing a full range of care /rehabilitation / skilled nursing /dementia care services. For specific projects, the Home Care participants are approached, since the trials take place with older adults in the community. Materia also has a full-functioning administration department with offices in both units in Nicosia.

EU Partner Profile Document