Cyprus Mail

R&D still far below EU levels, ETEK says

Investments in research and development comprise only 0.5 per cent of GDP in Cyprus, far off EU targets that aim for 3 per cent, chairman of the technical chamber of Cyprus (ETEK) Stelios Ahniotis said on Wednesday.

Essential to economic growth, Ahniotis in an interview to the Cyprus News Agency said the procedures to actually invest in R&D are actually “drowning in bureaucracy” and results by research programs never reach businesses to actually utilise the material.

ETEK is now seeking to bridge this gap having already submitted a set of proposals to the private sector through the Cyprus construction technology platform.

Discussing the problems the industry is facing Ahniotis said the absence of a complete national strategy for research and development to ensure certain research programs would be funded is a serious problem and the industry should develop one in order to bring income to the local economy.

“Unfortunately the results of the national committee for research, that was set up by Dr Philippos Patsalis have remained in drawers. Additionally, we believe that there should be incentives to the private sector such as tax deductions so they can invest in research and innovation.”

“It is with difficulty (that investment in R&D) reaches 0.5 per cent of GDP but it should, according to EU laws reach three per cent of GDP (one per cent from the public sector and two per cent from the private sector.”

As a country, Cyprus has excellent human resources that are involved or can be involved in R&D but this alone is not enough, Ahniotis added stressing the necessity of the national strategy.

“Of course there is huge room for improvement until we reach our goals set by the European Union and until we see the benefits research has on Cyprus’ economy.”

Ahniotis also hailed the creation of a technological park a step in the right direction.

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