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Universities to monetize research

The University of Cyprus campus

Cyprus’ public universities will be allowed to found businesses or organisations, or enter partnerships, aiming to exploit discoveries or inventions resulting from scientific research, Education minister Costas Kadis announced on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet session, Kadis said the body approved the legislative framework that will allow turning the results of scientific research, innovation, and scientific knowledge coming out of public universities, to commercial products and services, to the benefit of the economy and society as a whole.

“This is a very important decision, which makes our public universities even more modern and brings them closer to the economy’s productive fabric,” the minister said.

“We believe it will create new jobs and boost the economy. We are essentially following the example of countries that have achieved progress from such policies.”

Kadis noted that Israel’s leaps in the field of knowledge society have been based on such partnerships.

“Through this decision, our universities will be able to participate in, or found, companies, organisations, partnerships, aiming precisely to exploit the results produced through research and scientific processes,” he said.

“This was not allowed by the existing framework – this is a significant change, an important shift that will benefit both universities and the economy, as well as society at large.”

Asked what economic sectors are in scope, the minister said there are no exceptions and no restrictions.

“Wherever there might be results that may be exploited at the business level to the economy and society, our universities can seek to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved a government bill banning smoking in schoolyards.

Asked whether pupils will be able to report teachers caught smoking in the schoolyard, Kadis said “this is a law that must be adhered to by everyone, and what it stipulates in all instances will apply to our schools, too.”

“We have adapted to European norms and directives, and we will try, in collaboration with other ministries, to implement this legislation,” he said.

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