Finance Minister Harris Georgiades on Monday presented a bill to establish a Deputy Ministry of Innovation and Digital Policy.
Addressing the House finance committee Georgiades said that the digital transformation will bring about unprecedented changes, for which the government must be well prepared.
He said that projects costing €250 million are already underway and that significant strides had been made in the last two years in the area of research and innovation. Georgiades stressed however that there is still a way to go in terms of coordinating projects which are dispersed in various departments and services.
The new deputy ministry, the minister said, will make the most of existing staff and structures without extra operational cost and “will increase the state`s ability to promote policies, to activate productive forces, to effectively take part in the EU, with the ultimate aim of expanding our economy`s productive base, the creation of quality jobs which we can achieve through a focus in research and technology.”
The new deputy ministry will bring together the Department of Information Technology Services which is now under the Ministry of Finance and the Electronic Communications Department which is now under the Ministry of Transport.
Once the Deputy Ministry is established, Georgiades said, it will be staffed with about 220 people.
The finance minister urged the parliament to approve the bill as soon as possible.