The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) unveiled on Wednesday three new programmes of a total budget of €13 million, in the framework of Cyprus` recovery and resilience plan.

The programmes were presented during an event held at the Ministry of Finance, in the presence of Minister Constantinos Petrides, Chief Scientist for Research & Innovation Nikolas Mastroyiannopoulos and Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Strategy Dr Stelios Chimonas.

The programmes are Pre-seed, Seed and Innovate.

Pre-seed has a budget of €1 million and all startups which are in the stage of cultivating an innovative idea are eligible. Each company can be funded with up to €100, 000. The duration is 18 months.

Seed with a total budget of €6 million refers to startups that wish to promote their products and services, has a duration of 24 months and the budget can reach €500,000.

Innovate has a budget of €6 million and supports companies` productivity with the promotion of their products and services abroad. The duration is 24 months and each company can get up to €1 million.

The event was broadcast online and interested parties had the chance to raise questions, which were answered by the Director of Research and Innovation Foundation Theodoros Loukaides.

Presenting the programmes Loukaides said that RIF will introduce a new knowledge centre to help with the applications and there will be a series of events and webinars with more information for interested parties.

He said that cooperation and synergies are important noting that if we all do whatever is needed we will all benefit.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides praised the role of RIF and said that it is a pillar for the promotion of research and innovation that will help the economy to become resilient and competitive.

Petrides noted that the lessons were learned from the pandemic adding that other crises will come and the economy is never static and needs to be resilient.

He added that innovation and research, digital transformation and green growth are important for the economy adding that all these and the necessary reforms will create a new model for Cyprus economy.

Dr Stelios Chimonas, Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Strategy said that the pandemic has shown us that we need to be flexible and to adapt to new realities. He said that innovation and research are the pillars for growth and sustainability and new jobs adding that Cyprus can play a role and become a regional hub.

Nikolas Mastroyiannopoulos the Chief Scientist and Head of RIF`s Board of Directors said that research and innovation, along with digital transformation and green growth will lead Cyprus to a new model of growth along with investments. He also said that RIF`s programmes have created new jobs and attracted high-risk investments.

He added that steps were taken but efforts should not stop adding that Cyprus can play an important regional role.