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Cyprus, US sign science and technology cooperation agreement

Υφυπουργός Έρευνας– Υπογραφή Συμφ
Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriakos Kokkinos and US Ambassador Judith G. Garber after the signing of the agreement

Cyprus and the US on Friday signed a 10-year agreement on science and technology cooperation in what a visiting senior State Department official described as a new chapter in bilateral relations.

The agreement was signed at the presidential palace on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Kyriacos Kokkinos, and the US Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber.

The agreement recognises the importance of science and technology for sustainable growth and social development, an official announcement said.

It aims to strengthen scientific and technological capabilities, broaden and expand relations between the extensive scientific and technological communities of both countries, as well as promote scientific and technological cooperation in areas of common interest and mutual benefit.

In his statements to the press, Kokkinos highlighted the importance of science and technology for solving global challenges such as climate change, ageing population health and societal injustices.

“We deserve a greener, more sustainable, more digital and more prosperous future. And we can achieve it working closer together,” he said.

Referring to the need to leverage on each other’s strengths and competencies for mutual benefit, he added: “Our two ecosystems embody what we need in the world today to foster sustainable and inclusive growth: diverse skills, fresh ideas, real vision.

“What they need from our side, is the political framework and the tools to be leveraged for delivering faster and better results; and this is exactly what this Agreement is all about: the propulsive fuel and enabler for making it happen.

“Through this, we empower and enable our scientists, entrepreneurs, digital experts and all creative minds to see beyond limitations and challenges, access real opportunities and engage meaningfully in their societies.”

The ceremony was also addressed by Erika Olson, deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the US State Department who stressed that “science and technology are drivers for innovation, job creation, and improving the lives of our citizens by solving from public health crises to climate change.”

She expressed her appreciation to the Republic of Cyprus for its commitment to key COP26 outcomes at Glasgow, including the Global Methane Pledge and for launching the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative.

She referred to the signing of the agreement as a “new chapter in the bilateral relationship between our two nations, renewing our cooperation in scientific research and technological innovation.  This agreement highlights the guiding principles for our future collaboration, based on mutual benefit and consistency with shared scientific values. It is a comprehensive road map – and commitment – to a new day of scientific cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States.”

Both Kokkinos and Olson referred to the need to ensure equal access to the scientific and technological evolution, underlining that the world stands to benefit from the fresh, unique perspectives and experiences of women, who, in view of the skills shortage in the STEM area and the ICT sector in particular, can fill these vital positions and become true drivers of innovation and transformation utilizing the opportunities arising from this long-anticipated Agreement.

The ceremony was completed with speeches from two Cypriot scientists, Marina Prokopi-Demetriades and Vasiliki Kassianidou, who shared their experiences, views and expectations, on how to unlock Cyprus’ full potential as a science, innovation and technology hub, capitalising on the female dynamic.

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