The new Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Philippos Hadjizacharias took over the portfolio of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy during a brief ceremony this week from outgoing minister Kyriakos Kokkinos.
In his first statement to the press, Hadjizacharias said that “it is with great honour that I assume the position of political head of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy from today”.
“I want to assure the President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulidis, who entrusts me with such an important portfolio for the technological development of our country, that I will be seen as worthy of his expectations. We will do our best to carry out the mission of the Deputy Ministry and the implementation of the goals set in the pre-election programme,” he added.
Moreover, the new deputy minister used his first statement to reference the difficult conditions that Kyriakos Kokkinos had to manage and navigate at the helm of the deputy ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, he also touched on problems and challenges that arose in the past, which he intends to identify and make sure do not happen again in the future.
It should be noted that former deputy minister Kyriakos Kokkinos has set the standard very high, having a positive and active participation in the island’s technology and startup ecosystem. What is more, technology-related problems will always come up and will need to be dealt with accordingly.
“The rapid technological development and the challenges at the global level require us to bring Cyprus to a competitive level in terms of research, innovation and the big bet of the transition to the digital transformation of the government,” Hadjizacharias said during the ceremony.
“It is time to initiate the new digital era in the well-intentioned interest of our fellow citizens, businesses and our country,” he added.
The new deputy minister went on to say that “our goal is to make Cyprus a protagonist of technological developments by giving power to research and innovation”.
Meanwhile, Hadjizacharias also mentioned that during the last few days, he conducted thorough discussions with Kokkinos and Stelios Himonas, the Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, and he hopes to have excellent cooperation with all of the ministry’s staff.
Furthermore, he said that he plans to develop excellent cooperation with the other ministries, something which can prove to be a major reason for his success in this new position.
Lastly, the new deputy minister urged Kyriakos Kokkinos to share his suggestions, opinions and any future concerns.
On his part, Kyriakos Kokkinos wished the best to the new deputy minister and said that the digital transformation is a journey with a beginning and not an end.
He added that he will be available to help the deputy ministry at any point in the future.
Finally, Stelios Himonas welcomed the new minister and promised hard work to achieve their goals.