In a meeting with representatives of the Centres of Excellence, held during a session of the House Committee on Commerce, the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Research, and Digital Policy, Philippos Hadjizacharias, called upon the seven Centres of Excellence in Cyprus to direct their research work into the market to secure funding.
Hadjizacharias emphasised that Cyprus hosts seven of the 38 Centres operating in the European Union, indicating the effectiveness of these centres, as they have successfully received approval for funding from the EU.
He explained that the government has committed to funding the seven Centres of Excellence with €15 million each, as per decisions of the Ministerial Council in 2014, 2016, and 2021. Furthermore, each of these Centres receives an additional €15 million, resulting in a total budget of €30 million for a seven-year period.
“The scale of investment by the state is a significant responsibility for ensuring the effective operation and utilisation of the Centres of Excellence for the benefit of the economy and social well-being,” noted Hadjizacharias.
During the committee discussion, representatives of the Excellence Centres expressed concerns about securing additional funding and the difficulty in attracting credible scientists due to limited resources.
Hadjizacharias emphasised that the government is taking various actions to monitor, support, and leverage the Excellence Centres. He mentioned specific efforts to utilise their valuable knowledge and services by the state. He also noted that the ministry has been and will continue to support the Excellence Centres through promotion, information sharing, and networking with policy-making and implementation bodies.
He highlighted the ministry’s policies for the utilisation of research results and for enhancing the internationalisation of ecosystem entities to access funding from pan-European programmes like “Horizon Europe.”
Furthermore, Hadjizacharias stressed the need for effective monitoring and guidance of the Centres based on government policy, economic needs, and addressing social challenges.
The Deputy Minister also emphasised the pivotal role of the Excellence Centres in advancing research activity and the competitiveness of the economy.
In addition, he confirmed that the ministry will continue to support and monitor them, providing supportive services and guidance.
In response to questions from journalists, he underscored the necessity for these centres to channel their research into the market to secure funding.
He stated that these actions would facilitate the commercialization of their outstanding research work and ultimately generate funds for their activities.
Moreover, he also acknowledged that Cyprus currently lags behind in research and outlined the steps taken to address this challenge, including collaborations with renowned international institutions.
The call to leverage research for funding reflects the necessity to foster innovation and research in Cyprus while boosting the country’s international competitiveness.