Cyprus’ Chief Scientist Demetris Skourides accompanied a talented group of students from the Neapolis University of Paphos to Luxor, Egypt, where they competed in the final round of the prestigious ICPC competition, testing analytical, critical thinking, and programming skills.

This marks the first time a team from a Cypriot university has secured a spot in the finals of this competition, which attracts students from 3,000 universities across 111 countries.

The finals included participants from globally distinguished institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon in the USA, Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, and many others from around the world.

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The team from Neapolis University achieved an honourable 79th place, vividly showcasing the potential of Cyprus universities to nurture talent that competes on an international scale. For more detailed results, you can visit the official scoreboard.

Considering these achievements, Skourides expressed his respect for the team’s efforts. “I am greatly proud of our students, who have demonstrated exceptional capabilities in such a thorough international arena,” he said. The Vice-Rector of the University, Savvas Hadjichristofis, who accompanied the team, along with Neapolis University itself, were also praised.

Notably, the university has formed a partnership with major IT companies like Jetbrains, focusing on developing and channelling new talent directly into the market.

Furthermore, Skourides emphasised that the government is dedicated to helping young people in science, technology, engineering, and math, commonly known as STEM.

He applauded the efforts of the Ministry of Education and the active engagement of the Cypriot IT Association, which supports initiatives like the IT Olympiads and robotics competitions. Such endeavours are crucial in preparing young people to meet future challenges head-on.

In a strategic move, during a meeting with William Poucher, the President of the ICPC Global Foundation, the Chief Scientist expressed his support for Cyprus to host the Pan-European Qualifier in 2026.

“Hosting this event aligns perfectly with our strategic goals, boosting Cyprus into a pivotal position as a hub of research, innovation, and technology,” Skourides said, encouraging all universities in Cyprus to seek participation in student competitions of this competence, emphasising their value in enhancing the international competitiveness of Cyprus’ academic institutions.

Lastly, Skourides highlighted the critical need for increased collaboration between universities and businesses in Cyprus.

Such partnerships are essential for developing talent and effectively channelling it into the business sector.

“It is a primary concern for both the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy and the Ministry of Education to strengthen the link between research and the productive base, ensuring that curricula and research initiatives are closely aligned with the needs of our local industry,” he concluded.