Cyprus is excelling in the fields of research and innovation, according to Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy Nikodimos Damianou.

Damianou this week visited the Cyprus Institute, where he met with its president Stavros Malas, as well as members of the administrative staff.

Damianou expressed his delight at Cyprus’ leading position in research and innovation, highlighting the significant growth of the ecosystem.

“A decade or fifteen years ago, this ecosystem was in its infancy,” he said.

“Now, it has developed to such an extent that it gives us great hope for the future,” he added.

The minister and his colleagues were briefed on the Cyprus Institute’s activities, challenges, and plans for expansion.

These discussions, Damianou explained, are of great interest to both the ministry and the state. He underscored the importance of the research and innovation ecosystem, describing it as a driving force for achieving sustainable development goals, fostering societal and economic growth, and positioning Cyprus as a regional technology and innovation hub.

“The Cyprus Institute, despite its short history, has achieved significant milestones in research, becoming a key pillar and partner not only within Cyprus but also in the broader region,” Damianou said.

He also congratulated the institute on its international recognition from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, which awarded it for its efforts in managing and addressing the challenges of climate change.

“The Institute has a leading role in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East,” the minister stated.

Damianou also highlighted the relevance of the institute’s focus areas, which include climate change, the green transition, and high-performance computing.

These areas, he stressed, are of particular interest because they align with Cyprus’s strategic goals and address critical global issues.

“For us, the fields of research, innovation, and scientific excellence are vital,” he said.

“We will continue to invest in them,” he continued, stressing that “we want to hear how we can help the ecosystem transition to the next stage of maturity, leveraging the mass generated by its successes to produce innovative services, tools, and products”.

Meanwhile, the president of the Cyprus Institute Stavros Malas emphasised the importance of keeping the Deputy Minister informed about the institute’s activities and sharing their views on the evolution of research and innovation in Cyprus.

He noted that while Cyprus has faced challenges in various fields within the EU, it has significant achievements to showcase in research.

“In many areas, our performance has not made us proud, but in research, Cyprus can boast of substantial accomplishments,” Malas said.

“You are heading one of the most crucial, if not the most crucial, ministries,” he remarked, addressing the visiting minister.

“Research and innovation have proven to be the most powerful and important tools for creating sustainable development,” he added.

In addition, he pointed out that Europe’s experience has shown that countries investing in research and innovation achieve sustainable development beyond mere economic growth.

Furthermore, Malas welcomed Damianou’s initiative to evaluate Cyprus’ nascent research ecosystem, urging him to set high standards.

“We must continue to excel and avoid the temptation of mediocrity,” Malas concluded.