Cyprus is already on the technological map and aspires to become a regional hub for science and technology companies, said Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos, calling on start-uppers to believe in themselves and demand from the state what they deserve.
Kokkinos was addressing the opening ceremony of the three-day technology festival "Reflect 2021", which began in Limassol, with the participation of more than three thousand people from Cyprus and abroad and 80 speakers from around the world.
The Deputy Minister said that Cyprus is already on the technological map and pointed out that this is evident from the organisation of the festival in Limassol and its great impact. He added that Cyprus is business friendly and already a regional player that could aim higher.
“We need alliances, we need minds and energy to intermix and get higher and greater. It really gives me a lot of courage and energy being here with you today” he said, adding Cyprus within the European Union and countries of the region could build a future of prosperity for the citizens and for young people who deserve better.
“We see great minds in science and technology with great research output, with great output. But when it comes at a specific point, where the start-up is not properly funded, supported, encouraged, we see a brain drain towards other continents, especially USA and now China. So these minds are becoming the fuel of other economies, not of our countries,” he said.
He added that we need to reverse this brain drain and make it a brain game for Europe.
“As policy makers, we need to listen to you, get the messages and get closer and support you”, he said.
He also said that the young generation has the greatest potential and the least opportunities. In Cyprus, he added, 75-78% of our highest school graduates go for a university degree, they are great minds with great potentials, but they do not cash out this investment of their education into great jobs.
Addressing the start - uppers, he said “you need to take your destination in your hands. Believe in yourselves, believe to your start - up company”.
In his own speech Nikolas Mastroyiannopoulos congratulated the organisers of the event, saying that “by working together we can boost innovation further, make it scalable and make it impactful to the people to the society and to our economy”.
As a government, he said, we are totally committed to support all the way, first thinkers and innovators.
“We are trying to support through different means, financial support, early stage funding for these great ideas, we are creating the infrastructure for technology transfer in our country. We need to bridge and connect large corporate companies and start-ups” he said.