Enterprises already active in Cyprus, as well as startups, are having the opportunity to raise funding from three new programs, aiming to boost innovative entrepreneurship and internationalize innovative products or services.
The three programs with a total budget of €18 million were presented Monday at the workshop “Financing your Innovation” organized by the Research and Innovation Foundation in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
Two of the programs are aimed at start-ups and the third at existing businesses.
The first program, with a budget of € 4 million, is aimed at startups that are at the design stage and their product or service is not yet fully developed. The maximum funding is € 100,000 per project for exploring, evaluating and developing the idea, creating an original product or service, and making the first attempts to commercialize it. Forty enterprises can be funded through this program.
The second program, with a budget of € 4 million, is aimed at startups that have already been active for a short time, and their innovative product or service is at a more mature stage, but has not yet penetrated the market. The maximum funding per project is € 500,000 and eight companies can benefit from it. The program covers activities aimed at rapidly developing the innovative idea, attracting investment funds and successfully penetrating the international market.
The third program, with a € 10 million budget, is aimed at existing companies already active in the market or having innovative products / services in a pilot phase. The maximum amount of funding is € 1 million per project and will be used to develop and optimize the product or service of the business, to start commercial production as well as to promote and support the distribution of the product on the international market. Ten businesses can benefit from this program.
Speaking to CNA on the sidelines of the event, National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation Kyriacos Kokkinos said that the programs were groundbreaking for Cyprus.
"It is an opportunity that we to the enterprises of Cyprus, as well as of all Europe, to be more competitive and aims at the expansion of the economy`s productive capacity," he said.
He noted that, in addition to the three programs, Cypriot enterprises would be able to claim additional funds from the EU, from programs as Pathfinder and Accelerator.
Furthermore, Kokkinos pointed out that there was great interest in the programs so far and sent the message that Cypriot companies should put innovation high in their priorities as a necessary tool of competitiveness.
He urged companies to get closer to the research community to see how research could add value to their business, as well as researchers to get closer to business.