The Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe research missions are a fast and effective way of connecting research back to citizens, Director General at the Department of Research and Innovation of the EC, Jean Eric Paquet has said.
Paquet paid Nicosia a visit on Wednesday where he addressed a citizens’ dialogue titled “From Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe, research and innovation perspectives for Cyprus” held at the Ministry of Finance.
Paquet pointed out that we need to reconnect our citizens with our ambitions on innovation and capture their imaginations as well as to provide knowledge and solutions for the transitions which Europe is facing today.
The DG of Research and Innovation Department also said that we need to use science and innovation to tackle deep economic challenges and to increase productivity.
In his speech Paquet presented the five mission areas of the new Horizon EU research programs, agreed by the Council and the European Parliament. These mission areas are: Climate change adaptation, Cancer, Healthy oceans, Smart cities and soil health and food.
He underlined that deep technology, combines scientific advances and high tech engineering innovation and that the next digital revolution will combine artificial intelligence with engineering. Referring to the Cypriot researchers , Paquet said that they need to engage in the collective European research, to identify their priorities and work in sync with their neighbours.
In his speech Paquet also called upon all the citizens to exercise their democratic right and vote in Sunday’s elections for the European Parliament saying that Europe’s project is our natural habitat and natural space but also a political project that faces risks and therefore we need to vote to make it stronger.
Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, Ierotheos Papadopoulos said that there are forces which want to destroy Europe and we must not allow populism to prevail. We have seen this during the refugee crisis and this time we have an obligation to vote and change the future.
He referred to the citizens’ dialogue projects all over Europe saying that people benefit from as well as Brussels, because “we tell them what the people of Europe think”.
Papadopoulos added that research and innovation is all about the future, expressing his gratefulness to Paquet for visiting Cyprus and sharing the vision on the new Horizon EU mission.
National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation, Chairman of the Board Research & Innovation Foundation Kyriakos Kokkinos in his speech said that we are dedicated and determined to succeed in Cyprus, adding that the EC works with all member states on research and innovation.
He said that the EU has a lot of potential adding that the ecosystem as well as the know-how and the framework are in high levels and we must enhance our national policies with these elements.
Kokkinos said that although Cyprus is a moderate innovator, it has significant potential and the goal is to provide support in the areas of research and innovation so that Cypriot companies can transform.
Ioanna Kleanthous, speaking on behalf of Christos Patsalides, the Permanent Secretary of FinMin said that Cyprus has a lot of success stories to share which have multiple benefits, adding that the government contributes financially and administratively in the projects of research and innovation.
She said that we maintain a high quality in research, praising the higher educational institutions and other organizations for their results in these areas.