Cyprus, as an innovative economy, based on European indicators, currently ranks 10th, compared with 22nd until five years ago, when it did not have the institution of the Chief Scientist, Deputy Minister Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Deputy, Kyriacos Kokkinos said on Tuesday. Addressing an event organised by the Cyprus Institute, Kokkinos also noted that, Cyprus is the only southern European country that is in the top 10, with the other nine countries being from Central and Northern Europe.
“We are among Europe's Strong Innovators,” he stressed, adding that Cyprus is one of the most innovative economies in Europe today a fact that is “not well known”.
The Deputy Minister also said that the Cyprus Institute has an excellent research infrastructure and produces “enormous work” even in data management.
He added that the establishment of the Cyprus Institute, “was a bold plan that was implemented with great success”, adding that the organisation still operates as a start-up , due to “the excellent scientists, the scientific work and the excellent Board of Trustees who keep the Institute on its right path”.
The Cyprus Institute, Kokkinos, said, has brought results scientifically but not only, many of which “have been transformed into added value” within society and the economy through commercialisation, through application, and cooperation with organisations.
He also referred to the role of research institutes in general, referring to their ability, as he said, to turn knowledge into “true added value” and to better quality of life, not only for the citizens of Cyprus but also of the wider region. In Cyprus, there are around 2,450 researchers today, he said.
The new President of The Cyprus Institute’s Board, Dr. Stavros Malas, said, among other things, that, Cyprus over the last 30 years has developed higher education and research, which contributes 8.5% of the country's GDP. In other words, he added, about 10% of the economy relies on such institutions.
“If we look at it quantitatively”, he continued, “this institution is a protagonist, because the state contributes a significant percentage but the return on this investment is many times that of other institutions”.
The outgoing President of the Institute’s Board, Dr. Costas N. Papanicolas, said that, the Board, and the staff of the institute were proud of everything that has been achieved over the past 15 years. The path was by no means easy, he stressed, adding that the achievements of the Institute are many and its recognition is international.
According to a presentation, the institute’s staff consists of 289 people from 30 different nationalities. The Institute is made up of five research centers (Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC), the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC), the Computation-based Science and Technology Research Center CaSToRC, the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) and the Science and Technology Enabled Development, Innovation and Policy Research Centre (STEDI-RC).
The Cyprus Institute offers doctoral and postgraduate programmes while 55% of its students are international, with 26% of them coming from third countries.