Speech of the Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Nikolas Mastroyiannopoulos at the meeting with Eratosthenes-Excelsior | 28 May 2021

Distinguished participants,

Ladies & Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I address you today, at this meeting, although it would be great to meet you all in person.

We are particularly proud of the establishment of world-class Centres of Excellence in our country which facilitate access to new scientific networks and unlock new opportunities for economic development. In fact, the Excelsior Project is one of the most ambitious in the Research and Innovation history of Cyprus, aiming to establish our country in the field of space-based technologies. Space and related technologies were once considered to be too advanced for a country as small as Cyprus. Α possibility that not many would have dared to consider twenty years ago.

As we all know, Eratosthenes aspires to become a fully functional Innovation Hub and a Research Excellence Centre in the EMMENA region, focusing on fields of research such as earth observation, geospatial information and analysis and space applications, whilst creating an ecosystem where state-of-the-art sensing equipment, cutting-edge research, targeted education services and entrepreneurship come together.

For us, as the National Research and Innovation Governance System, but also for me personally, as the Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Research and Innovation Foundation, the achievement of strategic partnerships and collaborations that will broaden the cooperation networks for the benefit of our scientists and entrepreneurs, and the establishment of channels for international knowledge transfer that will provide the ecosystem with access to the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs, is a top priority.

In addition to the total €15 million funding that the Republic of Cyprus will allocate to the Centre of Excellence, we have committed to support Excelsior – together with the other Centres of Excellence – in overcoming challenges and achieving sustainability in the long term.

By concluding, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate Eratosthenes and Excelsior for their hard work. Thank you once again for the invitation to address today’s meeting and I wish the discussions will prove to be valuable and beneficial in everyone’s future endeavours.