Esteemed Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy of the Republic of Cyprus,
Your Excellency Mr. Revel, Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure and honour to welcome you here today, for this excellent initiative, aiming to further develop the cooperation between Israel and Cyprus in the fields of research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
This impeccable event organised by MASHAV and the Golda Meir MASHAV Carmel International Training Center, in cooperation with the Economic Divisions of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the State of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, the Office of the Chief Scientist which I have the honour to represent and the Research and Innovation Foundation, clearly demonstrates our overall effort to expand and strengthen the collaboration between the two countries.
Organising such initiatives aiming the exchange of knowledge and best practices using as guidance validated, efficient and successful models and strategies is perhaps now more important than ever – especially during this period of increasing global challenges. This is even more the case for countries that have advanced innovation ecosystems, such as Israel. A country that consistently tops international rankings and has earned the name “Startup Nation” for a very good reason.
With this in mind, this initiative supports six on-line lectures from distinguished Israeli speakers addressing issues related to the development of innovation support structures such as accelerators/incubators, technology parks and technology transfers offices, the attraction of investments in innovative enterprises as well as the development and implementation of state-of-the-art innovation support measures.
As close neighbours, Israel and Cyprus have established a close collaboration in many fields and particularly in research and innovative entrepreneurship, building on synergies and enhancing potential impact and mutual benefit. To this end, sharing scientific knowledge, know-how, infrastructures and data will serve as the key to unlock a true potential of tremendous value.
There are numerous examples of growing regional links between Cyprus and Israel such as the signing of the Bilateral Agreement between Cyprus and Israel for the promotion of research and innovative entrepreneurship, the signing of the Trilateral Partnership between Israel-Cyprus-Greece as well as the thought-provoking training programmes, organised within the framework of the Trilateral Partnership and provided by MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, aiming to further develop the cooperation between the ecosystems in the field of innovative entrepreneurship. Furthermore, last November, through the opening of Pafos Innovation Institute, a new joint project came to life through the collaboration of the Reichman University of Israel and the City of Pafos.
Over the past few years, Cyprus has made significant progress. The numbers demonstrate that we are on the right track. However, there is still a lot of work to be done so as to strengthen and consolidate Cyprus’ competitiveness in the international arena.
To achieve this, creating a vibrant ecosystem of startups and innovative enterprises is a top priority. But in order for Research and Innovation to flourish in our country, it is first and foremost necessary to recognise its importance in the creation of growth and develop the proper conditions that will infuse an entrepreneurial mindset.
Synergies, along with the development of a culture of creativity and innovation, are essentially the driving force for the creation of a productive R&I environment that will lead to the formation of a strong national ecosystem as well as to the development and extroversion of value-added innovative products and services. An ecosystem that is efficient and fit-for-the-future, adding value horizontally, across all sectors of the economy and building opportunities for socioeconomic prosperity, by creating new jobs, offering easier access to the various services and attracting investments.
We remain focused on implementing the government’s strategy to build a robust extroverted ecosystem, putting particular emphasis on supporting young entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators, who are, after all, the future of Cyprus.
Our core mission is to contribute to the greatest extent possible, to the creation of a dynamic and competitive economy, driven by research, scientific excellence, innovation, technological development and entrepreneurship, in order to establish Cyprus as a regional hub.
Now is the time to leverage our strengths, learn from our shortcomings, collaborate and seize the opportunities to step into the future, materializing our common mission. A mission that I, as the Chief Scientist consider as a personal challenge.
In conclusion, I would like to note that I could not be more thankful to the State of Israel for making this thought-provoking programme available, establishing solid foundations for further developments between our countries in the field of innovative entrepreneurship. Cyprus has a lot to learn and working together is a major opportunity as well as a privilege. “Alone we are smart, together we are brilliant, united we build a better future”.