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RIF Director General: The Cyprus R&I ecosystem is on the rise

“If this was 10 years ago, we would probably have a lot fewer people here,” Theodoros Loukaidis, Director General of the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), said addressing the "Cyprus: The New Global Tech & Innovation Hub Summit" in Limassol.

Loukaidis was referring to how a decade ago, Cyprus’ research and innovation ecosystem was still in its infancy, and yet it has grown significantly, with 10 universities, nine research institutes, seven Centres of Excellence, five incubators and accelerator programmes, to name but a few. Add to that the 2022 European Innovation Scoreboard, where Cyprus’ performance increase rate was among the fastest in the EU, and it is safe to say that Cyprus’ R&I ecosystem is on the rise.

The RIF's Director General also mentioned the strong performance of Cyprus when it comes to drawing in funds from the EU, such as the €320 million from Horizon Europe 2020, of which 30% went to Cyprus-based SMEs.

Loukaides stated that the Foundation's mission is to be a driving force behind the enhancement and further development of Cyprus’ research and innovation ecosystem. Over the past three years, he said, it has allocated €30 million to startups and innovating companies, resulting in private investment from the EU, the US and beyond, as well as acquisitions from major global companies.

He also discussed the RIF's new programme called DISRUPT with a total budget of €10 million that will fund cutting-edge innovations with the potential to create new or disrupt existing markets. Finally, he mentioned the RIF's Knowledge Transfer Office and Innovation Factory which offer IP strategy and coaching and mentoring respectively, among other services.

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