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President reiterates dedication to create attractive environment for innovation

President Nikos Christodoulides has reiterated the Government's dedication to creating an attractive environment for innovation, which is demonstrated through initiatives supported by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation, and indicated that the Cyprus Institute can be a driving force in this process.

President Christodoulides was addressing the Graduation Ceremony of The Cyprus Institute, held at Nicosia Municipal Theatre on 13 June.

In his address, the President who is also Honorary Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute, emphasised that Cyprus has been identified as a strong innovator, with a performance above the EU average, recalling that only last week the Cyprus startup ecosystem was identified as the fastest growing, according to the Blink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024, ranking amongst the 50 best worldwide.

“These are testaments to the fact that the innovation ecosystem in Cyprus is enhanced by a vibrant start up culture and supportive government policies that promote entrepreneurship and technological advancement,” he stressed.

Referring to the Cyprus Institute President Christodoulides said that although in existence for less than 20 years, it has achieved unparalleled international distinction and recognition, establishing itself as a regional scientific centre of excellence in research and postgraduate education.

“The Institute has become a centre of excellence in science and technology in fields like the environment, energy, archaeology and computational sciences,” he said, noting that “the Institute's work in climate change research, for instance, the biggest challenge that we have to face, has not only contributed valuable insights to the global scientific community but also provided critical data for shaping national and regional environmental policies and contributed to the Cyprus Eastern Med and Middle East Climate Initiative”.

The President pointed out that over the past decades, Cyprus has transformed itself into a dynamic hub for research and innovation and technological advancement, enhancing its global standing and contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future, stressing that Cyprus' journey in research and innovation is a testament to the vision and determination of its people and institutions, and also a dynamic sector contributing to the sustainable growth of the country’s economy and the diversification of the productive basis.

President said that the private sector in Cyprus has also been a key driver of research and innovation as companies in sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals are investing heavily in Research and Development, leading to the creation of new products and services that are competitive on a global scale. “These investments not only spur economic growth but also create high-quality jobs and enhance the country’s technological capabilities” he noted.

And added that education plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing research and innovation, indicting that the integration of advanced laboratories, research centres, and industry partnerships within academic institutions ensures that students are well-prepared to contribute to the innovation landscape. “Initiatives to promote STEAM education among younger students are also vital, as they cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. The digital transformation of schools and the successful integration of the STEAM approach throughout the Curriculum, both in Primary and Secondary Education, is a priority of our Government” he said.

In his address President of the Republic said that The Cyprus Institute, has become a European hub of academic excellence and congratulated the Institute’s management, the faculty, all the researchers, and support staff for this achievement, which, as he stressed, is an achievement of Cyprus as well.

“Today's ceremony signifies the culmination of your hard work in challenging and rigorous postgraduate programs” President noted, while addressing to the graduates he told them that with their graduation, they now embark on the main stage of their professional life for the coming decades.

“As you move forward in your lives and your careers, I encourage you to embrace a sense of social responsibility as you explore the new horizons that lie ahead” he told them and expressed hope that they, as the next generation of leading scientists, will contribute greatly to a better world.

In his address President of The Cyprus Institute Professor Stavros Malas stressed that in its nearly 20 years of operation, the Institute managed to become a leading international research and educational establishment, adding that the Institute remains fully committed to addressing key scientific, technological, and environmental challenges facing Cyprus and the wider region.

Professor Malas also noted that the Institute’s strong regional and international partnerships with global research centres, underscore the determination to fostering scientific collaborations across geographical boundaries.

He also recalled that the Institute also provides support to Government departments and to local authorities.

Addressing the President of the Republic, Stavros Malas told him he is fully aware of his efforts to implement a program of enriching the mixture of the economy and assured that the scientific community is ready to assist the Government in this direction.

At the same time, Professor Malas indicated that regrettably Cyprus has one of the lowest national investments in research, compared to most European countries. “For this we cannot be proud of” he said, adding that “we can be proud however of the fact that the Cypriot research establishments demonstrate the best performance in competitive funding in the EU” and that the Institute is top on the list.

“This is a strong message to all of us involved in re-structuring our economy. The way to progress is only one. By investing more in research, innovation and quality education with open mindedness and out-of-box approach, we invest in economic diversity, societal maturity and confidence to navigate through rapidly changing times” he said.

To the graduates, President of The Cyprus Institute said that today is a day of formal recognition and celebration of all their efforts and determination to achieve a post graduate degree at The Cyprus Institute.

And urged them as they step out into the world to embrace lifelong learning, as education does not end with a degree, but is a continuous journey of growth and discovery.

“The message to you graduates from the Cyprus Institute to continue the journey of education so that you, know your times and act with knowledge” he told them, pointing out that quality education and lifelong learning is the most powerful weapon with which they can make a change in the world.

The ceremony was also addressed by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Professor Didier Roux who among other things, told the graduates that success in their professional life will be based in two pillars, first their technical capacity to deliver the results their institution will demand from them, and second, just as important, to be able to participate and contribute to the collective organisation of their establishment.

Co-Chair of International Resource Panel, Former European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Janez Potočnik, spoke on the Role of Sustainable Natural Resource Management for “The future we want”.

During the Ceremony, The Cyprus Institute awarded with an Honorary Doctorate former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, that was received on his behalf by his daughter Sofia Vassiliou.

(Source: CNA)

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