The Research and Innovation (R&I) Strategy of Cyprus focuses on safeguarding the undistracted access to knowledge by establishing open and facilitated access to large RIs throughout Europe. In the case of small, secluded countries, such as Cyprus, where physical mobility problems are inherent due to remoteness and insularity, there is increased emphasis on e-infrastructures (e-RI) as a means for diminishing the digital divide in Europe.
The Research and Innovation (R&I) Strategy of Cyprus attaches great importance to the capacity building and the development of high quality Ressearch Infrastructures (RIs) in the country. Furthermore, it focuses on ensuring access of national stakeholders to pan-European RIs. The aim is to provide the necessary tools to support the national research community, promoting at the same time its extroversion and enhancing the collaboration between research, education and industry for the benefit of the society. Top priority for Cyprus is the removal of any potential barriers to cross-border access to pan-European RIs from which, as a small Member State with limited capacity in investments, can derive great benefits. At national level, emphasis is given in easing the access in national RIs, mainly through the simplification of access procedures and the removal of any obstacles of legal or technical nature, as Cyprus considers very important the optimisation of the use of national RIs and the widening of the scope of use, in order to cover the whole spectrum of potential users from the academia, the research community and the business world.
Governments’ policy on the development of RIs is composed of a number of policy tools and actions. Firstly, there are ongoing procedures, which will contribute to the preparation of the national Roadmap for the Investments in RIs, including ESFRI Infrastructures. In this frame, preparations for a mapping exercise for the existing Research Infrastructures in Cyprus as well as the evaluation of a call of interest for the identification of the national stakeholders’ needs and opportunities, for the participation and access in Projects and Landmarks of the ESFRI Roadmap 2016, are currently underway. Based on the results of this procedure, the Government will provide support at policy level as well as financial support for the participation of national stakeholders in the European RIs i.e. cover the national participation fee and provide to interested parties the required national support.
Furthermore, funding for the development of new Research Infrastructures, in the priority sectors recognised by the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus (S3Cy), is provided, on a competitive basis, by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) under the national research funding program Restart 2016- 2020, which was launched in September 2016. The government policy also attaches great emphasis on the promotion and support of the participation of national proposals in European competitive programmes such as HORIZON 2020. In this respect, Cyprus considers that the Programme “Teaming for Excellence”, is a great opportunity for Cyprus to pursue the creation of Centres of Excellence and greatly enrich the Research Infrastructures landscape of the country.
The most important national priorities and ongoing actions are listed below:
- Preparation of a National Roadmap for the investments in Research Infrastructures including ESFRI Infrastructures
- Support national stakeholders as regards their participation in ESFRI Research Infrastructures
- Support for the development of new Research Units and Laboratory Capacities
- Promote optimal utilisation of publicly funded Research Infrastructures
- Investigation of the possibility of absorbing EEA grants to support Research Infrastructure in Cyprus