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Government and Cyprus Seeds join forces to strengthen innovation

September 16, 2019 at 9:48am
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A deal between the government and Cyprus Seeds for the funding of academic research teams in Cyprus comes into force following the signing of an agreement between Cyprus Seeds and the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF).

RIF will support the first 12-month cycle of Cyprus Seeds grants and services programme with up to €500,000 to match the funds which Cyprus Seeds has already secured from the private sector in Cyprus and the Greek/Cypriot Diaspora in the USA and Europe.

Specifically, the programme will support seven research teams, chosen after a very competitive application process, including a written application and a presentation of their business idea to foreign experienced entrepreneurs and experts in innovation and start-ups.

Three of the Teams are hosted at the University of Cyprus (UcY), two are from the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and two are from the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).

Cyprus Seeds is a non-profit initiative which was launched in November 2018 with the objective to support the commercialisation of game changing academic research being carried out in the universities and research centres in Cyprus.

It provides seed funding, in the form of grants, as well as business skills training combined with mentoring and networking abroad. The initial promoters of Cyprus Seeds are the Leventis Foundation, the Hellenic Initiative (THI), a not-for-profit organisation in New York, whose members are Greeks and Philhellenes of the Diaspora in the USA, which supports entrepreneurship in Greece and Cyprus, as well as individual Cypriots and Greeks of the Diaspora in the Boston area, UK and Switzerland.

The agreement signed between the RIF and Cyprus Seeds highlights the activities of Cyprus Seeds to mobilise private capital to support innovative entrepreneurship in Cyprus, to develop networks of experts and entrepreneurs abroad who will provide high-level mentoring/coaching to the Cypriot research teams and start-ups, as well as to the development of strong links of the Cyprus innovation ecosystem with members of the Greek and Cypriot Diaspora, initially in the USA.

Supporting Cyprus Seeds is part of the government’s efforts to boost Cyprus’ innovation performance, capitalising on the results of innovative scientific research from Cypriot universities and research institutes and turning national investment in research and development into tangible benefit for the economy and society.

The agreement was signed at a special ceremony that was held at RIF’s offices on September 9, between the Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of RIF, Kyriacos Kokkinos and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cyprus Seeds, Jeremy Downward.

It follows the signing of a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between the two organisations in June of this year.

In statements at the signing, Kokkinos talked about the contribution of Cyprus Seeds in changing the mindset of young scientists and researchers in our country, encouraging them to dare think in a more entrepreneurial manner.

He also referred to the key role of successful entrepreneurs of the Greek and Cypriot Diaspora in the United States and Europe, in the effort to achieve the goals of Cyprus Seeds, as they take on the role of coaches and mentors, providing hands-on, valuable support to the research teams.

Downward extended his warm thanks to the Cyprus Government for actively supporting the initiative, while also conveying the gratitude of the Hellenic Initiative who are the anchor donors of the Cyprus Seeds initiative.

Downward noted that the Agreement reflects both the Government’s commitment to support commercialisation of academic research in Cyprus, as well as its trust in the Cyprus Seeds itself in achieving its goals. He also added that he is looking forward to a close collaboration with RIF to capitalise on the talented youth of Cyprus in order to create new business ventures that will create new opportunities for employment as well as attract investors to Cyprus.

More information about the support programme of Cyprus Seeds is available on www.cypruseeeds.com.