Literature review Cyprus’ Vision on Research and Innovation Strategy Framework and its mission to encourage UBC.

Cyprus’ National board for Research and Innovation (CYRI) has published on May 2019 a new strategic framework called ‘2019-2023 INNOCATE CYPRUS’ which aims to set Cyprus on a new roadmap towards growth by implementing strategies that are going to increase the research and development (R&D) spending in Cyprus. Achieving the objectives of a new national development Strategy would require a significant increase in national investment for R&D, which is a significant indicator for the maturity and effectiveness of national R&I ecosystems. Adopting an ambitious national target for R&D expenditure to reach 1,5% of GDP by 2023, which translates into approximately 280 additional Mil. Eur channelled annually into the national R&I ecosystem, will intensify R&D activity, and will help Cyprus move up from the 25th place to one of the first 12 places in EU in R&D investment intensity.

The national framework revolves around 9 strategic pillars and enables of strategic importance. Those pillars are:

      1. Governance
      2. National R&I Strategy
      3. Research excellence
      4. Knowledge transfer and commercial exploitation
      5. Innovative entrepreneurship
      6. Cultural change
      7. International dimension
      8. Communication
      9. Digital transformation

The fourth pillar ‘Knowledge transfer and commercial exploitation’ is focusing on enhancing knowledge transfer among the science community, the public sector, the business sector, and the society. The purpose of the framework is to facilitate commercial exploitation of new knowledge and technology, aiming at developing competitive and added-value products, services and processes and support social innovation. In Essence, the fourth pillar aims to further link the research community to the business sector will direct research activity to areas that better address current and future needs of the industry and the Cyprus economy, contributing to the increase of R&D investments of the private sector.


CYRI has come up with a few policies to promote University-business collaboration (UBC).

    • Redefine the mission of public and private Universities and research institutes to include knowledge transfer along with education and research.
    • Effective protection of intellectual property rights.
    • Intellectual property right regimes, institutional policies, and incentive schemes for technology transfer, with a fair share of income for researchers (in royalties and spin-offs).
    • Legislative frameworks and regimes encouraging the exploitation of research results and the creation of faculty spin-offs and start-ups, particularly in publicly funded universities and research institutions.
    • Having in place a dedicated knowledge transfer office, with critical scale, experience, and expertise. The development and operation of a central Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) by the Research & Innovation Foundation, providing support to the main Universities and research organisations in Cyprus funded through public funds, will provide a cost-efficient solution for the support of academic technology transfer, built on the principles of acquiring a critical mass of research output and economies of scale. To this end, it will be necessary to formulate benchmarks to evaluate impact of the KTO and knowledge transfer activities on the economy based on defined precise outcomes and key performance indicators.
    • Identify public research infrastructures that can play a central role in the innovation ecosystem, serving as links among the major innovation actors (universities, enterprises, incubators, accelerators, etc) and as a basis to develop clusters and collaboration networks. Optimal use of public investments in research infrastructures could be materialized by facilitating access from the whole spectrum of potential users ranging from the academia, the research community, the business, and the public sector. Existing public infrastructures will be mapped, adopting measures to simplify access and remove any obstacles of legal or technical nature.
    • Enterprises should be encouraged to invest in digital transformation, as well as in research and development (R&D) activities, either implemented in-house, or in collaboration with other companies, universities, or research institutions. Encouragement could take the form of incentive schemes (i.e. tax incentives) for implementing R&D activities, acquiring specialized testing equipment and laboratories and patenting, to support development of new products and services and entering the global market. Facilitating access to existing research infrastructures and laboratories available in public and private Universities and research institutions would also support indigenous innovation capacity of the business sector.
    • Improving the innovation capacity of the business sector, as well as the capacity for scaling-up entrepreneurial activity, is considered vital for generating and transforming new ideas into competitive products, services, and processes. Digitalization, continuous training, and capacity building of human resources will support responsiveness and adaptability of enterprises to the rapidly changing business and technological environment. Encouraging extensive user involvement in the process of product and service development can help minimize risk and optimize development loops, while ensuring that products respond to the real needs of the customers.
    • Simplify procedures and remove unnecessary “red tape” in programs, incentives and measures addressing the business sector, including R&I funding programs and procedures for new companies’ registration in Cyprus.

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Author: Novatex Solutions



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