EIT Community RIS Hub Cyprus

Supporting the Cyprus innovation ecosystem

The Cyprus Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (RIE) ecosystem is experiencing notable growth, supported by strategic governmental initiatives, active academic institutions, and a dynamic private sector. The National Strategy Framework for Research and Innovation (2019-2023) and the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy are central to these efforts, creating a conducive regulatory environment and increasing funding for R&D activities. The Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) is pivotal in funding research projects and fostering collaboration between academia and industry. Key academic institutions such as the University of Cyprus, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), Open University of Cyprus, and European University Cyprus are instrumental in driving research outputs and innovation through various programs and partnerships.

However, the ecosystem faces several challenges. One major difficulty is the limited size of the domestic market, which can constrain the growth potential of startups and innovative enterprises. Access to finance remains another significant hurdle, with many startups and SMEs finding it challenging to secure necessary funding despite the presence of incubators and accelerators like CyRIC, Gravity Ventures, Kinisis Ventures, and IDEA Innovation Center. Infrastructure and support services also need further enhancement to meet the growing demands of the RIE ecosystem.

Additionally, while large corporations in ICT, financial services, and shipping sectors are investing in R&D, there is a need for more robust industry-academia linkages to foster innovation effectively. Despite these challenges, Cyprus continues to leverage its strategic location, skilled workforce, and favorable business environment. Substantial EU funding through programs like Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, alongside national funding and incentives, offer significant opportunities. Active participation in the European Research Area (ERA) and bilateral agreements with other countries also bolster international collaborations, presenting a path forward to overcoming these difficulties and fostering a resilient innovation culture.

About the EIT Community RIS Hub Cyprus

The EIT Community RIS Hub in Cyprus is dedicated to bridging the innovation divide and significantly enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the island. The hub aims to transform the unique challenges faced by Cyprus into innovation opportunities, thereby empowering the region. By connecting local actors to the extensive EIT pan-European ecosystem, the hub fosters sustainable growth through specially tailored RIS activities. The ultimate goal is to create an environment where innovation thrives, and local talent can flourish.

One of the foremost objectives of the EIT Community RIS Hub is to raise the visibility of the EIT and ensure that its presence is felt throughout Cyprus. The hub is committed to extending its reach across the island, making EIT innovation networks accessible to all. This effort will elevate Cyprus’ innovation capacity and facilitate its integration into the broader European innovation landscape. By doing so, the hub aims to support local innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses in their efforts to innovate and grow.

A pivotal milestone achieved by the EIT Community RIS Hub is the successful establishment of the RIS Hub in the heart of Nicosia, at the CYENS Centre of Excellence, led by the capital’s Municipality. This significant achievement not only symbolizes the unity and collaborative spirit of the city but also strategically positions the hub to strengthen the local innovation ecosystem. The hub serves as a central point for innovation activities, providing new opportunities for local innovators to participate in EIT Community activities, thereby contributing to the economic and social development of Cyprus.

“As the EIT Community Officer of Cyprus, I am committed to bridging the innovation divide and boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Cyprus. As the EIT Community Hub, our ambition is to empower the region by turning unique challenges into innovation opportunities, connecting local actors to the EIT’s pan-European ecosystem, and fostering sustainable growth through tailor-made RIS activities. One of my most important objectives is to raise the visibility of EIT in Cyprus and ensure that the EIT Community RIS Hub reaches across the island – providing access to the EIT innovation networks, thereby elevating Cyprus’ innovation capacity and integrating into the wider European innovation landscape.”


EIT Funding & Impact

In the period 2021-2022, 26 Cyprus start-ups were created through EIT programmes. In the same period, 454 Cyprus residents participated in EIT education and training programmes. 11 unique partner organisations and linked third parties from Cyprus participated in the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The numbers show ample space for improvement of collaboration of Cyprus individuals and organisations with EIT.

About the EIT Community Officer

Dr. Styliani Petroudi
EIT Community Officer Cyprus

Leading the EIT Community RIS Hub Cyprus is Dr. Styliani Petroudi, Head of the Research Office at CYENS Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Honorary Lecturer at University College London. Stationed at the renovated CYENS CoE premises in Nicosia’s old municipal market building, Dr. Petroudi brings extensive experience in fostering innovation and research across diverse sectors. She has a BScE and MScE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford, focusing on medical data analysis and early cancer detection using image processing and AI.

Dr. Petroudi has held academic positions at the University of Cyprus, Open University Cyprus, and the University of Girona. She coordinated a Research Excellence Proposal for personalized breast cancer detection systems and has over 50 publications in journals and conferences. Holding an MBA from the University of Cyprus, she has also worked at the Research and Innovation Foundation Cyprus.

Under her leadership, CYENS CoE has secured over 2 million euros in competitive funding in the past three years. Her efforts in applying for, coordinating, and executing numerous projects have significantly contributed to Cyprus’ innovation ecosystem. At the RIS Hub, Dr. Petroudi aims to enhance the EIT’s visibility in Cyprus, foster local innovation, and integrate Cyprus into the European innovation landscape.

Contact Details

Upcoming Opportunities

Stay updated with the latest opportunities related to Cyprus's innovation ecosystem and the activities of the EIT Community RIS Hub.

Learning Innovation Summit

Learning Innovation Summit

The Learning Innovations Summit 2024, ‘Unveiling the Future of Learning & Artificial Intelligence’, will take place on 13-14 September, 2024 at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.

Urban Mobility, City Planning, Policy Making

The Cyprus Forum is a conference organised by Oxygen for Democracy, in association with the Delphi Economic Forum and Zenox Public Affairs as communications partner.
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