TECHNOLOGY: EUR 18 mln boost for Cyprus business innovation

Cyprus start-ups and other enterprises will have the opportunity to raise funding from three ground-breaking programs, aimed at boosting innovative entrepreneurship and promoting products or services.

The three programs with a total budget of Euros 18 mln were presented Monday at the workshop Financing your Innovation organised by the Research and Innovation Foundation in collaboration with the European Commission, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.

Two of the programs are tailored for start-ups and the third aimed at existing businesses.

The first program, with a budget of Euros 4 mln, is aimed at start-ups that are at the design stage and their product or service is not yet fully developed. The maximum funding is Euros 100,000 per project for exploring, evaluating and developing the idea, creating an original product or service, and making the first attempts to commercialise it. Forty enterprises can be funded through this program.

The second program, also with a budget of Euros 4 mln, is for start-ups that have already been active for a short time, and their innovative product or service is at a more mature stage but has not yet penetrated the market.

The maximum funding per project is Euros 500,000 and eight companies can benefit from it. The program covers activities aimed at rapidly developing the innovative idea, attracting investment funds and successfully penetrating the international market.

The third program, with a Euros 10 mln budget, is aimed at existing companies already active in the market or having innovative products / services in a pilot phase.

The maximum amount of funding is Euros 1 mln per project and will be used to develop and optimize the product or service of the business, to start commercial production as well as to promote and support the distribution of the product on the international market. Ten businesses can benefit from this program.

Speaking to CNA on the sidelines of the event, National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation Kyriacos Kokkinos said that the programs were ground-breaking for Cyprus.

“It is an opportunity that we as the National Agency and the EU give to the enterprises of Cyprus, as well as Europe, to be more competitive and to help widen the productive base of the Cypriot economy,” Kokkinos said.

He noted that, in addition to the three programs, Cypriot enterprises would be able to claim additional funds from the EU, such as the Pathfinder and Accelerator programs.

Kokkinos pointed out that there was great interest in the programs and urged Cypriot companies to put innovation top of their priorities as a necessary tool of competitiveness.

He advised companies to get closer to the research community to see how research could add value to their business, as well as researchers to get closer to business.

Start-up culture is very important as a lever of competitiveness, and in advanced economies such as Israel, America, China and Scandinavia, the competitiveness of the economy depends on their own start-ups and their ability to operate.

Source: The Financial Mirror