The size of a country does not determine its competitiveness, Cyprus’ Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation says

Strategy and execution as well as synergies with key players determine the competitiveness of a country and not its size, Kyriakos Kokkinos Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation of the Republic of Cyprus said Wednesday, addressing the 13th Conference of House Speakers of the Small States of Europe which convenes in Nicosia.

Kokkikos, who delivered a speech titled ”Small European States in the digital era: challenges, opportunities and best practices”, said that the pace of change in our era is not just technological but also related to demographics, migration, climate change and economic power which shifts between the west and the east and affects the small states and their readiness to keep up.

He also spoke of the digital gaps between the EU states referring to the Digital economy and society index in which Finland is number one and other states are performing differently. According to data at global scale, as Kokkinos said, the number one country is US and Singapore, which is a small state, is number two. So, he added, size does not matter, it is a matter of strategy and execution. The size does not determine your competitiveness, he went on to say, and referred to Lithuania which on global scale, is number 29.

Cyprus’ Chief Scientist also referred to the concerns as regards the future impact of technology which are related to job security, living standards, education, safety and housing and said that the key consideration to have in mind is how to invest in technology and its many categories such as Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things etc.

In his speech Kokkinos said that the important thing to have in mind as regards the future of work is to have high level digital skills , pointing out the need to transform the education system and inject these skills so that our kids, who are the future employees, will have these skills in order to be hired. They also need creativity, problem solving skills, adaptability and competitiveness, he said.

The Chief Scientist also said that technology needs the right regulatory framework and referred to the measures taken to this end by the Cyprus government including the set up of a Deputy Ministry for Digital Transformation and the drafting of the national strategy on digital transformation.

According to Kokkinos, it is easy on paper to discuss digital transformation, but in reality you need advanced digital skills, cybersecurity framework, high performance computing and AI.

Addressing the participants, the Chief Scientist also spoke of Cyprus’ success story as he described it, which refers to the high performance of Cyprus in the teaming up program of EU. He said that this program allows countries to team up with other centers of excellence that are acknowledged in European level and have key players.

Kokkinos said that out of 850 applications the EU granted 26 grants and 6 of these grants are from Cyprus (KIOS Center for IT, RISE Center for AI , CY-Biobank, A center for climate change and environmental monitoring, a Center for maritime research and a Center for blue economy).

Source: Cyprus News Agency