The vital effort to commercialize promising research in Cyprus, which The Hellenic Initiative (THI) supports as an Anchor Donor of the Cyprus Seeds program, has been given a great boost through a €500,000 grant to the first round of the program by the government’s Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), THI announced on September 13.

Cyprus Seeds is a non-profit initiative which was launched in November 2018 with the objective to support the commercialization of game changing academic research being carried out in the universities and research centers 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 THI, the Leventis Foundation, as well as individual Cypriots and Greeks of the Diaspora in the Boston area, UK, and Switzerland.

The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) is the national agency responsible for supporting and promoting research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus.

In statements at the signing of the Agreement, RIF Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation and Chairman of the Board of Directors Kyriacos 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.

Cyprus Seeds Chairman of the Board of Directors Jeremy Downward extended his warm thanks to the Cyprus Government for actively supporting the initiative, while also conveying the gratitude of The Hellenic Initiative which supports the Cyprus Seeds initiative as Anchor Donors.

The Agreement 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 RIF at a special ceremony at RIF’s offices on September 9. The Agreement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between the two organizations in June of this year.

RIF will support the first 12-month cycle of Cyprus Seeds grants and services program with funds, 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 Program will support seven research teams, chosen after a very competitive application process, including a written application and a presentation of their business idea to experienced foreign 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 (ΤΕΠΑΚ), and two are from the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).

The Agreement signed between the RIF and Cyprus Seeds highlights that the activities of Cyprus Seeds to mobilize 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.

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