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Research Landscape

  • Cyprus has a young but fast developing Research and Innovation (R&I) ecosystem.

    A new National Research and Innovation Governance System in Cyprus was adopted in 2018, leading to the establishment of new institutions and bodies, such as the National Board for Research and Innovation, the Chief Scientist and the Committee of Ministry Research and Innovation Coordinators.

    Since 2020, Research and Innovation related issues in Cyprus are being approached in an integrated and comprehensive manner under the authority of the Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy (DMRID), while the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) has been appointed as the executive arm of the R&I ecosystem.

    The main Stakeholders in Cyprus responsible for R&I Strategy, Policy, and Policy Implementation are:

    You can read more about the structure of the R&I governance system in Cyprus, here.

  • Innovate Cyprus is the National Strategy Framework for Research and Innovation for the period 2019-2023. The Strategy was prepared by the National Board for Research and Innovation, after an extensive consultation with private and public sector stakeholders (research and academic institutes, universities, ministries, other organizations, etc.) and was presented to the President of the Republic of Cyprus in May 2019.

    The R&I Strategic Framework, aspiring to bring vision into realization, revolves around three principal strategic pillars and six horizontal pillars that act as enablers:

    • Governance
    • National Strategy for Research and Innovation
    • Research Excellence
    • Knowledge Transfer and Commercial Exploitation
    • Innovative Entrepreneurship
    • Cultural Change
    • International Dimension
    • Communication and Digital Transformation

    The strategic pillars are implemented through a series of policy measures and actions following the implementation roadmap and are expected to contribute substantially to the achievement of the country’s vision.

    You can read more about the Strategy here.

  • Research and Development Activity in Cyprus (2019)

    • Total R&D expenditure in Cyprus in 2019 is estimated at €164,4 million, which corresponds to 0,74% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to €133,1 million or 0,62% of the GDP in 2018.
    • Cyprus exhibits one of the highest average annual growth rates in R&D expenditure, at 11% over the period 1998-2019.
    • Business enterprises accounted for €70,7 million or 43,0% of the total R&D expenditure, higher education institutions for €63,0 million or 38,3%, private non-profit institutions for €18,6 million or 11,3%, and the government for €12,2 million or 7,4%.
    • About 22,4% of R&D activity in 2019 was financed from government funds (€36,8 million), €21,5 million was drawn from the budget of public universities, €37,5 million from sources from abroad (including EU funds), and €68,7 million or 41,8% were contributed by the private sector.
    • The largest share of R&D expenditure was allocated to natural sciences (€65,2 million), while engineering and technology absorbed €56,4 million, social sciences €18,5 million, medical sciences €10,6 million, agricultural sciences €7,5 million and humanities €6,2 million.
    • The number of people engaged in R&D activities in 2019 was 4.082, compared to 3.754 in 2018. In full-time equivalent terms, this number is estimated at 2.121 people, of which 827 or 39,0% were women. Of these, 33,1% were PhD degree holders.

    More statistics on Research and Development in Cyprus can be found here.

    Participation in EU Framework Programmes 

    The RIF's European Programmes Department systematically monitors and analyzes data on the participation of Cypriot organizations in the EU Framework Programmes for R&I.

    Updated results are published on a regular basis here.

The RIF was established in 1996, following an initiative by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, with the initial name of Research Promotion Foundation (RPF). Since its establishment, the RIF has developed widespread activities at the National, European and International levels, with a strong focus on the development of national research funding programs, as well as the representation of Cyprus in European and International programs and organizations. Since 2007, the Foundation expanded its range of activities to also support and advance Innovation in Cyprus. Following the overall restructuring of the RTDI System in Cyprus in 2018, the Foundation was renamed to Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), and took over the role of the executive arm of this System.

​The RIF's activities cover three main areas.

R&I Organisations in Cyprus