The workshop titled: “Financing your Innovation” organized by the Research and Innovation Foundation and in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Directorate General for European Programs, Coordination and Development, presented the three programs with a total budget of €18 million.
Two out of the three programs are for start-up businesses and the third for existing businesses.
The 1st program, with a budget of €4 million, focuses on startups at their design stage (product or service is not yet fully developed). The maximum funding for each start-up/project is €100,000 for exploring, evaluating, developing and bringing the idea to the market. The 2nd program, with a budget of €4 million, focuses on startups that have been active for just a short period of time, and their inventive product or service is at a more mature stage, but has not yet penetrated the market. The maximum funding for each start-up/project is €500,000 and this program includes actions aimed at promptly developing the inventive idea, attracting investment funds and penetrating the global market.
The 3rd program, with a budget of €10 million, focuses on existing companies already active in the market or companies who have original products / services in a test phase. The maximum amount of funding is €1 million per project which will be used to develop and optimize the product / service, start commercial production and promote as well as support the distribution of the product on the global market. Speaking to Cyprus News Agency, National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation Kyriacos Kokkinos, said that these programs are groundbreaking for Cyprus, saying that: “It is an opportunity for the enterprises of Cyprus, as well as of all Europe, to be more competitive and aims at the expansion of the economy`s productive capacity.”
He also noted that, in addition to the three programs, companies in Cyprus would be able to claim additional funds from the European Union, from programs such as Pathfinder and Accelerator.
Furthermore, Mr. Kokkinos highlighted that there was great interest in the programs so far and sent the message that Cypriot companies should put innovation high in their priorities as a necessary tool of competitiveness.
On a last note, he urged 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 businesses.