Chief Scientist promotes Cyprus-Japan research partnerships during Tokyo visit

Chief Scientist promotes Cyprus-Japan research partnerships during Tokyo visit

Chief Scientist Demetris Skourides recently concluded a series of meetings in Tokyo, seeking to bolster cooperation between Cyprus and Japan in the fields of research and innovation.

According to an announcement released on Tuesday by the Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), during his visit to Japan, Skourides engaged in key discussions and meetings, underscoring the government’s commitment to advancing international collaboration in research, innovation, and technology.

On April 9, Skourides met with Peter Fatelnig, Science, Innovation, Digital Technology, and European Policies Advisor at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Japan.

Discussions revolved around Cyprus’ innovation ecosystem alignment with EU strategies, the role of EU-funded Centres of Excellence, and efforts to expedite commercial utilisation of innovative ideas and technologies.

The meeting also delved into the focus areas of EU-Japan corporate relations, including energy, biotechnology, and digital technology, along with insights on the recently announced EU Data ACT and addressing common implementation challenges.

Subsequently, on April 10, Skourides participated in the opening ceremony of the Sea Japan 2024 Trade Exhibition (Offshore & Port Tech) alongside other government officials from Cyprus, including the Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry, George Papanastasiou, and Cyprus’ Ambassador to Japan, Yiannis Michailidis.

Moreover, Cyprus showcased its maritime advantages and the reliability of its flag, underscoring its status as a developed maritime centre

Skourides also highlighted the country’s focus on maritime affairs within the framework of the Research and Innovation Strategy for the development of the research capabilities of the ecosystem.

He specifically mentioned the role played by one of the Centre of Excellence, the Cyprus Marine & Maritime Institute (CMMI), in applied research and the importance placed on developing green skills and products in maritime.

Additionally, Skourides commended the excellent work being done for the digital transformation of the Ministry of Shipping under the leadership of Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanolis, while also mentioning the innovative company Cellock, which plays a crucial role in project implementation.

Furthermore, meetings were held with various Japanese officials, including the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), Nishijo Masaaki, and Odoi Satoshi (Director of International Science & Technology Science Policy Bureau).

Following consultation with Cyprus’ Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy, Nikodemos Damianou, Skourides presented the key aspects of Cyprus’ Digital Policy, confirming interest in cooperation in the fields of Research and Technology through the initiation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The Chief Scientist also met with the President of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Hashimoto Kazuhito, where they discussed the peculiarities of the two countries in the fields of basic and applied research.

According to the RIF’s statement, Kazuhito expressed particular interest in collaboration in research areas through the European Union’s Framework Programmes, in which Japan participates.

Skourides emphasised the importance placed by the Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus through actions and policies included in the Research and Innovation Strategy.

These actions, he explained, aim to strengthen relations and collaboration between research organisations and Centres of Excellence with the industry, further commercial exploitation of the results, as well as the need for the internationalisation of the Cypriot ecosystem through the promotion of participation in European Partnerships for Energy, Sustainable Blue Economy, and Rare Diseases, among others.

The discussions highlighted the mutual benefits of initiatives such as Japan’s “Brain Circulation” project and the opportunities presented for Cyprus.

On April 11, Skourides met with the Ambassador of the European Union to Japan Jean-Eric Paquet at the headquarters of the European Delegation in Tokyo.

During the meeting, Skourides briefed Jean-Eric Paquet on the pillars of Cyprus’ new Research and Innovation Strategy, endorsed by the Cabinet in December 2023.

The discussion focused on actions aimed at internationalisation and collaboration between research organisations and industry, with an emphasis on commercialising innovative companies and the role that Centres of Excellence can play in the sector.

The RIF noted that the meeting underscored the importance of EU-Japan relations in promoting innovation and scientific progress.

As a culmination of the week’s activities, the Chief Scientist visited Japan’s Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC, the largest of its kind in the country.

During a meeting with CIC’s Deputy Director Masaru Nagura, opportunities for collaboration between the startup ecosystems of Cyprus and Japan were explored.

Discussions focused on exchanging best practices, mentoring opportunities, and identifying areas of mutual cooperation for the joint promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship between the two countries.

“The actions of the Chief Scientist are part of the implementation of the Research and Innovation Strategy 2024 – 2026 and the efforts to internationalise Cyprus’ Research and Innovation ecosystem, aiming to promote cooperation of Cypriot entities in innovation and sustainable development, both regionally and globally,” the RIF statement concluded. (Cyprus Mail )

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