The framework for research and innovation in Cyprus is set by the relevant national research and innovation policies, including transport related topics.
The key elements of the national research policy are set out in: (a) the Development Strategy Framework, where the Ministries are invited to prepare, on an annual basis, Strategic Plans and Activity-based Budgets and (b) the Cyprus Research & Innovation Strategy Framework 2019-2023, which is the national strategy framework for research and innovation for the period 2019-2023. Moreover, the Smart Specialisation Strategy document which is a comprehensive economic transformation agenda, tailored to the specifics needs of each region or country, aiming to contribute towards economic development is also an important policy document. The Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus highlighted “Transport/Shipping” among the selected priority areas.
Cyprus does not prepare National Transport Plans but transport policies and transport related issues are addressed in various Government policy documents such as the Revised Europe 2020 National Reform Programme of the Republic of Cyprus (2019), which contains the national strategies for various economic sectors including transport and well as on the strategic planning document of the competent Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. Moreover, information on national transport policies and actions could be found in European publications such as the CEDR Action Plan 2019-2020, prepared by the organisation of European national road administrations where Cyprus is a member, providing a strategic map from a European perspective.
The National Research and Innovation Governance System, as adopted in October 2018, has led 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. In addition, as of March 2020, Research and Innovation (R&I) related issues where approached in an integrated and comprehensive manner under the competencies of the Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, and the operation of the Research and Innovation Foundation as the executive arm of the system.
The Deputy Ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, is the competent authority for the design and implementation of the Government policy for R&I. By supporting scientific research, investing in innovative entrepreneurship and implementing an ambitious digital transformation reform, the Deputy Ministry aspires to develop a modern and efficient state, competitive at European and international level, and a dynamic digital economy, where every citizen and every business will be able to grow and prosper.
The National Board for Research and Innovation (NBRI) is the advisory to the President of the Republic body for defining R&I strategy. The Council is responsible for promoting and implementing the National Strategic Framework for R&I, for submitting proposals and suggestions on strategy issues and for monitoring the implementation of actions adopted at policy level.
The Chief Scientist coordinates and supervises the formulation of the national R&I policy and the overall operation of the National R&I Governance System, including the Departments and Bodies involved in both the political and operational levels. In addition, the Chief Scientist participates as ex-officio member and supports the work of NBRI.
The Ministries also play a considerable role on thematic research policy via the Committee of Ministry R&I Coordinators which operates under the chairmanship of the Chief Scientist. Overall responsibility for transport lies with the Ministry of Communications and Works. Urban transport policies are also partly formulated by the Ministry of Interior and more specifically by the Department of Town Planning and Housing, which is the responsible department for the formulation and publication of urban plans.
Finally, the Research and Innovation Foundation is the national agency responsible for research and innovation in Cyprus and acts as the executive arm of the National R&I Governance System.
Currently, there is no national research funding framework specifically targeting transport. The Government is the main source of institutional funding, and most transport research is funded by the multi-annual R&I framework programmes announced by the Research and Innovation Foundation.
At present, funding for R&I is available via the Framework Programme RESTART 2016-2020 for the support of Research, Technological Development and Innovation in Cyprus. The RESTART 2016-2020 constitute a multiannual framework of Programmes for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) in Cyprus, co-funded by national and European funds and implemented in conjunction with other national initiatives and programmes.
The structure of the RESTART 2016-2020 Programmes is based on the objectives, as well as the Priority Areas presented in the Smart Specialisation Strategy for Cyprus. At the same time, it is part of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Sustainable Development 2014-2020”, the development strategy of Cyprus for the use of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) resources under Priority Axis 1 “Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Economy”. The Priority Area “Transport/Shipping” is among the selected thematic priorities.
In addition, funding for research and innovation in transport related topics is available via European competitive R&I programmes such as Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2014-2020, and the successor programme Horizon Europe 2020-2027.