The framework for research and innovation in Cyprus is set by the relevant national research and innovation policies, including transport related topics.
The Development of a Long-Term Economic Strategy for Cyprus, published in January 2022 aims to contribute to the institutional, administrative and growth-sustaining structural reforms in Cyprus. The specific aims of the service contract are to support the:
- Initiatives of national authorities to design their reforms according to their priorities, taking into account initial conditions and expected socioeconomic impacts.
- National authorities in enhancing their capacity to formulate, develop and implement reform policies and strategies and in pursuing an integrated approach, ensuring consistency between goals and means across sectors.
- Efforts of national authorities to define and implement appropriate processes and methodologies by considering good practices of and lessons learned by other countries in addressing similar situations.
The Cyprus Research & Innovation Strategy Framework 2019-2023, which is the national strategy framework for research and innovation for the period 2019-2023. The framework allows Cyprus to adopt the following vision: “Cyprus to become a dynamic and competitive economy, driven by research, scientific excellence, innovation, technological development and entrepreneurship, and a regional hub in these fundamental areas”
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 (2020), 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 2022-2024, 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 were 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 Transport, 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.
Funding for R&I has been available via the Framework Programme RESTART 2016-2020 for the support of Research, Technological Development and Innovation in Cyprus. The RESTART 2016-2020 constitutes 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 Programme was 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.
The Cohesion Policy Programme 'THALIA 2021-2027' will significantly support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth and sustainable development, and will improve citizens’ overall quality of life through investments from the ERDF, the Cohesion Fund , the Just Transition Fund and the European Social Fund. The development of sustainable public transport will be pursued through the deployment of an electric bus network and active mobility such as walking and cycling. The Programme marks a shift away from the concentration on road investments in favour of multi-modal and more sustainable modes of transport. Integrated Territorial Investments will further improve the quality of life in urban and non-urban areas in Cyprus, ensuring maximum utilisation of the growth potential of cities and non-urban areas, successfully tackling social challenges, stimulating growth, liveability and innovation.
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.
The Innovation Fund (2021-2027) program helps to contribute to greenhouse gas reduction by helping to create financial incentives for new investments in the next generation of technologies needed for the EU’s low-carbon transition.
The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.