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13-06-2024 19:29

Address by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, at the 2024 Graduation ceremony of The Cyprus Institute

I am delighted to be here with you today at the graduation ceremony of The Cyprus Institute. Although the Institute has been in existence for less than 20 years, it has achieved unparalleled international distinction and recognition, establishing itself as a regional scientific centre of excellence in research and postgraduate education.

The Institute has become a centre of excellence in science and technology, in fields like the environment, energy, archaeology and computational sciences. The Institute's work in climate change research, for instance, the biggest challenge we have to face, has not only contributed valuable insights to the global scientific community but also provided critical data for shaping national and regional environmental policies as well as contributed to the Cyprus Eastern Med and Middle East Climate Initiative.

Over the past decades, Cyprus has transformed itself into a dynamic hub for research, innovation and technological advancement, enhancing its global standing and contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future. Cyprus' journey in research and innovation is a testament to the vision and determination of its people and institutions. It is also a dynamic sector, contributing to the sustainable growth of our economy and the diversification of the productive basis.

Our country has been identified as a strong innovator with performance above the European Union (EU) average. Only last week, the Cyprus startup ecosystem was identified as the fastest growing, according to the Blink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024, ranking amongst the 50 best worldwide. These are testaments to the fact that the innovation ecosystem in Cyprus is enhanced by a vibrant start up culture and supportive Government policies, which promote entrepreneurship and technological advancement. The Government's dedication to creating an attractive environment for innovation is demonstrated through initiatives supported by the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation. The Cyprus Institute can be a driving force in this process.

The private sector in Cyprus has also been a key driver of research and innovation. Companies in sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), renewable energy and pharmaceuticals are investing heavily in Research and Development, leading to the creation of new products and services that are competitive on a global scale. These investments not only spur economic growth but also create high-quality jobs and enhance the country’s technological capabilities.

Education plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing research and innovation. The integration of advanced laboratories, research centres and industry partnerships within academic institutions ensures that students are well prepared to contribute to the innovation landscape. Initiatives to promote STEAM education among younger students are also vital, as they cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. The digital transformation of schools and the successful integration of the STEAM approach throughout the curriculum, both in primary and secondary education, is a priority of our Government.

The Cyprus Institute, renowned for its high-calibre educational programs, has become a European hub of academic excellence. I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the Institute’s management, the faculty, all the researchers and support staff for this achievement, which is an achievement of Cyprus as well.

Graduates' research is featured in leading international journals within their respective scientific fields, and their impressive employment record spans both local and global opportunities. Following the success of its doctoral programs, the Cyprus Institute has expanded its educational portfolio with PhD programs that are offered jointly with internationally recognised universities from around the world. Many of these students are amongst us tonight for their big graduation night!

Today's ceremony signifies the culmination of your hard work in challenging and rigorous postgraduate programs. With your graduation, you now embark on the main stage of your professional life for the coming decades.

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you for your success as well as to your academic supervisors and families, who are here today to celebrate with you and share your happiness. I wish all of you a journey marked with scientific achievements and personal fulfilment. Always remember that the sky is the limit!

As you move forward in your lives and your careers, I encourage you to embrace a sense of social responsibility as you explore the new horizons that lie ahead. We all hope that you, the next generation of leading scientists, will contribute greatly to a better world.