Innovation-supporting Euromed i-House being created in Nicosia

Cyprus’ role as a regional hub for innovation has been further cemented by the creation of Euromed i-House, a resource center and collaboration hub due to open in the heart of Nicosia.

ANIMA Investment Network, an international network that works towards economic integration and convergence between Europe, Middle East and Africa joined forces with Invest Cyprus to create Euromed i-House, with the participation of CYENS Centre of Excellence.

Described as a resource center and collaboration hub for the Euromed region to serve innovative enterprises and research, valorisation and develop solutions to face the social and ecological transition, Euromed i-House is anticipated to begin its activities in the first months of 2024.

ANIMA is holding its Annual Forum in Nicosia on 10, 11, and 12 July and, speaking to the press following the closing of the first part of the Forum, Emmanuel Noutary, General delegate, ANIMA Investment Network, Marios Tannousis, CEO, Invest Cyprus, and Yiorgos Chrysanthou, General Director, CYENS Centre of Excellence revealed more about the initiative.

Noting that ANIMA is made up of 70 member organisations in 22 countries Noutary noted that its role was to bring companies in the Mediterranean closer together through economic cooperation but also to help these companies have a better impact on the planet and its people and contribute more to sustainable development. As Noutary underlined, both objectives were connected, and required innovation and technology.

These objectives were also the reasons behind the creation of Euromed i-House, he said.

“Why Cyprus you may ask?” Noutary continued, “Firstly because of its strategic location near dynamic South Mediterranean markets like Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, who have a very vivid innovation and tech ecosystem. Secondly, because Cyprus itself has a very vivid and lively innovation ecosystem with centres of excellence, research centres, strong associations, incubators. So it’s a good ecosystem to rely on to serve innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.”

Noutary said the third reason the island was chosen as the location for Euromed i-House was because “Cyprus is at the frontline of climate change, at the frontline of the consequences of what will happen. You are already experiencing in your daily life the consequence of this change.”

He continued that the people of Cyprus had also started demanding solutions to climate issues, and that these issues were the same for all the Mediterranean countries, “Therefore, it was obvious for us to locate this innovation hub here in Nicosia.”

According to Noutary, if Euro-Med region does not want to jump from one crisis to another, its people have to join forces and collaborate to develop solutions “to, possibly, limit the consequences of climate change.” Euromed i-House, he continued, is a bold contribution to this Euro-Med collaboration, “By hosting and promoting start-up support programmes on these topics, by organising the transfer of research to companies in the region, by cooperating with international organisations, particularly the EU, to implement cooperation projects between business and innovation organisations from the Euro-Med countries, and to do that, we will capitalise on the capacities of a large network of dozens of factors of the innovation ecosystem in the Euro-Med countries.”

Noutary concluded that as cooperation initiatives were continuing, Euromed i-House was anticipated to be in a position to begin its activities within the first months of 2024.

“What we intend to do over the coming days and months is to develop technology development services in collaboration with centres of excellence who want to collaborate with us and to partner with Euromed i-House and propose their services,” he said, noting that CYENS had shown interest in the initiative from the beginning.

Work will also be carried out to structure startups programme in collaboration with corporate business, engineering schools, banks and others interest in hosting their startup support programmes at Euromed i-House, Noutary said, “and benefit from the large, international ecosystem we can offer with this new entity.” Collaboration will also be sought with European and international research and development institutions, he continued, “who want to collaborate in making an economy which stops destroying life and instead creates solutions.”

Also addressing the press conference, Tannousis noted that Cyprus was a particularly vulnerable area when it came to climate change, the topic the ANIMAL Annual Forum was focusing on towards creating cooperation.

He also welcomed CYENS interest in cooperating on the Euromed i-House effort, and thanked other supporters including the state, EU and Nicosia Municipality.

“ANIMA’s decision to create the Euromed i-House here is an honour for the city of Nicosia,” Tannousis said, adding, “It strengthens our country’s position as a regional hub for research, innovation, entrepreneurship and development and opens up new avenues for cooperation.”

Tannousis added that the promotion of a digital economy, research, development and innovation are an important part of both our national strategy and Invest Cyprus’ strategy, and part of our long-terms aims for sustainable development as described in the Vision 2035 strategy.

On his part, Chrysanthou said that Cyprus had taken great strides in terms of research and innovation over the past years, adding that Euromed i-House would be a catalyst for further regional innovation. “Today is a new beginning where there are no limits to innovation,” Chrysanthou added.