Press Release - Entrepreneurship and Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in Research and Innovation at the heart of discussions
17.07.2012, 12:22 (CET)
Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture as engines for economic growth, Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and innovation and the need for  simplification of the funding models in research programmes, will be the subjects of discussions at the Informal Competitiveness Council to be held at the “Filoxenia” Conference Center in Lefkosia (Nicosia) on the July 19 and 20.

On Thursday, July 19 2012, the Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis, will host the Informal Competitiveness Council (Industry), with the participation of EU Competitiveness ministers and the Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Mr. Antonio Tajani.

Entrepreneurial culture essential to growth

At the meeting, the ministers will discuss the role of entrepreneurship as an engine for economic growth, with particular reference to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

The keynote speakers of the morning plenary session will be Cyprus’ Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis, the Vice-President of the European Commission Mr. Antonio Tajani and Dr. Constantinos Markides, a Robert P. Bauman Professor of Strategic Leadership at London Business School. These will be followed by the plenary debate, where the ministers will discuss, in a Davos-style ‘armchair’ debate, the impulse statements given by four eminent professionals invited by the Cyprus Presidency. The four impulse statements are:

  • The case for entrepreneurship education as a solution to youth unemployment.
  • Activating untapped pools of talent for entrepreneurship – the example of boosting women entrepreneurs.
  • Innovation as a driving force for entrepreneurship.
  • Keep existing entrepreneurs going by timely restructuring enterprises and giving honest failed entrepreneurs a second chance.

During the afternoon discussions, the ministers will move to four parallel breakout sessions, where the above impulse statements will be examined in detail. The meeting will be completed with the drawing of the overall conclusions during a final plenary working session.

Research and Innovation

On Friday, July 20, the Informal Competitiveness Council (Research) will be hosted by the Cypriot Minister of Health Dr. Stavros Malas, who has the responsibility for the research portfolio during the Cyprus Presidency.  The meeting will be attended by the research ministers of the EU and European Free Trade Area countries, as well as the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Sciences Ms Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

In the morning session, the Ministers will exchange views on the promotion of the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in research and innovation, in an effort to reiterate the willingness to work consistently towards a renewed partnership, based on the principles of co-ownership, mutual interest and shared benefit. Minister Malas will introduce the topic, followed by statements from Commissioner Quinn and Italian Minister Dr. Profumo. To facilitate the discussion, the Cyprus Presidency has prepared and circulated to ministers a discussion paper, and invited three keynote speakers: Prof. E. Brezin, Former President of the French Academy of Sciences, Prof. I. Serageldin, Director of the Library of Alexandria, and Prof. I. Chet, Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean.

During lunch, Cypriot European Research Council (ERC) grantees will present their projects and discuss the role of the ERC in encouraging bottom-up activities and high quality research ideas from scientists and scholars.

In the afternoon session, ministers will discuss and exchange views on the issue of simplification of funding models, based on a discussion paper prepared by the Cyprus Presidency. The overall aim is to facilitate the process and ease the way towards the creation of conditions enabling the reduction of the administrative burden, and the time to grant, while at the same time maintaining a balance between trust and control.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Costas Yennaris

Mobile: +357 99400234
Communications Officer
George Arotis

Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism

Telephone: +357 22867161
Planning Officer, Communications Officer
Charalambos Soteriou

Planning Bureau
Research and Innovation
Telephone: +357 22602875