Cyprus: Cyprus for ICT and R&D Business

Last Updated: 1 September 2017
Article by Shanda Consult Ltd

Cyprus is rapidly developing as a centre for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Research and Development (R&D)

Cyprus Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The Government of Cyprus has announced ICT as one of the island's priority growth sectors, a Digital Strategy and Action Plan has been developed for immediate implementation. The capital Nicosia has been identified as the future centre of Cyprus for ICT and Research & Development. Recently, a tender for the establishment and development of a large-scale Science Technology Park East of Limassol has been closed and is currently under evaluation. The Science Technology Park will host research centres, spin-off innovative enterprises and business incubators, supporting research, development, technology, entrepreneurship and development.

Main reasons for international software companies to choose Cyprus: securing software developers, serving the region and the business-friendly environment of Cyprus.

Especially Western countries and Australia are suffering from a shortage of software developers in their countries. This shortage increased the salary levels of software developers in many countries, making them often even unaffordable. Outsourcing might be one solution to the problem. However, security is often an issue, especially when new products or technologies are under development.

Many Western countries and Australia are opening branches or subsidiaries in other countries, just to secure the future need for experienced software developers. Cyprus is one of the top jurisdictions for international software companies, to secure software developers, thus providing thousands of jobs for software developers in Cyprus. The universities of Cyprus provide excellent bachelor and master programmes in computer sciences.

Being closer to the customers of the region is another reason for international software companies to choose Cyprus. Cyprus is the first choice for many software companies from the USA, Europe, Russia, Australia and other countries for running their regional headquarters from Cyprus, typically serving clients in the Middle East and North Africa, in case of European software companies, or serving entire Europe, in case of non-EU software companies.

The business-friendly environment of Cyprus is indeed attractive for international software companies. Cyprus offers certain Visa incentives for non-EU software specialists. Furthermore, Cyprus has a very competitive IP-Box Tax Regime in place, which is fully in line with the recent (2016) international amendments of tax policies for the profit from intellectual property. Intellectual property is, of course, one of the main concerns of software companies.

Major international companies of the ICT industry are operating regional headquarters in Cyprus since long years, using Cyprus as a hub for software development, system integration, testing services, disaster recovery, research & development activities, project management, and marketing & sales. To name a few well-known international companies only:

3CX – one of Europe's largest SIP-based PBX providers, owned by Dutch shareholders, has its headquarters in Cyprus.

AMDOCS -  a US company, a leading software & services provider to global communications and media companies, providing billing software and solutions for the digital transformation, with more than 22.000 employees in 85 countries, employs several hundred software developers in Cyprus.

AVG – antivirus software and mobile security, formerly based in the Czech Republic, now owned by Czech mobile security giant Avast, with a strong base of software developers in Cyprus.

FMT – Australia-based software company specialised in maintaining and handling IT legacy systems, operates software development for the European markets from Cyprus.

NCR – America-based world leader in consumer transaction solutions, including ATM teller machines, covers the entire MENA and SEA regions from its regional headquarters in Nicosia.

OpenWay – is a Belgian software house, providing payment processing software to banks, payment processors, merchants, card issuers, wireless communication industry, and similar companies.

Plath – German company providing radio signal detection software and hardware, operates a software development team in Cyprus.

TSYS – one of the largest payment solutions and card services providers for banks, governments and merchants with headquarters in Georgia, USA, employs several hundred software developers in Nicosia.

Shanda Consult will be happy to assist you with localisation services for the establishment of your Cyprus ICT and Software Development Company. Contact us.

Cyprus Research and Development (R&D)

Cyprus provides a strong and competitive workforce of scientists in the field of research & development and applied sciences, and Cyprus provides a well-developed infrastructure of research facilities in various scientific fields. In 2015, Cyprus spent only 0,46% of its GDP on Research & Development, while the EU average in 2015 was 2,1%, Germany in 2015 was 2,87%, and No. 1 in the EU in 2015 was Sweden with 3,26%. Considering the existing research infrastructure and the availability of research scientists, there is an enormous potential for further development.

Cyprus Research & Development is conducted by both private companies and universities

Research & Development activities are mainly carried out by the universities in Cyprus, with a strong focus on applied research projects. However, there are private Cyprus companies as well dedicated to R&D, for applied research, for independent research and for project management as well.

The flagship of private R&D companies in Cyprus is CyRIC - Cyprus Research and Innovation Center Ltd, which participates in more than 40 research projects worth more than EUR 40 million, largely funded by the EU. Currently, CyRIC coordinates several FP7 and Horizon projects with overall budget exceeding 20 million Euro. CyRIC is the only private company in Europe that was ranked 1st in European Research Ranking for 2014 in Cyprus. This is a very unique achievement since in all EU countries the leader is always either a public body or a University or Research Institution.

CyRIC is mainly, but not only, active in the following three areas:

  • Mechanical Engineering and Prototyping (MEP)
  • Information, Communication Technologies and Electrical Engineering (ICTEE)
  • Biomedical Engineering and Medical Informatics (BEMI)

CyRIC is also the founding member of gravit.ventures, a centre supporting founders and start-ups that provides pre-seed funding, helping founders and start-ups with business development, further fund raising and commercialization, and providing a state-of-the-art working space enabling entrepreneurs to launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.

CARDET (Center for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology) is an interesting organisation, aiming to inspire next generation education, and to promote research, innovation, and development through evidence-based practices, cutting-edge research, and empowered people.

CARDET is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental, research and development organization based in Cyprus with partners around the world. CARDET is becoming one of the leading institutions in the Euro-Mediterranean region for research, evaluation and development.

While all six universities in Cyprus are engaged in R&D activities, the University of Cyprus (UCY) provides the widest range of infrastructural facilities for Research & Development and applied research, with substantial internal funding but external funding as well. An overview of the wide range of research projects of UCY can be viewed here.

The Oceanography Centre of the University of Cyprus operates the Cyprus Coastal Ocean Forecasting and Observing System (CYCOFOS) near Limassol, which is one of the few members of the Network of European and Mediterranean Operational Oceanographic Forecasting and Observation Stations.

The Faculty of Engineering of the same university operates the Hephaistos Nanotechnology Research Centre, which pursues innovative strategic research and education in the design, manufacture, analysis and applications of nanomaterials, structures, devices and systems.

The KIOS Research Center of the same faculty contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of computational intelligence and system design, and to the application of these methodologies in the monitoring, control and management of large-scale complex systems. The KIOS Research Center has developed advanced engineering tools for the management of critical infrastructures and resources in systems such as telecommunication networks, healthcare systems, electric power systems and distribution networks, and environmental resource management and quality assurance.

The Faculties of the University of Cyprus operate around 100 specialised research laboratories in fields like, for example, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, physics, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and manufacturing engineering, and others. The well-developed research infrastructure of the University of Cyprus provides a perfect basis for interdisciplinary Research & Development and applied research.

Cyprus' International cooperation of Research & Development activities

Both the universities of Cyprus and private R&D companies of Cyprus are very closely cooperating with R&D institutions in the EU, the US and in other countries. Cyprus universities and private R&D companies are very well recognised by EU institutions and have acted, and do act, as coordinators of a large number of EU-wide R&D projects.

Cyprus' Funding of Research & Development activities

Private R&D companies as well as universities are utilising internal sources to fund their R&D projects, but mainly are funded on project basis by the EU, and by customers and clients in case of applied research.

Shanda Consult will be happy to assist you and to accompany you with your Research & Development projects in Cyprus. Simply contact us with the details of your project, and we will evaluate the best opportunities for you in Cyprus.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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