Cyprus – National Digital Strategy 2020-2025
The Digital Strategy for Cyprus 2020-2025 (adopted in June 2020) is the key policy document to accelerate Cyprus digital transformation. The implementation of the Digital Strategy is coordinated by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy (DMRID).
Digital Strategy for Cyprus 2020-2025 is grounded in a clear vision for change. The vision statement foresee that Cyprus will become a fit-for-the-future society and knowledge-based economy enabled by digital and emerging technologies that will drive sustainable economic growth, social prosperity and international competitiveness.
Implementing this vision relies on achieving four strategic objectives:
- technology that works for people;
- a vibrant, sustainable and resilient digital economy;
- an open, democratic and inclusive digital society;
- a green, digital transition for Cyprus.
The strategy describes targeted and concerted action across each one of the dimensions of the national digital transformation: government - society - economy enabled and orchestrated via "Government as a Platform". Four strategic portfolios have thus been compiled to organise all the strategic initiatives that make up the country's digitalisation action plan.
The Digital Government Portfolio includes initiatives relevant to the transformation of the government itself. This portfolio encompasses initiatives aimed at upskilling and reskilling initiatives to increase the public sector's digitalisation competency. Whilst the Digital Infrastructure, Economy and Society Portfolios include initiatives relevant to the transformation of the national infrastructure, economy and society more widely.
In the field of digital skills these portfolios encompass initiatives aimed at:
- The development of basic and lifelong digital skills to equip every resident with the skills required to confidently interact with the digital government, manage their information and communications (receive email, use chats etc.), make digital transactions (shopping and paying things online) and stay safe online (through basic IT literacy and cybersecurity skills).
- Supporting the digitalisation of local businesses and business sectors by providing upskilling, tools, support and guidance, to enable businesses regardless of type, sector and digital maturity level to make the most out of digital and build a more efficient and profitable way of delivering higher quality services/products.
- The development of the Next STEM Generation to increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics graduates from Cypriot universities (local and international students) and strengthen the concentration and retention rates of such specialists in Cyprus' workforce.
- The design of reskilling and upskilling interventions aimed at the private sector workforce but also aimed at unemployed persons - so as to increase their competitive edge in the labour market.
The Digital Cyprus Strategy enjoys both national and EU backing and sponsorship and is supported by both national and EU funds (including but not restricted to the Resilience and Recovery Facility).
In implementing the National Digital Vision, Cyprus can capitalise on available sources of funding both at the national and at the EU level. The most important funding tools available are:
- The EU Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) is the key instrument at the heart of the NextGenerationEU - EU's plan for emerging stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. In its national Resilience and Recovery Plan (RRP), Cyprus has included reforms and investments of around €282 million, devoting 23% of the total cost to digital objectives, included primarily under the 'Policy Axis 4: Towards a digital era', as well as within different components of all other Policy Axes. Actions included within the RRP include, among others, more than €170m for the promotion of e-government, €53 million for ultra-fast connectivity, €24 million for the enhancement of digital skills across government, industry, academia and society, and €35 for the development of smart cities throughout Cyprus.
- Other EU Funds and programmes such as funds stemming from the Digital Europe Programme, the Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon Europe, European territorial cooperation (ETC), EU4Health and also the EU Structural and Investment Funds.
- National Digitalisation Funds allotted via the national budget.
The strategy is coordinated by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy with the active involvement of other public sector organizations, as well as business, Academic sector, scientific community and social partners.