Bilateral Agreements or Cooperation Protocols are official documents co-signed by Cyprus and another country, for cooperation in Research and Development.
The Agreements / Protocols are signed for the purpose of developing and strengthening the scientific and technological cooperation of the two states, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The selection of the countries of cooperation is made by the Government of Cyprus, and, following the approval of the Council of Ministers, the negotiations on the forms of cooperation may commence.
Each Agreement or Protocol agreed contains individual particularities, which essentially reflect the common political priorities of the two states. However, key provisions of Intergovernmental Agreements or Cooperation Protocols include the following:
- the establishment of a Joint Committee with representatives from the two countries, which is responsible for identifying possible areas of cooperation, and establishing the conditions required for the cooperation of researchers from both countries,
- the announcement of a Joint Program of Cooperation in Research and Development, which outlines the conditions under which interested research bodies or companies from both countries are invited to jointly submit proposals for their participation in specific research projects, and
- the enhancement of cooperation between scientists, researchers and companies from both countries, for participation in European Research Programs and Initiatives, such as the European Research and Technological Development Framework Program.
Until February 2020, the General Directorate for European Programs, Coordination and Development was the Authority in charge for negotiating and signing any Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding for Research, Development and Innovation. Since March 2020, this responsibility has been handed over to the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.
Since 1999, the Research and Innovation Foundation has been responsible for the implementation of the provisions included in such Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding. This is mainly achieved through the announcement of joint calls for proposals, and by maintain close cooperation with the relevant Organizations/Services in the partner country.