Mr. Hadjizacharia stated that the Deputy Ministry has emphasized and emphasized three key areas, namely cyber security, digital transformation, research and innovation
The issue of bureaucracy, centers of excellence, cyber security, artificial intelligence and digital transition were among the topics discussed during the presentation of the budget of the Undersecretary for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy for 2024. According to figures , submitted by the Deputy Ministry to the Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee, the total expenses for 2024 amount to 160.5 million euros, while the revenues to 11.1 million euros.
Mr. Hatzizacharia within the Committee presented and analyzed the expenses and revenues of his Deputy Ministry, pointing out that the Deputy Ministry is now organized and is the pre-eminent political body with horizontal responsibilities in the fields of the digital transformation of Cyprus, the promotion of innovation and protection of electronic infrastructure.
After the end of the Committee, Mr. Hatzizacharia mentioned that the Deputy Ministry has emphasized and emphasized three main areas, namely cyber security, digital transformation, research and innovation. Regarding the latter, Mr. Hatzizacharia said that the aim is to channel the findings of the research, produced both by the research centers and by other research institutions, into the ecosystem.
He added that more will be sent to the Members of Parliament information regarding the 87 projects, which are managed by the Deputy Ministry of Innovation, saying that 40 are under the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Mr. Hadjizacharia said that the way in which the digital transformation will proceed was thoroughly analyzed in Parliament, saying that projects will be announced very soon, which will be given to the public, adding that one of them is e-justice, the integrated electronic system of justice.
When asked about the electronic identity, Mr. Hatzizacharia said that with regard to the electronic identity and signature, these will be implemented in 2024, noting that they are among the priorities of the Deputy Ministry.
He stated that the goal is to fight bureaucracy, while he underlined that for every project or information system that will be implemented, a study and evaluation will be done in advance for the management of human resources.
Speaking about the issue of cyberattacks, Mr. Hatzizacharia stated that specific actions are underway such as risk assessment, the installation of sensors on servers of 32 critical infrastructures, penetration tests, while very soon there will be an announcement of positions for 21 specialized people, with the purchase of services, who will they deal exclusively with cyber security.
DISY Member of Parliament, Haris Georgiadis, requested a more detailed note from the Deputy Ministry of Innovation in order to understand the costs of exactly what is included in the projects, which will be implemented. He noted that a significant fund under the research fund is allocated to the research Centers of Excellence and asked whether there is satisfaction with their operation, with Mr. Hadjizacharias answering that for 2024 more than 14 million euros are foreseen for the Centers of Excellence.< /p>
“In addition to the production of research work, the Centers of Excellence must channel the research into the broader ecosystem of our country and the best way to channel it is to be able to commercialize it,” said the Deputy Minister. Mr. Georgiadis also touched on the issue of e-government, saying that the digital transition should be an opportunity to reduce bureaucracy.
DISY Member of Parliament, Onoufrios Koulas, stated that the establishment of the Deputy Ministry was extremely necessary, noting that it is particularly important to strengthen research and innovation. He reiterated the need to reduce bureaucracy, saying it is now necessary to make the state digital. He also noted the need to speed up and simplify processes in order to make digitization happen.
From AKEL's side, Member of Parliament Andreas Kavkalias pointed out the critical importance of the Deputy Ministry, raising the issue of dealing with bureaucracy, but also with cyberattacks. He noted that the core of the Deputy Ministry's activity should be at the heart of governance, with the aim not simply of digitizing processes, but of utilizing technology to deal with bureaucracy.
At the same time, he pointed out the importance of institutional memory for a Deputy Ministry, noting that the lack of continuity of knowledge within the Deputy Ministry not only makes the effort for institutional memory difficult, but in the process will make the effort to integrate new technologies more expensive.
Even Mr. Kavkalias asked at what stage the procedures are for the operation of the “Red Button” service for the elderly, with the Deputy Minister replying that the matter is in the hands of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare.
DIKO Member of Parliament, Chrysis Pantelidis, also raised the issue of bureaucracy, while he wondered if there is coordination regarding the issue of cyber security. He also asked if there is an overall, unified strategy for innovation, while he also expressed his concern about the potential risks that exist from the development of artificial intelligence.
Also, the MP DIKO, Christos Orfanidis, expressed his concern about whether security measures are being taken in terms of interventions regarding the FIR and cyber attacks.
Mr. Hatzizacharia replied that with regard to the innovation strategy, an effort is being made to include policy so that all the grants given go through the Deputy Ministry in order to be evaluated. On the issue of cyber security, he stated that there is full coordination with the relevant agencies, while on the issue of artificial intelligence, he said that the legislative framework for artificial intelligence at the European level is expected, noting that there is a strategy for this issue from the Deputy Ministry's side.< /p>
At the same time, the Deputy Minister recalled the incident that happened at the beginning of April with the leak in a water tank in the basement of the Ministry of Finance, as a result of which the servers, which were in an adjacent room, were damaged, saying that it was imperative to transfer them to specially designed space, in accordance with international standards that clearly define what should be a specially designed space for the housing of these systems. happens with the Velister issue, while he noted that there are seniors who struggle with the digital transition and asked if there were any training programs for the previous year. Mr. Hatzizacharia said that he will first inform the President of the Republic about the matter of Velister, while the Deputy Minister's staff stated that there are training programs for the aforementioned categories offered by KEPA.