Address by Takis Nemitsas at the award ceremony of Nemitsas Prize in Computer Science on Thursday 4th of October 2018 at the Presidential Palace

Mr. President of the Republic,

Mr. President of the House of Representatives,

Dear Ministers,

Dear Member of Parliament,

Dear Ambassadors,

Distinguished Guests,

I welcome all of you at the 8th Award Ceremony of Nemitsas Foundation since its establishment in 2009. The Foundation Takis & Louki Nemitsas has set as its goal since its establishment, the promotion and advancement of excellence. In this framework, the foundation established awards for our Cypriot compatriots who excel in Cyprus and in the diaspora in different sectors of science and art. Starting point for this approach was the belief, of us founders that the recognition of hard work and the recognition of human life, also comes through excellence.

At the same time, we believe that the establishment of such awards also acts as a benchmark for society in general, that now more than ever, needs more life standards that exceed the criterion of people’s success, the arena of economic activity and the accumulation of wealth.

The new video you have just watched, has reminded us once again, all those awarded by our Foundation from 2010 to 2016. We did not have an award ceremony in 2017. Our activity was focused on the consultations we had with the competent institutions for the integrating of our Foundation in the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. For this to be feasible, I must first say, a big thank you, to our legal advisor and member of our Board of Directors Christos Mavrellis, who helped us in the drafting of the relevant document.

The idea of the integration of Nemitsas Award in the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts was embraced with enthusiasm by the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as by the Founding Committee. The whole progress is progressing slowly but at a satisfactory pace.

The initiative for the establishment of the Cyprus Academy is attributable to former Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Kostas Kadis, who is congratulated on this. Following the approval of the Council of Ministers, the proposal was passed unanimously by the House on the 10th of November 2017, which greatly honours our Members of Parliament.

Our wish as founders is that, when the Foundation joins the Academy, the Prize is always awarded, as is the case today, by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, as the highest honour to the winners.

Tonight, however, we have gathered here to present to you and thank Mrs. Anastasia Ailamaki, when for the first time since the establishment of our Foundation, the prize is awarded to a woman. This is particularly moving for us.

Our award winner is a professor in Informatics at the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne. The President of the Jury Committee, Professor Joseph Sifakis, who came from France to Cyprus specifically for this purpose, will talk for the award winner and her work. We thank him very much.

Together with us is also the second member of the Jury Committee, Professor Tony Hey. Thank you Professor Hey for giving us the pleasure to be with us tonight.

The third member of the Jury Committee, the famous 37-year-old professor at MIT University in Massachusetts, Constantinos Daskalakis, was unable, due to other responsibilities, to be with us tonight.

First of all, I thank the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades for supporting the Nemitsas Foundation all these years and for his presence at the Foundation’s award ceremonies and for awarding the prize.

We are very grateful to the General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to all the Ambassadors of the Republic who are accredited in foreign countries, who post the Foundation poster every year in our Embassy websites, and promote the regulations for applications of Cypriots living abroad.

At the same time, we thank Fileleftheros group that publishes the Foundation poster every year, and presents the data necessary for the submission of applications by the scientists and artists of Cyprus.

We also thank the Cyprus News Agency (CAN) for the timely and objective presentation of the Foundation’s activities.

Special thanks to the staff of the Presidential Palace for their great willingness to assist in the presentation of this beautiful ceremony, under the artistic direction of Andy Bargilis and Display Art.

Finally, thank you all for your presence.

Takis Nemitsas

October 4th 2018