The vision to create a foundation that would award Cypriot scientists who excel in Cyprus or abroad with their inventions and discoveries came to me very early on. But devoting myself to education and creating a family, as well as to my professional activities later on, forced the idea on the back burner for years.
Professional success followed in industry, exports and trade, as did my involvement in politics with my election to the House of Parliament (1976-1981) and my appointment as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (1988-1993).
As time passed, through my experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, reflection and knowledge, the idea came back to the fore. The painful experience of the death of my first wife, Daisy, and my good fortune of meeting my second wife, Louki, who stood by me as strongly as my first wife did, helped me to develop and cultivate this idea. Louki embraced the idea, contributing to it her own property, wisdom and breadth of knowledge of Classical Music.
From 2005, I began studying all the literature, statutes, websites and everything else I could find about prestigious foundations around the world. Naturally, I was extremely impressed by the Nobel Foundation and strove, within the financial abilities of the Foundation that Louki and I decided to create, to determine the sectors that we would be able to support. This resulted in the five areas referred to in the Foundation’s Memorandum of Association.
After completing my first notes, I began contacting and seeking the opinion of leading Cypriot personalities, distinguished friends, academics and scientists, and along with the plethora of notes I had taken from the websites and charters of other foundations, I finally prepared the Foundation’s first complete draft, based on the Charitable Foundations Law (Cap. 41), before the end of 2007.
When all this work was completed, I approached the Law Office of Chrysses Demetriades & Co to assist me in the legislative drafting of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Foundation. After an orderly legal processing and careful legal adjustments, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, the Official Receiver and the Attorney General, the Takis & Louki Nemitsas Foundation was registered as a Charitable Foundation on 25 September 2009 with registration number HE 255317.
The first steps of the Foundation began with great enthusiasm and method. The founding members and the members of the Board of Directors were chosen very carefully. The Secretariat and Coordinating Committee were set up and regular contacts and meetings began.
The initial aim was to hold the first award ceremony within the first year of the Foundation’s creation so that the 1st Nemitsa Award would be celebrated together with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.
The first award ceremony took place as planned and was crowned with great success.
This is, in a nutshell, the story leading to the creation of the Takis & Louki Nemitsas Foundation.
The Takis & Louki Nemitsas Foundation is a social benefit organization founded by Mr Takis and Mrs Louki Nemitsas and registered on 25 September 2009.
The founders’ vision was, and remains, to grant awards to living Cypriot Scientists residing in Cyprus or abroad and whose inventions, discoveries and improvements after many years of studies and research bring great benefit not only to Cyprus but the whole world too. The origin of this approach was the founders’ strong belief that hard work and human life is recognised through excellence.
The Foundation is self-sustained and relies on its own funds and financial resources, bestowed by its Founders. Of course, like every other foundation, contributions or legacies from organisations, companies and individuals are very much welcomed.
The Foundation awards the person or persons effecting an important discovery or invention which results in the improvement of the quality of human life and the protection of man and the environment in the following areas:
The award ceremony takes place every year at the Presidential Palace and the award is handed to the awardee by the President of the Republic Cyprus as the highest honour. The day is determined according to the availability of the President of the Republic on the nearest day of the anniversary of Cyprus Independence. It is worth mentioning that the first award ceremony took place in 2010 at the 50-year anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus.
And as the Founder Mr Takis Nemitsas said in his opening speech at the first award ceremony:
“The Foundation was created to always exist, to grow and honour the top scientists in the best possible way.”
“We dedicate the Takis & Louki Nemitsas Foundation to the Republic of Cyprus and its future development, which we hope will soon be the one we wish for and envision.”
This dedication was realised with the Foundation’s contribution to the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts as the highest academic institution of the country.
To grant, in accordance with the procedure provided for, in the Memorandum and the Articles of Association of the Foundation, awards to Cypriot scientists being alive and residing in Cyprus or abroad, who, by their studies and research, elicit such inventions, discoveries or improvements which would bear great benefit to Cyprus and thus to the whole world and in particular to the following areas of scientific or artistic endeavour:
Ι. To the person or persons effecting the most important discovery or invention in all the branches of Engineering and especially in the branches of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering to the betterment of human life associated with a possible reduction on the detrimental effects on the environment and with a corresponding reduced cost.
ΙΙ. To the person or persons effecting the most important discovery or invention for the improvement and protection of the environment of the planet leading to an improvement of human life in general and an enhancement of the quality of life in Cyprus and in every country of the planet.
ΙΙΙ. To the person or persons inventing such methods and applications in seismology offering increased protection to the world from the earthquakes and the destruction caused therefrom.
IV. To the person or persons who effect an important discovery in the Health and Medical sector such as improvements resulting in the cure of people from hitherto incurable deceases or having discovered such methods which increase the duration of useful human life.
V. To the person or persons effecting an outstanding creation in the fields of classical music, painting, sculpture and the arts in general recognised worldwide as an achievement worthy of a prize.
VI. To the person or persons effecting the most important discovery or invention with international recognition in all branches of Science, and especially in the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, to cause either the advancement of Science or the development of applications leading to the improvement of human life.