The Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) and the Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) digitally signed on Thursday, 28th of May 2020 an MOU to formalize their partnership in the areas of Marine and Maritime Education, Training, Research, Technological Development and Innovation. Both organizations will undertake to promote the exchange of know-how, facilitate the participation of their staff in joint research projects and foster bilateral research cooperation, contributing to the growth of the marine and maritime sectors in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Due to the restrictive measures applied worldwide in response to the COVID19 outbreak, both parties made use of new technologies and held a digital ceremony in order to proceed with the signing of the MoU, confirming their determination to advance their cooperation in the areas of marine and maritime science and technology. From the Cypriot side, the CEO of the CMMI, Mr. Zacharias Siokouros, the Mayor of Larnaca and Chairman of the CMMI Board of Directors (BoD) Mr. Andreas Vyras, the Deputy Minister of Shipping, Ms. Natasa Pilides, the Chief Scientist and Chairman of Research & Innovation Foundation (RIF), Dr Nicolas Mastroyiannopoulos and the Ambassador of Cyprus to Egypt, Mr. Homer Mavrommatis attended online the ceremony from their offices. From the Egyptian side,  the President of the AASTMT, Prof. Ismail Abdel Ghafar, the Vice President of the AASTMT for Post Graduate studies and Scientific research, Prof. Dr. Alaa Abdelwahed Abdelbari, the Vice President of the AASTMT for Maritime Affairs, Dr. Capt. Mohamed Dawood, the Head of International Agreement & Cooperation Center of the AASTMT, Prof. Dr. Amr Elhelw and the Director of Maritime Graduates Affair Center of the AASTMT, Capt. Kazem Agamy, participated in the online ceremony from their respective offices.

Mr. Vyras, as the host of the online signing ceremony, welcomed the participants and congratulated the CMMI and the AASTMT for their motivation and commitment to enhance their collaboration in various areas of common interest, by stating the following: “I am confident that through this partnership, both organizations will contribute to the strengthening of regional cooperation in the fields of marine and maritime education, research and innovation and to the growth of the marine and maritime sectors in our region”.

Ms Pilides expressed her support to this partnership and underlined the importance of promoting regional cooperation in support of the sustainable growth of the marine and maritime industry. Ms Pilides said “The Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute is a great milestone for Cyprus Shipping. We have been supporting CMMI since the beginning and we are also participating in its Board of Directors. CMMI is developing its activities in the areas of maritime research and technology at regional and international level and cooperation with the AASTMT is an important step towards this direction. We hope that tangible projects and results will start to emerge from this collaboration. From our side we are ready to offer not only our support but also resources for the materialization of those projects and initiatives.”

Dr. Mastroyiannopoulos congratulated both parties for this initiative stressing that the RIF and the Deputy Ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy “are ready to provide any support to the CMMI in the implementation of its MoU strategy. We fully support partnerships like this one which will benefit the marine and maritime sectors of our island and our region.”

Mr. Siokouros welcomed the signing of the MoU, by saying the following: “We are very excited that, in spite of the unique circumstances we have been all experiencing these past few months, we managed to meet electronically today in order to witness the start of a long-term, fruitful partnership between our organizations. There are significant opportunities for cooperation and synergies between the CMMI and the AASTMT in the marine and maritime research, technology and innovation fields. We firmly believe that through our collaboration we will be able to develop joint solutions to the challenges that the marine and maritime sectors in our region face.”

Finally, Prof. Ismail Abdel Ghafar made the following statement: “We are very pleased to be here today to sign the MoU between AASTMT and CMMI making the best use of technology. During this critical time, we can join hands and prove that the future is for technology and innovation. The development in the fields of marine and maritime activities requires exchanging of experiences and knowledge among the two organizations to overcome the current challenges facing the marine industry. This will be one of the objectives of this intended long term collaboration, through which we aim to serve the region.”

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