The MaRITeC-X Consortium presented the plan for the establishment of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute in an extraordinary ceremony that took place on Friday 13th of July, in the evening, at the Visitors’ Centre of the Ancient Kition archaeological area in Larnaka. More than 100 invited guests attended the event entitled “Our Ocean Space Odyssey”, including government officials, members of the parliament, ambassadors, academics and representatives of the marine and maritime industry.
Opening the event, the Mayor of Larnaka, Andreas Vyras, welcomed the participants and described the city’s vision, to transform Larnaka into a regional Centre for Blue Economy, Education, Training and Research and to promote the EU’s integrated maritime policy in the region. “Our ambition is for CMMI to become a regional, institutional, scientific and economic point of reference,” Vyras said stressing the importance of the CMMI as a vehicle to encourage and host partnerships and synergies between various Blue Economy stakeholders, such as academic and research institutions, businesses and professional organizations. He further announced that in cooperation with the University of Cyprus, the Larnaka Municipality is already working towards the establishment of the new Faculty of Marine Science and Technology in Larnaka, which will add further value to the strategy “Larnaka, Blue City”.
On behalf of Ms. Natasa Pilides, Deputy Minister of Shipping, Mr.Costas Iacovou, Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, expressed the full support of the Government to all initiatives aiming to strengthen science and innovation in Cyprus. In particular, Mr. Iacovou highlighted the importance of the shipping industry for Cyprus, noting that the needs of the maritime transport sector in terms of research, innovation and technologies are growing, as stricter regulatory and policy frameworks are being established at international level.
Representing the biggest academic institution in the country, Prof. Constantinos Christofides, Rector of the University of Cyprus (UCY) presented the new Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, its mission, objectives and expected impact. Moreover, he underlined the significant potential for cooperation with CMMI. In particular, he noted that “The Faculty and the CMMI will aim to set in motion ideas, initiatives, guidelines and suggestions for the Blue industry to follow”, stressing that the Faculty and CMMI can work together to educate not only young people, “but also the society and the marine sector at large”. Prof. Christofides also announced that the new Faculty will be fully operational in September 2019.
Prof. David White, Professor of Infrastructure Geotechnics, in the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) and member of the MaRITeC-X project presented success stories of industry and research collaborations within SMMI. Prof. White provided a comprehensive insight on how CMMI has the potential not only to be sustainable within a few years, but to rank among the best, by capitalizing on people and ideas as well as by bridging industry with research creativity.
Representing the strong aquaculture sector in Cyprus, Mrs. Martha Foufopoulou, ichthyologist and farm manager associate of Kimagro Fishfarming Ltd, described the sector’s future challenges by emphasizing on the growing needs for new technologies, innovations and highly skilled personnel. Mrs Foufopoulou underlined that initiatives such as CMMI can contribute to improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the aquaculture industry.
Afterwards, the partners of the MaRITeC-X project provided a brief overview of the plan for the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute, stressing that the global challenges that the industry, and society are facing -as also described by the invited speakers at the event- are to be addressed by CMMI. CMMI will follow a mission-driven, problem solving approach by transforming those challenges into concrete, measurable, and achievable missions, while developing and capitalizing on transformational technologies. At the end of the presentation, the project partners launched an open call to all guests, inviting them to join forces with CMMI and become part of this challenging but exciting journey.
The event was closed with the official launch of the project’s Video:
During the reception that followed, all the participants in the event had the opportunity to discuss in greater detail with members of the MaRITeC-X Consortium, the plan for the new Centre, the timeframe and possible ways to contribute to this ambitious endeavor.
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