In a social event successfully organized by the Municipality of Larnaca on the 16th of July in Ancient Kition in Larnaca under the auspices of the Shipping Deputy Minister, has been officially announced the winning of the MaRITeC-X/CMMI project proposal and also have been provided more information to the public on the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI).
The CMMI which will be based in Larnaca will be an independent, international, scientific and business Centre of Excellence for Marine and Maritime activities. It will carry out research, technological evelopment, and innovation activities (RTDI) to provide practical solutions to the challenges that the marine and maritime industry, and society, face or will face in the future.The proposal for the creation of the CMMI was submitted to the European Commission in November 2018 under the HORIZON 2020 Programme, Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation Call and was eventually awarded the grant.
The Municipality of Larnaca is the coordinator of this project and the rest of the partners are the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Maritime Institute of Eastern Mediterranean, the Cypriot companies SignalGeneriX and GeoImaging, the Irish research organizations, Marine Institute of Ireland and SmartBay Ireland and the British research institute, Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute.
At the beginning of the event, the Mayor of Larnaca, Mr. Andreas Vyras underlined the continuous efforts of the Municipality towards the materialization of this ground-breaking project which is aligned with the Municipality’s Strategy “Larnaca, Blue City”. The latter aims at transforming Larnaca into a Regional Blue Economy, Education, Training and Research Centre and at promoting the Integrated Maritime Policy of the EU. In this context, Mr. Vyras stressed the role of this centre in reengineering the marine and maritime RTDI and entrepreneurship ecosystem and in supporting the socio-economic transformation of the island.
Afterwards, the Shipping Deputy Minister, Mrs. Natasa Pilides took the floor and congratulated first all the project partners for the success of the CMMI proposal.
Ms. Pilides then described the strategic advantages of Cyprus, highlighting the important position of the Cypriot shipping at European and global levels. She stressed that the development of RTDI activities is key to the sustainability and growth of the Cyprus maritime cluster, advocating that this Centre of Excellence would perform such activities and boost entrepreneurship by promoting closer cooperation and synergies between the maritime industry and the academic community at a global level. In closing her speech, Mrs. Pilides expressed her full support to this project, as it is expected to have multiple growth benefits for the country.
The keynote speaker of the event, the MIT Professor Nicholas Makris began his speech by making a historical overview, whereby he explained the importance of marine engineering in tackling the challenges people were facing in relation to the sea.
Then, the Director of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI), Professor Damon Teagle took the floor and described the mission of SMMI, its areas of activity and the research it conducts.
In addition, he presented the challenges that the global marine and maritime industry is currently facing and will continue to face in the future, placing particular emphasis on the need for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships and for the implementation of more environmentally friendly solutions.
Last but not least, Professor Teagle analyzed the technological trends that currently prevail and are expected to shape the future of shipping, such as the use of robots, autonomous systems, big data analytics and cyber-security.
The last speaker of the event and representative of the Municipality of Larnaca, Mr. Andreas Karakatsanis, presented the plan for the establishment of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute, explaining the vision and objectives of the Centre, its fields of activities and areas of expertise. Furthermore, he described the legal nature of the Centre, its organizational structure as well as the infrastructure that will be created for CMMI.
Mr. Karakatsanis also provided a timetable according to which CMMI is expected to achieve full sustainability by the end of 2024. Furthermore, he pointed out that the Centre will develop synergies with the Larnaca and Limassol Blue Clusters in support of the Blue Economy. Finally, he thanked all the stakeholders for their significant contribution to the project and stressed that CMMI would be open to collaborations that promote Blue Growth.
The General Secretary Giuseppe Marino, took part in the conference in consideration of the great importance of the sector in the development of the commercial relations between the two countries and of the membership of several associated companies.
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