The MaRITeC-X project (Marine and Maritime Research, Innovation, Technology Center of Excellence) has been officially launched with its kick off meeting held recently in Larnaca. The project was approved was approved by the European Union as part of the HORIZON 2020 Teaming for Excellence financial instrument. Total funding is € 30 million (€ 15 million from the EU and € 15 million from the Republic of Cyprus), an amount that will be used to recruit more than 100 people such as researchers and other specialized staff, as well as to create the necessary infrastructure for the development of the Center. The aim of the program is to establish a Cyprus Center of Excellence named Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI), which will operate on the basis of promoting scientific and business innovation in maritime and marine life in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In the context of the partners' inaugural meeting, a two-part Press Conference was held to inform the public, which was addressed by the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister Natasa Pilides, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Viras, the Chief Scientist Kyriacos Kokkinos and the head of the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency Federica Roffi. The second part of the Press Conference was held by the Maritec-X partners and the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry was represented by its President. Costas Galatariotis. Mr. Galatariotis highlighted the importance of the project and the benefits that will derive from it at local, regional and European level from the operation of CMMI. He added that the project will provide quality jobs and major infrastructure projects in Larnaca where the Center will be based, as well as in Limassol. He noted that one of the top projects expected to be implemented is the creation of an artificial reef off the Limassol coast with the sinking of an out of use oil platform for the purposes of marine research and the development of diving tourism and underwater life.
The Limassol Chamber is one of the project partners and therefore has an important role to play in supporting and operating CMMI. Specifically, it has already allocated an office space in its premises to house the Center's Limassol office with the aim of connecting with the Maritime Industry and developing international synergies. The Chamber will act as a gateway to foreign markets to promote the Center of Excellence's innovative products and services, taking advantage of its extensive local and international network and its modern communication tools. To achieve this, it will participate in missions abroad and in high-level targeted conferences on the blue economy. It will also organize seminars, information workshops and conferences, aiming at strengthening the blue economy-related research and innovation ecosystem in Cyprus.