Ladies & Gentlemen,
It is with great pleasure that I address you today, at this meeting, although it would be great to meet you all in person. Hopefully this will happen soon, at a scenery where the land meets the sea! Luckily enough a scenery we are privileged to be surrounded with.
Cyprus has a strong maritime tradition and dynamic local industry which contributes more than €1 billion to the economy annually, which translates to over 7% of the country’s GDP. Therefore, it is of outmost importance to further support the marine and maritime industries so as to meet the existing and future challenges.
The establishment of the CMMI MaRITeC-X, will significantly contribute to the enhancement of marine and maritime sectors and the government’s efforts to drive the country to a sustainable blue growth. Particularly, focusing on key priority sectors such as maritime transport, offshore energy, maritime and coastal tourism and aquaculture, the MaRITeC-X will forge partnering relationships with well-known European institutions and businesses, active in the fields of research, technology and innovation, thus contributing to the transfer of knowledge, the development and application of cutting-edge technologies as well as to the development of a critical mass of infrastructure and human capital in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
For us, as the National Research and Innovation Governance System, but also for me personally, as the Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Research and Innovation Foundation, the achievement of strategic partnerships and collaborations that will broaden the cooperation networks for the benefit of our scientists and entrepreneurs, and the establishment of channels for international knowledge transfer that will provide the ecosystem with access to the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs, is a top priority.
In addition to the total €15 million funding that the Republic of Cyprus will allocate to the Centre of Excellence, we have committed to support MaRITeC-X – together with the other Centres of Excellence – in overcoming barriers and achieving sustainability in the long term.
By concluding, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute and the MaRITeC-X for their hard work. Thank you once again for the invitation to address today’s meeting and I wish the discussions will prove to be valuable and beneficial in everyone’s future endeavours.