The Limassol Chamber Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is participating as a partner in the project MARITEC-X (Marine and Maritime Research, Innovation, Technology Centre of Excellence), which is implemented under the well-known HORIZON 2020 - Teaming for Excellence, one of the most competitive funding tools of the European Union. The project has been given the green light for funding following a 2-year competitive process starting from submission date, successfully passing two different evaluation phases. From a total of 208 submitted proposals, MaRITeC-X ranked 1st amongst the Cypriot proposals and 3rd at European level.
Our Chamber is partner of the project consortium, which aims to establish a Cyprus-based Centre of Excellence, to operate based on productivity and dissemination of scientific and business innovation patents in the marine and maritime sector in the wider Eastern Mediterranean. The Centre envisions to be harmonized with Smart Specialization Strategy for Cyprus, giving emphasis on priority sectors such as energy, transport, information communication and technology (ICT), environment and social challenges.
We underline that this is the first substantial support initiative of Blue Growth which enhances the ecosystem of this sector in our country. This contributes to the upgrade of services which are offered in the wider sector of Blue Economy by providing a complete product.
Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI)
MARITEC-X project is evolving and it has been renamed to Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute. The total funding of the project is up to €30 million; €15 million is funded by the EU and €15 million comes from Republic of Cyprus funding. CMMI has officially started its operation on the 1st October 2019 and it is operating as an independent organization, which is managed by a board of directors, for the fulfilment of its targets. A representative of LCCI is participating on the CMMI’s board of directors.
Regarding the development process of the project, it is expected to create new high-value facilities, such as modern and innovative laboratories and infrastructures to support research and development of cutting-edge technologies on land and sea, both in Larnaca and Limassol within the next two or three years. It is important that dozens of quality jobs will be offered by utilizing a significant number of scientists. This local research and innovation center will leverage national marine and maritime wealth. It will also promote the country's scientific and economic development, which now scores below the European average on research and innovation indicators.
CMMI’s main targets that are going to be fulfilled in the second stage until 2030 can be classified in three specific pillars:
Pillar 1: Recruitment of Critical Group of People. The first pillar aim is to hire a group of academics, researchers and specialized practitioners who can unlock and exploit existing and new scientific opportunities. The recruitment of such a group, in combination with carefully designed infrastructure, expertise and availability, can turn Cyprus into a local leader in marine and maritime research and innovation in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Pillar 2: Thriving Blue Economy. The second pillar focuses on the establishment of a thriving marine ecosystem of circular economy, where local economic actors, such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and industry, can exploit market opportunities to achieve economic as well as competitive growth.
Pillar 3: Society and Marine Life. The third pillar aims to increase social engagement with marine life, promoting the marine heritage of the island of Cyprus. Mobilizing social institutions to embrace and promote our maritime identity will create awareness of the benefits, whether economic or non-economic, of engaging in the sea (e.g. eating, climate change, health and wellness).
In particular, CMMI has the following objectives under the aforementioned pillars:
• International recognition of Cyprus as centre of Blue Growth Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Eastern Mediterranean.
• Affordable access to technologies and innovations in Cyprus marine and maritime industry.
• Creation and support of new innovative technology companies and start-ups with international activity.
• Strengthen relations between industry and the academic community.
•Strengthen relations with countries outside the European region, acting as a bridge of technology and innovation.
• Attract foreign investment in marine and maritime technology activities.
• Support for future creation of educational institutions related to MaRITeC-X, such as maritime architecture, marine technology and biology departments.
• Create jobs for Cypriot researchers, scientists and professionals.
The consortium consists of important organizations in Cyprus and abroad: