Galway’s Marine Institute has been awarded €2 million to help set up a centre of excellence for marine research in Cyprus.
The European Commission has announced that €15 million has been allocated for the “CMMI Maritec-X” project which aims to get the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute up and running within seven years.
The Marine Institute’s contribution to this project, with a combined award of €2 million, is about providing expert knowledge from an existing world class marine research centre and helping to create a long term strategy for the CMMI.
The Irish Maritime Development Office and SmartBay Ireland will oversee the Marine Institute’s part in this project which also involves working in partnership with the Municipality of Larnaka government in Cyprus.
The CMMI will focus on research, technology development and innovation in several sectors critical for the Cypriot economy.
Specific areas that it is already planning to invest time and resources in are maritime transport, marine ecosystems, and offshore energy.
Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said that the award for their involvement “acknowledges the excellence and leadership that both the Marine Institute and SmartBay demonstrate in the European maritime landscape.”
“We look forward to cooperating and collaborating with our Cypriot partners to the benefit of both innovation-led maritime economies.”
The project is also expected to help Ireland build its national research and development capacity and to “collaborate with institutions and organisations across Europe in an ambitious project that will contribute to expertise in building marine and maritime clusters.”
Other partners involved in the CMMI Maritec-X project include GeoImaging Ltd., the Maritime Institute of Eastern Mediterranean, SignalGenerix Ltd. and the Limassol Chamber of Commerce as well as the University of Southampton, UK.
John Breslin, General Manager of SmartBay Ireland commented that they were delighted to be a part of this project.
“As part of this project, we will be reaching out to Irish businesses and research organisations who wish to collaborate with CMMI and its stakeholders, to help broker the development of joint projects and funding opportunities.”
It’s expected that work will properly begin in Cyprus during the summer after the grant agreements have been concluded.