The first “Cyprus-Ireland Blue Growth Initiative” which has taken place in Ireland and Cyprus was successfully concluded, the Irish embassy announced.
it said that following the visit of Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney to Cyprus in June 2018, it was agreed, with Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides that cooperation should be enhanced between Ireland and Cyprus, as two EU island nations, in the marine and maritime sectors.
The first year of the initiative has involved an academic, educational exchange between University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland and AKTI Project and Research Centre, based in Cyprus. The themes explored this year have included microplastics/marine litter, blue growth, marine renewable energy, entrepreneurship within the blue economy, and other marine and maritime-related issues.
Following the exchanges, discussions have now commenced on ways to enhance the collaboration between the two countries through the development of Memorandums of Understanding for academic, research, civil society and industry collaboration.
Christodoulides had a meeting with Ambassador of Ireland Deirdre Ní Fhallúin, the students from University of Cork in Cyprus and the team from AKTI Project and Research Centre.
He said the ‘Cyprus-Ireland Blue Growth Initiative’ “is a prime example of the innovative cooperation we are looking for and that we are therefore happy to encourage and support.”
Ní Fhallúin said the aim of the project is to develop bilateral relations between Ireland and Cyprus in two key respects – marine/maritime and higher education.
“As two islands at the opposite sides of Europe, Ireland and Cyprus have much to learn from each other through sharing expertise and learning. The project complements the role being played as consortium members by the Irish Marine Institute and SmartBay Ireland in the development of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) in Larnaca.”
Head of AKTI Xenia Loizidou said the two island countries, have so much in common, “limited natural resources and a fragile environment. Sustainability is the only way forward. Cooperation and networking make us stronger and resilient, to protect our islands, to protect our seas, to develop within the Blue framework of growth”