Limassol municipality will on Friday host its third Blue Economy forum titled Aligning Citizens’ Welfare with the Goals of the Mission Cities for Climate Neutrality, Mayor Nicos Nicolaides has announced.

The forum is being held in cooperation with Frederick University and is part of the island’s push to develop its blue economy, shipping and marine related initiatives through the municipality’s Blue Economy Innovation Centre – Royal Caribbean International, which was inaugurated by President Nikos Christodoulides at the weekend.

The project is being implemented within the framework of the political cohesion programme Thalia 2021-2027 and is co-financed by the EU.

“The municipality of Limassol is a pioneer in the efforts for innovation, digital and green reform in our country,” Nicolaides added in a Facebook post.

The focus is on developing a core innovation and start-up ecosystem with a focus on the blue economy and the maritime services sector.

“Limassol is the largest ship management centre in the EU, and is among the countries that have a leading role in shaping global maritime policies with a strong presence and a strong voice in all maritime areas and international organisations,” Nicolaides added.

“Our city hosts more than 200 maritime services companies, has a multi-use port, modern leisure marina and large tourism and industrial activity”.

Nicolaides said innovation was vital to the sustainable development of the blue economy, which in turn supports entrepreneurship, contributes to the protection of the coastal and marine environment, and creates employment opportunities and boosts social conditions for the residents of Limassol.

He said the municipality went ahead with the creation of the centre to give the opportunity to young entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to highlight the challenges of the blue economy and develop start-up ideas for technologies, products and services.

“By taking advantage of the supportive environment of our city’s maritime industry, the right momentum can be created so that Limassol can become an international destination for young entrepreneurs who want to develop their ideas in the blue economy and maritime services sector,” he added.

“The Innovation Centre also participates in the effort of the municipality to formulate our climate neutrality strategy and proposals, within the framework of Limassol’s participation in the European Cities Mission Programme for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030,” the mayor said.

On Saturday during the inauguration of the centre, Christodoulides said Cyprus had increased the prospects for its blue economy.

He emphasised the importance of innovation as the driving force behind a successful and resilient economy, noting that it’s an area where Cyprus must succeed. The implementation of innovative technologies and solutions for the benefit of the economy and the overall effort to expand productivity are a central government focus, he said.