Great public interest for the Frederick University’s “Maritime Forum”

With great success and an increased participation, the 5th annual “Maritime Forum 2018” of Frederick University took place in Limassol.  The topic of the conference was: “The Blue Growth and its interaction with the Cypriot Economy”.

The conference was organised by the Department of Maritime Studies of Frederick University, under the auspices of Deputy Minister of Shipping, Ms Natasa Pilides and in the presence of Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides. It was attended by more than 200 participants comprising professionals from the broader maritime community of Limassol, visitors from Greece, Germany and other countries, as well as a number of aspiring students. The Conference was chaired by shipowner, former President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and Visiting Professor at Frederick University Capt. Eugen Adami.

The topic this year was particularly relevant due to the continually important contribution of Shipping and International Trade to the Cyprus’s economy and the positive outlook for greater expansion in the near future. The Blue Economy and Growth are part of a greater European Union strategy for the sustainable development of the maritime and shipping sectors. The EU formally acknowledges that our seas represent dynamic sources of innovation and development. A related study published by the Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus finds that demand for professionals in the Blue Economy is anticipated to spike in the period 2016-2026, at the end of which one (1) in ten (10) workers are to be employed in Blue Economy sectors.

The conference was addressed by Mr Costas Iacovou, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping, who presented the strategic tasks of the Ministry. At the same time, Mr Iacovou praised the contribution of Frederick University in introducing and developing maritime education in Cyprus.  The conference was also addressed by Dr Christoforos Charalambous, Director of Administration and Finance at Frederick University who focused on the development opportunities emerging from Blue Growth and the necessity for academia and practitioners to collaborate both in education and training. In her address, Professor Eleni Hadjiconstantinou, Dean of School Business Administration and Law of Frederick University highlighted the vision of the University to be established as a leading centre of maritime education, not only in Cyprus, but in the broader region of the Eastern Mediterranean. The undergraduate and postgraduate Programmes of the School were mentioned, with particular emphasis to the BSc. in Maritime Studies, the MSc. in International Trade and Shipping Business, the MA/LLM in Maritime Law, the MBA, the proposed MSc in Marine Engineering and the Professional Courses leading to the Merchant Navy license of 3rd Engineer and combined 2nd/ Chief Engineer Officer.

During the conference Mr Rod Beams received a prize of appreciation for his outstanding contribution in the establishment of Cyprus Maritime Technology Academy (“CyMarTA”) of Frederick University in Limassol. Also, the names of the first two Cypriot “Marine Engineers” who successfully completed their training at the newly established CyMarTA were announced and congratulated.

A Memorandum of Cooperation between the Department of Maritime Studies and the   International Classification Society DNV GL regarding maritime research and professional training was also signed. DNV GL provides classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas and energy industries. DNV GL also provides certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation seals the ongoing cooperation between the two organizations.

The conference was enriched by significant contributions given by Mr. Nicos Nicolaides, Mayor of Limassol; Mr Alexandros Josephides, Deputy General Secretary of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and Ambassador of the International Maritime Organisation in maritime education; Mr Costas Costaras, Senior Marine Surveyor of the deputy Ministry of Shipping; Dr Emmanouel Nikolaides, Lecturer of Maritime Economics at Frederick University and Dr Loizos Isaias, Manager of the Maritime Service Center & Advisory of DNV GL.

The Mayor in his speech highlighted the position of Limassol as an established international maritime and commercial centre, citing a 2017 report issued by DNV GL and MENON, which ranks Limassol in number one position for entrepreneurship/attractiveness and competitiveness among the 30 biggest maritime capitals in the world.

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping and the Cyprus Shipping Chamber presented their current activities and their future plans towards an integrated maritime policy in Cyprus. The strategic goal of the policy is to maximise the benefits from the Blue Growthwith particular emphasis on the employment of young scientists and professionals in the shipping industry.

The growing technological advances of the industry require a new generation of high-calibre scientists; a need which Frederick University and DNV GL aim, in cooperation, to fulfil. Likewise, Frederick University Lecturer, Dr Nikolaides, and Dr Isaias of DNV GL underlined the importance of Lifelong Learning so as both current students and industry professionals remain in touch with the fast-changing shipping industry.

In presenting the conclusions of a long discussion following the contributions, the Head of the Department of Maritime Studies, Dr Angelos Menelaou emphasised the role and importance of young scientists towards the further development of Cyprus as a maritime and commercial centre. He denoted Frederick University’s commitment to provide high quality maritime education and equip students with skills and knowledge that will allow them to fulfil their aspirations and secure their future; so far this is well reflected in the near-zero unemployment rate among graduates of Maritime Studies in the greater blue sector.