We are delighted to announce that the MENA Maritime Accelerator has been awarded at the Bravo Sustainability Dialogue & Awards 2023 in the ‘Collaborations’ category. This recognition comes amidst 250 submissions in this year’s event.
Under the leadership of the Sustainable Development Unit of the Athena Research Center and the Cyprus University of Technology, the accelerator actively involves key contributors such as Chrysalis LEAP, Cyprus Energy Agency, Cleantech Bulgaria, and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).
The award was received on behalf of AthenaRC by Professor Phoebe Koundouri, Athens University of Economics and Business & Technical Univeristy of Denmark, President World Council of Environmental and Resource Economists Associations, President of the United Nations SDSN Global Climate Hub, and on behalf of HRADF by Maria Christandoni, Director of Sustainable Development, ESG, and Climate Change.
The “MENA MARITIME ACCELERATOR” is a collaborative partnership involving entities from the broader public sector, private organizations, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Its aim is to accelerate the green transformation of the maritime and port industry by supporting the development of innovative and sustainable business solutions. This initiative supports the industry’s transition to Climate Neutrality and Resilience. Its main objective is to connect ports and marinas with selected startups worldwide, promoting pilot applications and serving as an interface and accelerator for systemic innovation and necessary reforms.
In addition, in 2023, HRADF, in collaboration with AthenaRC and the “MENA Maritime Accelerator” network, successfully organized four specialized seminars targeting the administrative and operational personnel of the country’s ports and marinas. These seminars focused on thematic areas related to sustainable development/ESG criteria, identified as crucial through an electronic survey preceding the introductory workshop of MENA and validated during its duration.
During the award acceptance, Maria Christandoni stated: “Through this collaboration, we demonstrate TAIPED’s strategic focus, as reflected in the Fund’s Sustainable Development/ESG Policy, to promote green innovation and technology. This is a key element in addressing climate change while creating value for companies implementing innovative solutions and for local communities. TAIPED, through the MENA Maritime Accelerator, enhanced the connectivity of all port organizations in its portfolio with the research and development sector, ultimately aiming to promote pilot applications. Through its expanded development role, it can serve as an interface and accelerator for achieving systemic innovation and promoting necessary reforms. I warmly thank the TAIPED management for their clear vision towards sustainable development, the project team, all colleagues actively participating in this effort, all program partners, seminar speakers, and of course, the companies in our portfolio and beyond, who responded to our call.”
Professor Phoebe Koundouri, commented: “It is extremely important for the accelerator, initially funded by EIT Climate KIC, to transform and secure its private funding. Currently, it funds, mentors, and educates startups producing technological and financial solutions related to the green and digital transition in the shipping, ports, and marinas sector. Founding Members of the program include the Sustainable Development Unit at the “Athena” Research and Innovation Center, Cyprus University of Technology Chrysalis LEAP, Cyprus Energy Agency, and Cleantech Bulgaria. The crucial point to understand is that sustainability is interdisciplinary. No transition problem to the green and digital era can be solved through a single science. This transition is difficult and demanding and must take place in a short time compared to the vast transformation we need. No goal can be achieved without effective measurement, so it is essential to develop the appropriate tools for measuring sustainable development goals at multiple levels: national, regional, local, and corporate.”