The historic launch of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for the Caribbean Region (MTCC-CA) was held at the Chaguaramas Campus of The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) on March 8th, 2017. The Office of the MTCC-CA was unveiled by the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education and Professor Kenneth S. Julien, (Emeritus), T.C., founding and current Chairman of the Board of Governors of UTT, who inaugurated the facility with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
In December, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the Global MTCC Network (GMN) project, announced UTT as the host Institution for MTCC-Caribbean while Shanghai Maritime University in China, was also appointed as host Institution for MTCC-Asia. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology was subsequently announced as host Institution for MTCC-Africa. Two (2) further MTCCs will be established in the target regions of Latin America and the Pacific. These MTCCs will form a global network which will work towards promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships. The GMN project, which is implemented by the IMO, is funded by the European Union (EU).
Addressing the audience at the launch of the MTCC-CA, was Senator the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport, under whose purview is the Maritime Services Division. Minister Sinanan endorsed the establishment of the MTCC-CA and lauded the initiative in light of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s plans for the emerging maritime sector. Professor Kenneth S. Julien, (Emeritus), T.C., and His Excellency Arend Biesebroek, Ambassador for the European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, also delivered remarks, with Professor Julien empahsising the importance of maritime initiatives, given Trinidad and Tobago’s twin-island status. Bringing greetings at the function were Dr. Stefan Micallef, Director and Ms. Tamar Barabadze, Project Manager, both of the Marine Environment Division of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Dr. Micallef iterated the IMO’s commitment to environmental protection for the reduction of emissions in the growing shipping industry and congratulated UTT for its entrepreneurial mandate as host Institution of the MTCC-CA. UTT’s President, Professor Dyer Narinesingh, closed the official function and reiterated UTT’s commitment to the project and to building the resources of the maritime sector of Trinidad and Tobago and the region.
Following the launch, the technical team of the MTCC-CA elaborated on its plans for capacity uilding and shared insight into the two (2) pilot projects which will be undertaken by the MTCC-CA. Many leading maritime industry stakeholders were present for both the launch and the technical session and were encouraged to share data for the pilot projects and partner with the University and MTCC-CA in these initiatives for enhancing the human resource and technical capabilities within the regional maritime sector.