AQUACYCLE - My Autobiography - Landed in Thessaloniki
My very first journey took me to Thessaloniki which is considered the cultural capital of Greece for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general.
Yet, before I had the chance to explore the city I was rushed to the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, better known as CERTH, where I was to be officially launched.
In his welcome address, Mr. Vasilis Gavrielides, representing the National Contact Point (NCP) of the ENI CBC MED programme in Greece, congratulated my creators from Greece, Lebanon, Malta, Spain and Tunisia, and went on to augur that I would bring:
“a real opportunity to bring as much as possible added value towards environmental protection and sustainability, not only for the benefit of the 5 partner countries directly involved in the project but also for the Mediterranean area as a whole.”
Prof. Anastasios Karabelas (CERTH), my Coordinator, concurred that I had been conceived to address key economic, social and environmental sustainability concerns that are indeed relevant across the Mediterranean Region as a whole:
“we are faced with a general economic slowdown which is driven, among other, by a reduction in investment and is leading to a lack of sufficient employment opportunities.”
Prof. Karabelas went on to explain that the investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure continues to be sorely lacking with as many as 40% of cities with 2,000 to 10,000 inhabitants not connected to any wastewater treatment plant in the Mediterranean area, and reiterated:
“If we are to succeed we need to prepare the ground for investment in the new technology AQUACYCLE brings along, as a means to increase employment opportunities and stimulate the long-term endogenous economic growth”.
Of course, I felt proud to be introduced with such noble intentions, but at the same time, it crossed my mind whether I was really going to be up to fulfilling all of these truly ambitious expectations?
Listening in to what each of my creators will be able to bring to my further development in terms of expertise and resources, as well as a visit to the fascinating research that is being conducted at the CERTH laboratory facilities did a lot to restore my confidence. I invite you to watch this brief compilation!
I was overjoyed when I learned that I would be leaving for Rome to meet other members of my extended family already on the very next day.
That left very little time to explore Thessaloniki, but an evening stroll along the waterfront was not to be missed!