3rd Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina Rendezvous
24 & 25 September 2023
Under the aegis of its collective Monaco Capital of Advanced Yachting approach, Yacht Club de Monaco acts as a communication platform through international events like the 3rd Monaco Smart and Sustainable Marina Rendezvous (24-25 September). Organised by M3 (Monaco Marina Management), this event stands out for connecting marinas, architects, innovators, officials, policy-makers and private investors in the eco-transition drive underway for yachting destinations.
An event that HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco attended to meet the 250 participants and key figures present, including H.E. Prince Saud Bin Turki Al Saud, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Saudi Red Sea Authority, H.E. Ana Elena Pinto Lozano, Costa Rica Ambassador for France and UNESCO, Rear Admiral Reda Ahmen Ismail, Head of Maritime Transport Sector and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the Arab Republic of Egypt, Heidy Mahmoud Serry, in her capacity as Egypt’s Consul in Marseille, Elisabeth Anna Rebecca Chouraki, International Technical Expert PAMEx (Action Plan for a Model Mediterranean) and Christophe Madrolle, President of the Biodiversity, Sea and Coast Commission, South Provence Region – Alpes Côte d’Azur (France).
“We have a responsibility to encourage all initiatives that lead us to a more eco-responsible yachting sector. A marina is an essential link in the chain, a living space to welcome yachts, their owners and crews, a micro-city looking to the future with strong interactions between land and marine environments. Yachting is an important component of tourism contributing to the attractiveness of a coastal destination and its economy,” comments Bernard d’Alessandri, Yacht Club de Monaco General Secretary and President of the Cluster Yachting Monaco.
Supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the government’s Extended Monaco digital transition programme for the Principality, along with UBS, MB92 Group, Bombardier and GV Investments, this meeting gathered the entire ecosystem to share views on challenges facing marina operators, discover the latest innovative solutions and discuss their implementation at round tables and networking sessions.
“Collaboration and discussion among industry professionals are essential to the transition towards a more sustainable and innovating ecosystem. By contributing to these group thinktanks we can speed up adoption of innovative solutions and create a community committed to improving the future of our industry and conserving the oceans, in the same way the United Nations High Seas Treaty is starting now to see the first results in a decade,” says José Marco Casellini, CEO of M3, a consultancy specialised in development, management and promotion of marinas & yacht clubs.
Sustainability: exchanges focused on common harmonious development
Responding to the challenges of climate change demands a collective response as evidenced by Région Sud as explained by Olivier Darrasson, General Delegate of the Mediterranean Investors Club: “The President of our region, Renaud Muselier, associated with environmental projects in the Mediterranean, has developed a project called PLIFF, a funding tool for eco projects in the Mediterranean, including its project for the green electrification of marinas. It’s not because we find solutions that we must develop one side of the Mediterranean. Collaboration is vital to meeting the [UN’s] Sustainable Development Goals”.
The morning session was also a chance to take stock of the ‘Impact of the new generation of yachts on marina infrastructures’ with Martinho Fortunato, President of ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations), Alex Bamberg, CEO Aqua superPower and Marcello Maggi, President of Wider Yachts taking the floor.
Among points discussed were the importance of deploying electrification for charging batteries, supplying power for yachts, the supply of alternative fuels (methanol, hydrogen, e-fuels), better reception for catamarans where production is booming, and larger berths for superyachts that new marinas are anticipating.
Sustainable tourism in response to environmental challenges
“Yachting has a major role to play in the tourism sector and generates a circular economy at destination level. The yachting value chain is huge and the sector is synonymous with jobs,” points out Professor Alessandra Priante, from the United Nations World Tourism Organization who spoke on the panel theme entitled ‘Sustainable tourism, an essential asset for economic growth and the key role played by public organisations and policy makers’. It is no coincidence that this meeting continues to arouse growing interest from marinas the world over such as Marina Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic), Yas Marina (UAE), Port Azure (Turkey), Habacoa (Bahamas) and Palapa Marina (Saint Martin).
The eco-transition is a universal topic that concerns all industries. Global awareness of the issues is high including in tourism and yachting. “Moving towards the environmental transition is compatible with economic growth as durable as that in the past. The challenge is there: to find a balance between maintaining the possibility of making a profit while achieving this transition that is absolutely essential for the whole world,” says Pierre-Grand Dufay, President of Tertium Invest.
A unique event, the Monaco Smart Sustainable Marina Rendezvous gives startups, scaleups, architects and marinas from around the world (26 nations) an opportunity to be put in direct contact with potential investors and industry players essential to their growth.
Alongside local and national authorities, the European Union was also present, reflecting the European dimension of the business. Linos Voskarides, Maritime and Coastal Policy Officer at the European Commission, presented the various tools available to promote development of smart and sustainable marinas. He said the marina of the future should be designed to be “part of a city and not outside it”. To achieve this, it has to be a clean and attractive place, linking pleasure boats and yachting with other leisure activities. By doing this, the marina will become not just the most attractive part of town but also contribute to a clean and well protected marine environment.
The European Commission intends to contribute to development of smart sustainable marinas by adapting relevant legal instruments like the Port Reception Facilities Directive (recently revised) and the Recreational Craft Directive (under review) and facilitating sharing of knowledge and experiences between players and stakeholders to promote the sector on a European level. Some financial tools are already in place like the BlueInvest platform, while EU funding programmes like the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and a range of structural funds are available to support the sector.
International Smart & Sustainable Marina Awards: solutions in the spotlight
“To meet the challenges faced by marina project managers and operational marinas defined by Monaco Marina Management and against climate change, we identified new solutions in fields such as water, energy, waste and recovery management, mobility, security, construction, equipment and infrastructure, not forgetting protecting and regenerating biodiversity. In total, there were more than 245 one-on-one interviews before the event between Jury members and candidates for the innovation Awards,” explains Géraldine A. Gustin, CEO of positive impact innovation experts Blumorpho who bring their expertise to identify startups and scaleups with strong potential and prepare them to meet investors, marinas and corporates.
All are referenced in the E-Catalogue (www.sustainablesmartmarina.com/e-catalogue-2023), available online, alongside around 20 architects and marinas from the M3 (Monaco Marina Management) network.
The International Smart & Sustainable Marina Awards Jury could not decide between Karpaz Gate Marina (North Cyprus) and Limassol Marina (Cyprus), in the Marina category. Results were also tight for the Startups with tied winners announced as EH2p Marine (Monaco) and Nereid Water (Switzerland). Omniflow (Portugal) won the Scaleups trophy. The highly anticipated Architects category had a new ideas contest for professionals and students to create waterfront projects that are not only attractive and functional but also sustainable. Renowned French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte chaired the jury alongside Jean-François Dieterich, Mayor of Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat. The prize for students went to S3-Group from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (China) out of 28 projects submitted, while for the professionals, Fresh Architectures (France) walked away with the prize.
Having tackled marina infrastructure, organiser Monaco Marina Management now wants to bring the entire ecosystem of boats together for the second edition of the Monaco Smart and Sustainable Yacht Rendezvous that will be held during the 7th Monaco Ocean Week in March 2024.
Winners for 2023:
- Architecture Student: S3-GROUP from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (China)
- Architect: Fresh Architectures (France)
- Marina: Karpaz Gate Marina (North Cyprus) tied with Limassol Marina (Cyprus)
- Startup: EH2P Marine (Monaco) tied with Nereid Water (Switzerland)
- Scaleup: Omniflow (Portugal)
Huy Ton That, CEO of Nereid Water: “We inaugurated our first factory near Toulon and a few days later received this award. It means a lot because it is the culmination of all the hard work we’ve put in for the last 15 years”.
Jean-Francois Nicolino, President of EH2P Marine: “My project is to develop fast boats that have an internal combustion engine burning hydrogen with a liquid storage capacity for high-density power and energy”.
Pedruo Ruao founder and CEO of Omniflow: “We have created a smart IoT lamp post that is powered by wind and solar energy. A series of other applications can be installed inside it such as security cameras, wifi and artificial intelligence“.
Managing Director, Liza Singer of Karpaz Gate Marina: “We saw a high level of competition here, with very competent marinas and are very proud to have won. We inaugurated our marina 11 years ago and it was straight away developed as a sustainable and smart marina as it is in a remote undeveloped area that is not politically recognised, so the aim was to introduce the boating community to a new destination”.
Tom Lord, Managing Director of Limassol: “We are very happy to win this award. As we built this project from a blank canvas, we were able to incorporate the latest technologies and best practices. In terms of operations, we continue to invest in new technologies to show what can be done in marinas in sustainability terms”.
Ulisse Gnesda, one of the founders of Fresh Architectures: “In our project there are two main themes: the first is that we saved part of an existing building, which seemed important to us, and the other is the recovery of rainwater and grey water. The project is an interpretation of these two themes: protecting an existing building and the inverted umbrellas to collect water”.
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