The Black Sea Association of Maritime Institutions (BSAMI) International Scientific Conference was held on 10 February 2021, on “Emerging Trends, Threats and Opportunities in the Black Sea Region”.

The conference was attended by renowned speakers Ms Magdalena Andreea STRACHINESCU OLTEANU, Head of Unit A1 “Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment”, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) European Commission, and Ms Carmen AVRAM, SEArica Intergroup’s Vice Chair for the Danube and the Black Sea, and representatives from respective organisations BSEC, CPMR, ICBSS, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of World Maritime University, and some 90 participants from the wider Black Sea region as well as Australia, Canada, and India.

In his opening speech, Prof. Dr Oral Erdoğan, Rector of Piri Reis University (PRU) and BSAMI chairman, welcomed the participants and extended his special thanks to the speakers. In his speech, he emphasized the following issues in summary:

‘’ The Black Sea region is an economic area with a potential for growth and an important transport and energy hub. There are many marine and maritime-shared interests calling for coordinated actions and synergies. There is already a well-established record of cooperation with a number of regional organisations involved in maritime issues; however, there is still need for coordinated actions to promote the Black Sea beyond the region itself, explore the existing opportunities and overcome likely challenges under strong partnership and coordination.

Marine science and maritime education and training are a good basis for cooperation and are key factors in improving and developing new skills in the region. As heads of Black Sea Maritime Universities, we need to aim to contribute to the regions well-being by raising the culture of maritime traditions, which unites the seafarers in a common sense. Today development of Maritime Education and Training system is a dynamic process under the pressure of rapidly improving maritime technology. An ideal development cannot be achieved by considering the existing practice and internal processes and procedures only and needs to have a wider perspective by reviewing best practices worldwide and establishing the necessary benchmark.

Piri Reis University has achieved significant leap in EU Project where BSAMI members are either member or involved in, such as;, MINE-EMI (Maritime Innovative Network of Education for Emerging Maritime Issues) led by Piri Reis University, iSOL-MET (Innovative Soft Skills to Maritime Education and Training) led by the University of the Aegean (Greece) and Blue4Seas (Marine Pollution and Environment Protection) led by Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy (Romania). All the Piri Reis University ongoing projects will include development of distance learning tools, methodologies and materials in the context of digital transformation and will be shared with all BSAMI members as well as other interested maritime institutions’’.

Following the opening speech of Prof. Erdogan, a keynote speech was delivered by Ms Magdalena Andreea STRACHINESCU OLTEANU on Focus for Research, Innovation and Skills. In her speech Ms. Olteanu pointed out the importance of cooperation in the Black Sea region for sustainable blue growth. She stressed the challenges on transportation, food, biodiversity, ocean observation and research needs concerning them. She also told overcoming challenges of today will lead the people to achieve the goals of tomorrow. She stressed the importance of relations among the research and technology, business and higher education.

session was Stakeholders Panel, which was titled “Emerging Trends, Threats and Opportunities in the Black Sea Region: Stakeholders Expectations from MET (Maritime Education and Training) Institutions”.

MEP Carmen Avram, Vice Chair for the Danube and the Black Sea, Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas (SEARICA) Intergroup was the first speaker in this panel. She started by pointing out the importance of sustainable blue economy and internal and external measures to provide this. She also stressed that the focus should cover other marine activities to uplift the standards of a sustainable blue growth, investment in education and research, especially the education of people like fishermen. She concluded her remarks by stressing the importance of gender equality.

Next speaker in the panel, Rositsa STOEVA, Executive Manager, Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC PERMIS), emphasized opportunities in the Black Sea related to blue economy projects managed by the BSEC PERMIS, by giving special emphasis on Black Sea Connect, Black Sea Virtual Knowledge Centre, Blueing Black Sea, BRIDGE BS Project that include 32 organizations and institutions.

Next speaker, Stavros KALOGNOMOS, Executive Secretary of the Balkan and Black Sea Commission (BBSC), Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) started his presentation by giving some information about CPMR and its role in the realization of projects in the region. He mentioned the SEArica events on clean oceans, sustainable tourism, marine litter, maritime industries, marine biodiversity, blue spaces, Black Sea, managing ship effluents, and blue economy.

Last speaker of the first panel Georgia CHANTZI, Research and Policy Development Manager, International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) emphasized the importance of fostering policy oriented research to promote cooperation.

Second session of the conference was MET Panel on “Innovative MET Solutions and Cooperation on Research”. First speaker Asst. Prof. Dr.  George GABEDEVA from BNTU gave a presentation about                           ‘’Challenges Caused by COVID19, Solution found, Current Situation and Future Plans’’. He talked about the impacts of COVID 10 on the maritime training and education and suggested ways to adapt to the current situation while putting forward suggestions for the future.

Next speaker Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gabriel RAICU from CMU gave a presentation about the Paradigm shifts and emerging technologies in MET in the existing extraordinary conditions.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivaylo BAKALOV from NVNA gave examples of using an engine room simulator in Augmented Reality environment in connection with training and research during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also presented photos on how the engine room simulator can be used effectively under existing conditions.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Catalin POPA from MBNA talked about the importance of the struggle for a clean environment, especially for clean seas and introduced the project which has been prepared for this purpose: ‘’Measures Against Marine Pollution and Environment Protection in the Black Sea – Project BLUE4SEAS’’.

Lecturer Alaettin Sevim from the PRU pointed out the importance of adapting MET to the changing conditions and expectations of future and introduced the Project MINE-EMI in his presentation titled ‘’Development of Maritime Management Joint Master Program for Regional Cooperation - Project MINE-EMI (maritime Innovative Network of Education for Emerging Maritime Issues’’.


Lastly, Dr. Pınar Ozdemir from the PRU stressed the importance of soft skills as well as hard skills in the work life and introduced the new EU Project ISOL-MET aiming the development of soft skills in maritime.

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The Black Sea Association of Maritime Institutions (BSAMI) was created in April 2010 in Istanbul by six higher education institutions who decided to meet the responsibility as a team to further enhance themselves as the major global center of the highest quality maritime human resources through knowledge, innovation and implementation towards the future.

In the era of globalized market and globalized industries, the need for highest quality human resources is undeniable. The Black Sea Basin is globally recognized as one of the most important sources of highly qualified seagoing personnel.

Following their long tradition in the training of maritime officers for the international fleet, the six founding members joined together to strengthen their leading role in the Black Sea Basin.