Name of the project: Development of the Marine Valley Nucleus and Renewal of Study infrastructure (JURA)
Project reference number: VP2-1.1-SMM-04-V-01-003
Implementing body: Central Project Management Agency
Project partners: Klaipeda University, Nature Research Centre, Lithuanian Maritime Academy
Duration of the project: 2009-12-31 –2013-12-31
Budget of the project: 25 828 603 EUR
Contact person: Zita Gasiūnaitė

Project is a main part of the Programme of Lithuanian Integrated Marine Science, Studies and Business Center (Valley), aimed to develop research infrastructure for fundamental and applied sciences and facilitate the link between science, studies and business.

As a result of the project, a basis for concentration of scientific potential will be created, more effective use of the investments to the scientific infrastructure will be ensured. The concept of the project is favourable for the stimulation of innovations, knowledge and technology transfer to the business. Relationships between science and studies will be enhanced.

Renovation of the study infrastructure is directly related to the quality of the studies in the marine fields. At the moment the facilities for the study programmes in the physical, natural and technological studies are outdated.

The initiatives established in the EU territorial dimension such as implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in transitional and coastal waters; Baltic Sea Region Strategy; integrated coastal zone management; thematic strategies: sea, earth, population; biodiversity protection (NATURA 2000 marine territories); strategic environmental impact assessment and environmental impact assessment (Arhus Convention); safe navigation, marine pollution prevention; the integration of planning and environment will be implemented by concentrating maritime science, studies and business potential in the Valley.

The establishment of the Marine Valley complies with the regional and local legal documents: Klaipeda Regional Development Plan (2007-2013), Klaipeda County Master Plan, Klaipeda Municipality Strategic Development Plan, Klaipeda City Master Plan.

The establishment of the Marine Valley in the coastal region will contribute to the implementation of the priorities set in the Lithuanian national strategy of sustainable development: reduction of the impact of the marine complex and other major branches of economy on the environment; more effective exploitation of natural resources and waste processing; alleviation of the global climate change and its consequences; better protection of the biological diversity; better landscape protection and its more rational management; increasing of the role of education and science; exploitation of the resources of alternative energy (geothermal waters, wind and wave energy, etc.).

Two activities as well as directions of scientific research and experimental development of the Valley are suggested considering the system of Lithuanian maritime sector and on the basis of the assessment of the potential of the initiators of the Valley, their partners, participants, and their demand for scientific knowledge and innovations: marine environment and marine technologies. In the intersection of the development directions, the main objectives of the Project to be implemented are:

  • creation of the open access modern scientific research infrastructure;
  • integration of science, studies and business and creation of a favourable environment to apply maritime scientific knowledge and technologies in the business;
  • improvement of the education quality;
  • increase of competitiveness of the Lithuanian maritime science and technologies in the international market of maritime services.

The project consists of:

  • construction of scientific laboratory building (approx. 5000 m2) with four fully equipped scientific laboratories: Marine Ecosystems, Marine Chemistry, Waterborne Technologies and Reliability of Maritime Structures;
  • construction of multifunctional research vessel with modern field equipment for basic oceanographic research;
  • renewal of the equipment for study laboratories of Klaipeda University;
  • renovation of two field stations of the Nature Research Centre: hydrobiological field station Šilutė district, Ventė village and coastal biological field station Kalno str. 22 Neringa city. Adjustment of these stations for the studies;
  • update of the study facilities of Lithuanian Maritime Academy.