The Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (H.I.M.A.) was founded in 1973. HIMA is a private non-profit scientific body, which aims to conduct and promote underwater archaeological research in Greece, in tandem with the difficult task undertaken by the Hellenic Archaeological Service. From 1973 to 1976, when the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities was founded, HIMA acted as an official consultant of the Ministry of Culture in matters regarding underwater archaeology. The Institute has been financially supported by significant organizations in Greece and abroad, and has managed several grants by European research programs, state bodies, private non-profit foundations, companies and individuals.
In its 50 years of activity, HIMA has conducted seven large-scale underwater field projects, which involved both survey and excavation procedures, study and dissemination of UCH sites. Today, the Institute is engaged in three ongoing underwater research projects in the Argosaronic Gulf, the Pagasetikos Gulf and the island of Salamis. These are achievements mainly due to the important scientific work undertaken by the Institute, its organizational adequacy and the advanced professional qualifications of its members. HIMA, therefore, could contribute significantly to the testing, verification and validation of the R&I solutions that the BCThubs project aims to introduce. It could play a key role to the development of RIS3 strategies and Action Plan, whilst, at the same time, reinforce the fruitful collaboration, planning and establishment of common practices between all members within the quadruple helix.
Furthermore, in regard to the training and demonstration planning proposed by the BCThubs, HIMA has gained the knowledge to support effectively such tasks. In addition to its approximately 500 regular members currently in Greece, leading foreign scientists and researchers in the field of maritime and nautical archaeology are also corresponding members of the Institute. The lack of university education in maritime archaeology in Greece, until recently, made HIMA the principal source of support, nationally, for training young researchers in the field. Through field surveys, educational programs and seminars/conferences organized by HIMA, many archaeologists, scientists from various disciplines and technical experts in maritime and nautical archaeology have been trained.
Aiming at scientific documentation and outreach to both the scientific community and the public, HIMA has been publishing since 1989 the journal ENALIA, the only scientific journal specialized in maritime archaeology in Greece, and among the few worldwide. In addition, the Institute has organized exhibitions and events to raise public awareness on the promotion and protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. As a result, within the context of BCThubs, HIMA is qualified to take part in the planning of dissemination activities and contribute to the development of a joint exploitation planning of cross-border R&I efforts that would ultimately pave the way to a sustainable future of the BCT Excellence Hubs.