Blue Science & Technology Summer Training: aftermovie | Marine@Ugent

Blue Science & Technology Summer Training: aftermovie

Planet earth’s defining feature is the ocean, covering approximately 70% of the planet’s surface. The ocean provides important goods and services to society and is a major part of the world economy, with more and more nations looking to the ocean as a way to meet the needs for their people.

In crowded seas such as those around the European Union, including the North Sea, pressures on the environment are building and space is at a premium. In managing these areas, the interests of different economic sectors, including fishing, energy, shipping and tourism, must be considered.

Tomorrow’s generation of marine scientists and engineers, high level technicians, and other trainees will need to be able to work in a multi-disciplinary fashion. Knowledge is required beyond the complex scientific and technical issues, but requires employees to cut across scientific, environmental, economic and social disciplines.


The Blue Science & Technology Summer Training (BlueS&T) prepares participants to meet these requirements by introducing  key components that build a strong foundation for a sustainable blue economy in a multidisciplinary fashion. After more than a year of virtual meetings, both participants and lectures were excited to take part in the 5th edition of this summer training this September in Ostend. In total, 20 participants and 36 lectures from 14 different nationalities embarked on the adventure called the BlueS&T.

Participants enjoyed lectures focusing on themes such as healthy oceans, bioprospecting, ecosystem services, sustainable seafood, coastal engineering and building with nature, marine spatial planning, offshore energy, social innovation and entrepreneurship, provided by (inter-)national lectures from amongst others Ghent University, VLIZ, KU Leuven, VUB, HZ University of Applied Sciences, NIOZ, Wageningen University and Research, and various international partners of the WECANET consortium like Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Burgas Free University. These lectures were combined with multidisciplinary workshops, lab-activities and various onsite visits like the drone lab of VIVES, the North Sea Port and offshore oysters farms and windfarms.

Following previous success, the last day of the summer training finished with an open event for the public ‘Sea Your Future’. The day starts with a number of interesting pitches by the Blue Science & Technology Summer Training students. Afterwards, visitors joined a panel debate on the challenges and opportunities for offshore energy and got exclusive VIP time with all the companies partaking in the Blue Economy matchmaking lunch and Job Fair.  

The training week was intense, but most of all, very rewarding! Especially to see how, by the end of the training course, a group of strangers ended up as a tight group of colleagues (and even friends!) ready to tackle their own research project or new career perspectives with all the new insights they gathered and with a new outlook on how their work could play a pivotal role in the future of the Belgian blue economy.


Have a look at our BlueS&T aftermovie to get a glimpse of this amazing training course.

The recording of the panel debate is available on Youtube.

Authors: dr Sara Vandamme and Dirk Hoet
Picture ©Marine@UGent