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News

Tuesday, November 30, 2021
In response to the ever changing economical and societal climate of the Blue Economy, the University of Ghent (UGent), Belgium, and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Ireland, have collaborated to produce a new short course: “Emerging issues in the Blue Economy”. This 5-day training (taking place from the 10th until the 14th of January 2022 in Bluebridge, Ostend) provides an overview of all the sectors within the Blue Economy and will focus on their current status and challenges, as well as their potential for growth and innovation.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Monday 25th October 2021, Blue Cluster presented its Blue Innovation Awards for the second time. These awards highlight innovative and inspiring projects within the Blue Economy. MPVAqua won the BLUE Innovation Swell award. The project targets the development of large-scale offshore solar farms combined with oyster aquaculture. It is a joint initiative of Ghent University (Industrial Research Fund consortium BLUEGent, the Laboratory of Aquaculture & ARC, the Maritime Technology Division and GhEnToxLab), Jan De Nul, DEME and Soltech, and is coordinated by Tractebel.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Billions of cubic meters of material are dredged each year to keep ports and rivers accessible. This material is usually considered a waste product with no value, but could potentially play a role in restoring our eroded tidal areas and help improve our local ecosystem services. The VLAIO ICON project Bankbusters addresses this issue. By integrating biological and technological aspects, Ghent University’s Industrial Research Fund consortium BLUEGent and its Hydraulics Laboratory, together with a consortium of research and industry partners, is developing innovative... Learn more
Thursday, November 4, 2021
The 1 September 2021 the Enzymares project kicked off. This project is a collaboration between Ghent University, VIB, KU Leuven, VITO and Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, and is supported by three Flemish spearhead clusters: Catalisti, Blauwe Cluster and Flanders’ FOOD. Enzymares will develop an enzyme prediction toolbox to speed up enzyme discovery and reduce the time-to-market for new enzymes. The innovative toolbox will contribute to the success of enzymes as sustainable bio-catalysts and thus support companies in making their processes and products more sustainable. The... Learn more
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Ulrike Braeckman is a post-doctoral researcher in the Marine Biology Research Group at UGent. She coordinates the research on the effects of offshore windfarms (OWFs) on the seafloor and its inhabitants. We asked her a couple of questions on the state of offshore windfarms in the Belgian part of the North Sea and their effects on marine biodiversity.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
From 30th August until 10th September, Marine@UGent and partners organised the 5th edition of the Blue Science & Technology Summer Training in Ostend, Belgium. This 2-week training course brought together more than 20 participants from 14 different nationalities to Ostend Science Park. On the last day, a public networking event ‘Sea Your Future’ closed the Summer School proving opportunity to engage with supply side and other important actors in the Blue Economy. A huge thank you to all partners and participants for making this event a success! Relive the BlueS&T... Learn more
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
On 30th September 2021, Technopolis opened Sea Force, a brand-new exhibition where one moment you imagine yourself to be on the coast, but the next moment you are at the bottom of the sea and not much later in the harbor of the future. All of that is possible thanks to fine examples of technology. Sea Force is the first exhibition in Technopolis where, in an immersive digital environment, you are truly immersed in a future where science and technology are central. Marine@UGent is a partner of the new expo, providing expertise on the vast possibilities for offshore and... Learn more
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
A storm surge in 1134 created a large tidal inlet, known as the Zwin. It linked Bruges to the rest of Europe and beyond and was dotted with a series of outports at its banks. Natural, political and economic factors all resulted in the eventual downfall of Bruges and the Zwin in the 16th century. The outports shrunk from cities into hamlets or even disappeared entirely from the landscape. After years of interdisciplinary study combining archaeological, geological and historical research, an immersive exhibition and cycle route with VR viewers now bring this maritime system... Learn more
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Seaweeds – the announced superfood of 2021 – are packed with healthy antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They have been a typical part of Asian cuisine for a long time and are steadily gaining popularity as a food source in Europe. To meet rising demands, seaweed aquaculture is a rapidly emerging sector in Europe. A multidisciplinary team from Ghent University, Belgium, along with industrial partners is investigating the possibility of offshore cultivation within wind parks and aims to tackle bottlenecks to advance land-based cultivation of high-value seaweeds.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
UGent Metals is the technology center for metals R&D at Ghent University, providing a broad variety of experimental and numerical techniques to make and characterize innovative metals for components and structures exposed to harsh conditions. In that view, the center made substantial investments in understanding the material challenges for marine applications and technologies to ensure optimal durability, performance and safety. In the last decade, UGent Metals built up expertise in offshore wind, ocean energy, dredging, deep sea mining and ship building and aims at... Learn more
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
We are proud to announce the launch of our new Blue Science & Technology Summer Training (BlueS&T) course. Building on our succesful previous editions of the Blue Growth Summer School (BGSS) this year, for the first time, four Flemish universities and Campus Zeeland unite to offer you the very best overview and insights into the most recent research and innovation developments in marine and maritime sciences.
Monday, March 29, 2021
The European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC-ERIC) is a distributed Research Infra-structure.  Flemish operators of this ESFRI received €3.825.201 FWO funding for the period 2021-2024, which allows them to remain globally competitive and push the frontiers of Blue Science by sharing expertise, data and protocols. Stakeholders from the public and private sectors call on EMBRC facilities for their research while benefiting from on-site expertise and proximity to the marine environment and their study organism(s). This provides high-quality and reproducible results... Learn more
Monday, March 29, 2021
Shallow coastal waters are often turbid because of the presence of high amounts of suspended mineral and organic particles (SPM), which strongly affect the functioning of coastal ecosystem, e.g. by limiting light availability to phytoplankton. While SPM dynamics are driven by physical and chemical processes, it is becoming increasingly clear that planktonic organisms engage in complex interactions with SPM. BG-PART, funded by the BRAIN-be 2.0 program, will study the complex feedback loops between SPM dynamics and biological processes in Belgian coastal waters, and how... Learn more
Monday, March 29, 2021
On 23 March the first Joint Flemish-Dutch Icon Group meeting was organised as one of three crossborder strategic stakeholder groups. This meeting aimed to discuss opportunities and directions for collaboration on the topic  'Innovative Water Retaining Landscapes'.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
On the evening of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), you are invited to explore Flanders Blue Research and Innovation system in a new publication 'Gearing up our blue knowledge - Tackling ocean challenges in the UN Decade of Ocean Science'.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
The high potential of marine organisms and their components to provide goods and services for a broad range of sectors, like the pharmaceutical, agriculture and biofuels sector, is well known. Crème de la Mer, a cosmetic product based on seaweed, and Chitosan, a dietary supplement derived from crab and shrimp shells, are known success stories. Despite the promise of novel marine products, the derived revenues have been modest. By establishing the BIOMARES platform, UGent will invest in research and innovation in blue biotechnology in collaboration with companies from a... Learn more
Thursday, December 17, 2020
UGent's new research facilities at Ostend Science Park are gradually taking shape. Campus Ostend will be the home to more than 400 m² brand new multidiciplinary laboratories. Offering tailor-made solutions to today’s most challenging marine and maritime research questions.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Overview of the projects financed via the Blue Cluster in 2020. Nine new project proposals were approved by the Blue Cluster in 2020, representing a total grant of €9 million, of which €6.8 million is reserved for the knowledge institutions. These projects fall mainly within the domains of Renewable Energy & Freshwater Production and Coastal Protection & Use of Mineral Resources.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
November 2020: a busy month at the Belgian pilot!   Our Belgium waters used to house reefs of European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis). Such reefs provide a valuable habitat supporting a unique marine biodiversity, but also provided a luxury seafood for our cuisine and culture. However, overfishing since the 19th century and the occurrence of diseases (such as bonamiasis) in the 1980s devastated these wild oyster reefs.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
The Flemish and Dutch Ministers Crevits (FL) and Van Engelshoven (NL) discussed science and research policy at the Digital Flemish-Dutch Summit last Wednesday 4th November. This was an important topic on the agenda, considering the recent developments on both sides of the border. A new Delta Knowledge Centre for water, food and energy will be created in Vlissingen and Flanders is pushing forward with initiatives such as Marine@UGent, the inter-university platform for resource recovery CAPTURE and the Blue economy research campus on Ostend Science Park.

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