Partners | Marine@Ugent


Marine and maritime sciences are truly international pursuits. Scientists at Marine@UGent collaborate with colleagues around the world and we attract staff and students from many nations. Through collaborations and partnerships we offer many benefits, including greater science impact, access to facilities, filling gaps in data and the promotion of excellence through training, international comparison and knowledge exchange.

Collaboration can also underpin (inter-) national development goals and help strengthen research capacity and local expertise across the world. To further strengthen the relations a formalised agreements is established through memorandums of understanding (MoUs). These cooperation agreements collect practical arrangements and action items to support e.g. research result dissemination, documentation of activities and contact information of research groups, use of research infrastructure, etc.

National partnerships

Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

Since 2012 a cooperation agreement is set up between VLIZ and the interfaculty marine and maritime research cluster Marine@UGent.
The objectives of this cooperation agreement are:
  1. Promoting interfaculty and multidisciplinary cooperation between Marine@UGent research groups and VLIZ through regular contact and exchange of information
  2. Promoting Ghent University as a top university in marine / maritime sciences and technologies
  3. Promoting VLIZ as an international coordination and information centre and as a marine research partner
  4. Setting up joint innovative and multidisciplinary marine research projects
  5. Granting mutual access and sharing of research infrastructure
  6. Promoting the visibility and valorisation of UGent-VLIZ marine / maritime research.

The Blue Cluster

The Flemish government supports innovation & entrepreneurship in the blue economy through the Blue Cluster. The Blue Cluster is one of the six Flemish spearhead clusters and has been active since 2018.
The main focus areas of the Blue Cluster funding programs are: Coastal protection & use of mineral resources, Renewable energy & freshwater production, Maritime connection, Sustainable seafood & marine biotechnology, Blue tourism, Ocean health & waste solutions, Ecosystem approach and Smart sea.
With nearly 200 members and partners, 85% of which are enterprises, the Blue Cluster together with its partners, like Marine@UGent, can offer vast opportunities to create sustainable and innovative solutions and ground-breaking technology within the blue economy.

International partnerships

Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre

Ghent University is a partner of the Australian Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BE-CRC).

The BE-CRC is a partnership between between the University of Queensland, the University of Tasmania, approximately 45 private companies and several (inter-)national research institutes. The Blue Economy CRC aims to bring together national and international expertise in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and marine engineering to develop innovative, commercially viable and sustainable offshore developments that will see rapid increases in marine renewable energy output and seafood production. The five research programs are offshore engineering and technology, seafood and marine products, offshore renewable energy systems, environment and ecosystems and sustainable offshore developments.

The aims of the CRC program are to:

  • Enhance competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian companies, especially in areas where Australia is competitively strong;
  • Achieve results in line with the Australian government priorities;
  • Promote the involvement of SMEs in collaborative research; and
  • Support qualitative research to solve industry-specific problems through research collaborations and collaborations between companies and research institutions.

Campus Zeeland

Ghent University and Campus Zeeland have combined their strengths in the Delta Collaboration Platform. As a result of climate change, the Flemish-Dutch Delta will have to adapt to a changing environment. The platform focusses on education and research in three different fields: energy, water and food. The outcome of their work not only applies locally, but can be put to use worldwide in various similar delta regions.

In November 2018 a cooperation agreement was set up between Ghent University and Campus Zeeland. Campus Zeeland brings together the business community, research institutions and government in Zeeland. The main educational partners are University College Roosevelt (UCR), HZ University of Applied Sciences, Scalda, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and Wageningen Marine Research (WMR).

This cooperation agreement officially launched the development of the “Delta collaboration platform”. As a result of climate change, the Flemish-Dutch Delta region will have to adapt to a changing environment. The Delta platforms will unite researchers, governmental bodies and stakeholders to develop climate-proof solutions which tackle major global challenges in terms of:

  • The production of sustainable, safe and healthy food from the sea;
  • The sustainable production of renewable energy (offshore wind, tidal energy);
  • Optimal water management and water safety.

As such, the platform aims to become the hub that connects knowledge and research in the middle of a unique ‘living lab’. The knowledge and expertise obtained will be further exploited for similar Delta regions worldwide.

Interregional Internationlisation Initiative - 3i

Universiteit Gent, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULAK), the University of Kent and the Université de Lille founded the Interregional Internationalisation Initiative University Network (3i Network).

The main goal of the network is to bring together universities, regional governments and the private sector/civil society to work on challenges common to the Channel area shared by Flanders, Kent and the Hauts-de-France.


Four thematic clusters were put forward for cooperation:

- Communities and Well-being

- Nutrition and Health

- Trade and Economy

- Marine and Maritime Challenges: coordinated by Marine@UGent.

Marine@UGent is always interested to set up new partnerships and collaborations. If you are interested please contact us