Ostend Science Park and the Blue Economy
According to the European Commission, the Blue Economy comprises all activities that are linked to the water, the sea and the oceans. It is a catch-all concept for a wide range of activities. Some sectors are well established such as fisheries, offshore wind, port activities, shipbuilding, maritime transport and coastal tourism. Emerging sectors are ocean energy, blue biotechnology, desalination, maritime defence and building with nature. On top of that there is a horizontal sector called smart at sea (ocean technology) covering the technologies applicable to these vertical sectors.
Take a deeper dive in the following subsectors:
- Blue biotechnology and Aquaculture
- Offshore energy
- Smart at sea
Blue biotechnology and aquaculture
UGent has a strong international reputation in this field of research. With the presence of StressChron and the further expansion of the Blue Growth Research Lab in Bluebridge, Ostend Science Park is further profiling itself within this niche. The arrival an innovative acquaculture production plant near Ostend Science Park shows the potential of this niche.
POM West-Vlaanderen is strongly committed to this subsector with the Factory for the Future Blue Energy team, as is Port Oostend. With the Blue Accelerator and the Maritime Laboratory there are also interesting test facilities near OSP that can attract players active in the emerging forms of ocean energy such as floating solar panels or floating wind energy. Our region is a pioneer in offshore wind.
Smart @ sea
If we take a closer look at the first residents at OSP, we can cluster them around the theme: smart at sea. This is a cross-cutting sector (again with several sub-sectors) that is addressed by both established and emerging sectors within the blue economy. Collecting data via remotely controlled or autonomous floating drones by GEOxyz, or monitoring windfarms remotely by e-Bo offshore, for example. We can also situate other members of the Blue Cluster within this sector. The Marine Robotics Center of VLIZ and the drone factory of ECA Group in Ostend are other assets. POM West-Vlaanderen is also committed to clustering around drones and the UPSKILL training lab blue energy can also be an asset.