General director and Coordination division | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

General director and Coordination division

The Coordination division oversees the daily operations of VLIZ and constitutes the communication link with all other partners of the InnovOcean site in Ostend. The Coordination division concludes cooperation agreements with Flemish research groups and administrations, and integrates the VLIZ activities into national and international networks.

The VLIZ General Director carries out the policy set out by the Board of Directors within the scope of the covenant between the Flemish Region and VLIZ, and reports to the Board of Directors. The General Director  is in charge of the Coordination division and takes care of the general management of VLIZ.


  • Ensure good internal operation including financial and personnel management, membership records and activities, investments, accommodation, operation of the secretariat, etc.
  • Organise and support the operation of the different management and advisory bodies of VLIZ: General Assembly, Board of Directors and Scientific Committee.
  • Fulfil all obligations of the covenant.
  • Provide project management for all projects that involve external financing.
  • Take care of visits, guided tours and presentations to support the training of young scientists and to make VLIZ known to a diverse audience.
  • Organise scientific awards.
  • Act as a coordination platform: actively detect the needs and opportunities, set up an accessible and visible point of contact, and act as facilitator.
  • Network both at the Flemish, national and international level, within and between all target groups of VLIZ.
  • Maintain and strengthen the existing national and international networks.
  • Prepare, conclude, support and monitor national and international cooperation agreements with researchers and administrations.
  • Extend the international visibility of Flemish marine sciences.
  • Act as an international point of contact for all marine scientific matters, data and information in Flanders.
  • Encourage participation in international activities, e.g. specific attention to networking with research institutes in the neighbouring countries, support EU activities (in projects, in networks), and contribute to capacity building in the third world.
  • Support the UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE in Ostend.
  • Support the secretariat of the European Marine Board (EMB) in Ostend and represent the Research Foundation – Flanders in the EMB.
  • Support the secretariat of the Joint Programming Initiative ‘Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans’ (JPI Oceans) in Brussels.
  • Support the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) secretariat in Ostend.
  • Do prospection for further development and reinforcement of the InnovOcean site.

General Director: Jan Mees

Staff members