Flemish minister Hilde Crevits lays foundation stone of new InnovOcean Campus in Ostend | Flanders Marine Institute

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Flemish minister Hilde Crevits lays foundation stone of new InnovOcean Campus in Ostend

Oostende (2020.06.30) – This morning the Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation and Agriculture Hilde Crevits laid the symbolic foundation stone of the new InnovOcean Campus of the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The brand-new state-of-the-art InnovOcean Campus in Ostend (Belgium) should boost marine research. The construction of the campus involves an investment of 20 million euros.

Press release by: ILVO en VLIZ

In 2022, VLIZ, its national and international partners, and the marine research department of ILVO, will move into the brand-new InnovOcean Campus in Ostend. The physical joining of forces of both institutions means an additional attraction for the region. Both renowned institutions are complementary and often work together. With the new building, they will also house together.

The campus will be a new landmark in the Ostend skyline: a state-of-the-art research complex of 8,000 square meters. It will house offices, conference facilities, a specialized marine library and numerous workshops and laboratories. The new building will accommodate 170 employees.

VLIZ is the hub for marine research and innovation in Flanders and its international project partners strengthen its international position. ILVO's marine branch conducts research targeting at sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, as well as macro and microplastics.

Investing in knowledge and marine economy

The Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation and Agriculture Hilde Crevits: “ILVO and VLIZ are two Flemish knowledge institutions with an international reputation and fame in marine sciences. By constructing their new joint InnovOcean Campus, we allow both institutes to converge and set course towards a sustainable future for the Flemish marine sector. We are investing more than 20 million euros in this project, boosting marine research in Flanders.”

Governor of the Province of West Flanders and chairman of VLIZ Carl Decaluwé: “The new campus will be a strong pillar for the marine cluster in West Flanders, Belgian's only coastal province. The innovative approach promises an intensive and original conversion of marine sciences into policy and industry and towards the general public.”

Bart Tommelein, mayor of Ostend: “Ostend offers a unique window to the world due to its central location by the sea. With the new InnovOcean Campus on the eastern bank of our harbour and thanks to the excellent research that will take place there, we will have an important asset to continue playing a key role in the marine knowledge economy.”

Co-housing in knowledge

Jan Mees, general director of VLIZ: “Today VLIZ is breaking a historical boundary. The InnovOcean Campus creates a space for innovative hubs and for joint expertise in marine ecosystems. Together with our international partners and the province of West Flanders and ILVO fisheries on site, and with our extensive network of 1500 marine and coastal reseracher inland, we aim to tackle the ocean related societal challenges through solid interdisciplinary research. We work in an open and interactive collaboration with policy makers, industry and the ocean literate citizen of the future.”

ILVO is the official constructor of the InnovOcean Campus. Joris Relaes, general manager of ILVO: “The marine researchers of ILVO provide the government with information on fish stocks, fishing methods and socio-economic aspects of the fishing sector, aquaculture systems and the ecosystem. They also advise the fishing industry, the young aquaculture industry in Flanders and the supply chain in their pursuit of sustainability. With this construction project, ILVO sets a good example and hopes to stimulate collaboration in relevant research projects connecting to the societal context in which the marine sector operates. Together towards more sustainability is the only way forward.”

Technically smart building

The construction of the new building is coordinated by the Flemish investment company PMV, and will be implemented by a construction team consisting of General Construction Maes (Van Roey Group) and EVR architects from Ghent.

Sandra Schippers, architect-urban planner at EVR architects: “The outer shell of the building is constructed with blue glass mosaics and the color palette of floors and joinery inside refers to the golden yellow sea sand. The building will reflect the poetry of wind, water, sun and clouds.”

Carine Drumont, general manager of General Construction Maes (Van Roey Group): “This building is drawn as "Almost Energy Neutral"  with an Energy-level of maximum 30, while the recovery of rainwater is also realized.”

An artist impression of the new innovOcean Campus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX_FaQkHf-M

[Download video in high resolution - 969Mb]

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