Knowledge valorization to the Blue Economy

VLIZ actively invests in the valorisation of marine research towards companies and innovation actors within the Blue Economy. In this way, the institution aims to enrich the innovation capacity and knowledge economy in Flanders. In the Strategic Plan Blue Economy, VLIZ defines the policy for the cooperation with companies. This policy is based on strengthening the existing economic fabric and three guiding principles are put forward:

  • Respecting the regulations regarding knowledge and technology transfer to the Blue Economy (including state aid);
  • Pursuing broad valorisation opportunities;
  • Safeguarding the scientific integrity and identity of VLIZ.


Innovation projects with companies

In recent years, VLIZ has developed a diverse portfolio of dozens of innovation projects together with companies. These range from strategic basic research for the Blue Economy (e.g. Clay Tectonics, Blue Balance and PLUXIN), innovation projects in which VLIZ acts as a research partner in collaboration with companies (e.g. Coastbusters 2.0, EROVMUS, BASTA and NCN-neutral) to European projects together with Flemish companies (e.g. ULTFARMS, Miricle and Treasure).

In addition, the institute invests in bilateral contacts with companies. In this regard, the most optimal collaboration modality is sought, depending on the question at hand.

VLIZ has an ongoing collaboration in projects with some 70 companies based in Flanders and Belgium.


Participation in consultation platforms and networks regarding Blue Economy

VLIZ has the mandate to represent the Flemish marine research community in formal consultation platforms with regard to the Blue Economy. In this capacity, the institution participates in a number of networks and organizations. These include:

  • The Blue Cluster: VLIZ was instrumental in establishing the Flemish spearhead cluster for innovation within the Blue Economy. Within this cluster, VLIZ chairs the scientific advisory board and as such participates in the steering committee and in the board of directors (as an observer);
  • Strategic steering group of the Flemish Aquaculture Platform;
  • Expert Group Blue Energy (POM West Flanders): this frames within the cooperation agreement of VLIZ with POM West Flanders;
  • Mine Counter Measures (MCM) Laboratory: VLIZ is one of the founding members of this network of partners focused on developing new solutions and technologies for mine counter measures. 
  • Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership (SBEP): At the request of the EWI Department, VLIZ participates in the European SBEP that aims to align investments and programs in marine research and innovation.


Matchmaking marine research and Blue Economy

Together with the Blue Cluster (DBC), VLIZ organizes the Blue Economy Science Summit (BESS) that connects marine knowledge institutions with maritime companies.

In addition, we try to answer specific questions from companies for tailored scientific expertise and link them to the experts in the field. VLIZ can also be contacted for questions about marine research infrastructure and data management. In addition, the institute actively contributes to brochures and publications that highlight the innovations in the Blue Economy.

Questions about cooperation between the VLIZ and companies?