UGent unites marine research at Blue Growth in Ostend

Summary

Ghent University, a leader in maritime research in Flanders, has clustered all its marine activities in one campus at the coast

Europe 2020 goals

Ghent University (UGent) is ready to launch its Blue Growth campus at the GreenBridge Science Park in Ostend. Blue Growth will unite all of UGent’s marine and maritime research activities.

The researchers at Blue Growth will focus on the sustainable use of oceans and seas. Specific research areas include blue energy (offshore wind, wave and tidal power), aquaculture, marine biotechnology, seabed mining and coastal defence.

UGent carries out three-quarters of all marine and maritime research in Flanders. The science park’s location by the sea will make more applied research possible. Excavation work is set to begin soon to install a wave tank of 30x30 meters, which will allow models of coastal engineering and offshore structures – such as breakwaters, energy converters and offshore wind turbines – to be subject to waves, tidal currents and wind .

“Blue Growth will also embrace an interdisciplinary approach,” said GreenBridge CEO Marianne Martens.  There is, for example, the consortium Marine@ugent, which finds research groups working together around the same marine research topics. “The intense co-operation between engineering experts and marine biologists will put Blue Growth firmly on the map” of maritime research in Europe, she said.

The name Blue Growth refers to the EU’s strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

Photo courtesy UGent