Cluster Tours

Coastal Marine Tour in Ostend

Blue Cluster: Description

De Blauwe Cluster

The Blue Cluster is a Flemish organisation aimed at developing and promoting economic activities linked to the sea. It groups private companies who believe that cross-sector partnerships and cooperation with knowledge centres and government institutions will lead to innovative projects and investments in the Belgian North Sea and beyond, as anticipated solutions for several global challenges. The Blue Cluster is recognized as spearhead cluster by VLAIO. This means that sustainable innovation-driven growth at sea is structured and supported by both companies and government, in order to create new value chains, open up export markets and improve the competitiveness of the companies involved.

For more information: see here.


Since the inauguration of the first offshore wind park in the Belgian North sea in 2009, Belgium is a pioneer in offshore energy development. Today, our tiny country is still 5th in the world when it comes to installed capacity. This has brought us not only clean energy, but also investments and jobs. Our world-known marine contractors have diversified as EPCI contractor in offshore wind, we have industry leaders in the design and engineering of offshore wind farms and in the manufacturing of foundations and offshore substations, and numerous SME’s have successfully introduced top-technology and unique services.

This tour brings you to the “Mekka” of offshore wind in Flanders, the port of Ostend. We will show you how the port has transformed and accommodated this new sector. We focus on collaborations between industry, knowledge institutes and government which thrive new developments. Last but not least, you will learn about over 40 mio € new investments of the Flemish government in maritime R&D infrastructures in Ostend, which will facilitate future growth in the blue economy: offshore energy, clean and autonomous shipping, coastal protection, marine aquaculture, etc.


08:30: departure from FMCCA, to Oostende
Introduction (on the bus): Offshore renewable energy developments in Belgium by Ann Overmeire - community manager Blue Cluster

10:00-10:30: Welcome coffee Presentations (Port of Ostend)
The Blue Cluster: collaboration for blue growth in Flanders by Caroline Ven, CEO of the Blue Cluster
Role of the port of Ostend in the offshore development by Dirk Declerck, CEO of the port of Ostend

10:30-11:15: Site tour by bus on the REBO offshore wind terminal

11:50-12:00: If possible: visit of a working vessel of Jan De Nul or DEME
optional: visit to the Blue Accelerator offshore test platform (a)
optional: visit to RelyOn Nutec offshore safety training centre

12:00-13:30: lunch, acquaintance and matchmaking (Deschildre Streekproducten, Vismijnlaan 42, Oostende)

13:30-15:00: Visit to one of the offshore wind developers Parkwind, C-Power or Otary (b): TBC
Presentation on offshore energy R&D roadmap: structural health monitoring, multi-use, etc.

15:00-15:30: Visit to the Marine Station Ostend and the Marine Robotics Centre of the Flanders Marine Institute (c)

15:30-15:45: Transfer from Slipwaykaai to Wetenschapspark

15:45-16:30: Refreshments
Presentation of the GreenBridge incubation centre & science park with focus on blue growth

16:30: departure to Antwerp, FMCCA

Case of De Blauwe Cluster

To be completed.

Detailed information

Blue Accelerator (a)

With support from ERDF, the Flemish government and the province of West-Flanders, a maritime test platform is being build in the Belgian part of the North Sea, 500 meters outside the port of Ostend. The installation has begun in May 2019 and the platform will be operational in autumn 2019. This development platform will serve as a "living lab" to conduct tests in real life conditions, aimed at Blue Energy projects (offshore wind, wave and tidal energy) and the broader blue economy. The Blue Accelerator platform meets these needs of scientific institutions as well as maritime companies.


Offshore wind developers in the Belgian North Sea (b)

End of 2020, the Belgian North sea will have 2,2 GW offshore wind installed capacity, or as many as 2 nuclear power stations. Offshore wind energy will cover no less than 10% of the total electricity needs of our country. For an overview of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea, please visit

All these developers are involved in R&D projects supported by the Flemish government.

The Marine Station Ostend and the Marine Robotics Centre (c)

The Marine Station Ostend is a coastal satellite laboratory from the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) available for all Flemish marine scientists. The Marine Station comprises multifunctional laboratories, provides storage capacity for scientific equipment and has space for public activities.

In 2018, VLIZ started with the development of a Marine Robotics Centre and got an investment budget of 3 million euros from the Flemish Government. The intension of this Marine Robotics Centre is to grant Flemish scientists and their (inter)national partners, as well as other Flemish actors in the marine robotics scene, access to the latest technologies in the marine research field. To accomplish this goal, VLIZ recently acquired two robotic devices (AUV Barabas and USV Adhemar) which are complementary to the already available remotely operated vehicle ROV Genesis.


Dress code

No special requirements.