On February 27th 2017, the construction of a new maritime laboratory has started in Ostend. Ghent University, the Catholic University of Leuven and Flanders Hydraulics Research will use this infrastructure to study the impact of waves, tides and wind on ships and constructions at sea.
Along with the two universities, Flanders invests 28 million euro in the new Flanders Maritime Laboratory that is planned to be operational in 2020.
“The Flemish harbours, that serve as a gateway to Europe and process an important part of the European import and export, are the motor of our economy and welfare. Ensuring their accessibility for ships that are increasing in size, is crucial to our economic position and the preservation of prosperity,” states Minister Ben Weyts. “This new maritime laboratory offers plenty of possibilities for windmill manufacturers, offshore engineering and developers of wave and tidal energy. The research that will be conducted in the laboratory will help to reduce the risks of building at sea and it will allow large and small companies to respond more quickly to market developments.”
Flanders Maritime Laboratory is being built on the Plassendale 1 grounds at Greenbridge Research Campus, in the inner harbour of Ostend. This creates a boost for the Ostend harbour and offers opportunities to other companies to further develop in this sector.